Our four choristers, Rhianwen, Holly, Freya and Erin are pictured after the Choral Festival at Llandaff Cathedral having been presented with their RSCM Dean’s Award (Bronze Award) by the Dean of Llandaff during a splendid service of Choral Evensong in the Cathedral. The girls had worked extremely hard over many, many weeks to take the examination, which proved to be a tough test of their musicianship and choral ability. I was very grateful for the support provided by Margaret Wren and the girls responded well to the hours of practising and rehearsing by undertaking many of the tasks at home as well as in the choir vestry.

The examination included the singing of a hymn, a psalm and an anthem, plus several aural tests, questions related to the church and its ‘furniture’, their responsibilities and a detailed examination of a major festival, in our case, we chose Easter. The examination lasted 30 minutes for each chorister and was conducted by Andrew Kirk, Director of Music at St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol. I am delighted to report that the girls all gained a ‘commended’ certificate (scores over 75) plus the green ribbon and a splendid RSCM badge to wear with their choir robes during services. We were all very relieved when the results came through. Well done, girls.

21 members of the St John’s choir sang in the Festival Choir of 130 singers from all over South East Wales and we were rehearsed and conducted by Rosemary Field, the Deputy Director of the RSCM. It was a wonderful service: the singing of the hymns, psalm, Canticles by Stanford in C and the anthem by Balfour Gardner, ‘The Evening Hymn’ were all superbly accompanied by Stephen Moore, Director of Music at Llandaff Cathedral, on the magnificent cathedral organ. It was an emotional sound, enjoyed by a large congregation including many of our church families and parents, but the highlight was watching the girls being presented with their ribbons and certificates by the Dean. A long day, but well worth the effort and, from the feedback received, enjoyed by everyone involved.

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