Pupils from St Benedict’s School in Ealing joined the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Voces8 for a thrilling concert on Tuesday, 19th January. The audience in a packed Ealing Abbey enjoyed a delightful tour of a cappella singing, including well known motets, folk songs and a stylish jazz set. Year 5 pupils from North Ealing, Christ the Saviour and Mount Carmel primary schools joined St Benedict’s Junior School children for two rousing sea shanties including an energetic eight part canon with actions.
A ‘world premiere’ was included in the concert. St Benedict’s pupils from Year 7 created their own a cappella song in a workshop led by the Voces8 team. This resulted in a dramatic use of space in the Abbey, with students singing in two choirs, one on the altar steps, and the other from the back of the building. The resulting vocal call and response was truly dramatic, ending with a phrase to commemorate the recent passing of David Bowie.
Monica Esslin-Peard, Music teacher at St Benedict’s, said: “We would like to thank Voces8 for their inspiration and dedication and all the music staff from schools involved for making this concert an evening to remember.”
Nic Mehew, Music teacher at North Ealing Primary, commented: “The results achieved were beyond belief - such power, enthusiasm and response to the demands made upon the pupils without the support of written words/instrumental support. A challenge set and triumphantly achieved!”
Voces8 have been working with St Benedict’s over the past 16 months. Students at the school have benefitted from their unique expertise – those in Years 11-13 have been developing their skills as Young Leaders for singing and younger pupils have been inspired to sing and perform in public.
Voces8 is a British vocal ensemble with eight singers who perform repertoire from the 14th Century to the present day, spanning musical genres from classical, folk, jazz and pop. They are unusual as they work without a conductor, which means that they demonstrate very finely honed ensemble skills.
Find out more about Voces 8 on www.voces8.com