Uppingham School is one of the leading music schools in the UK, and their choir has chalked up various accolades such as performing at the Westminster Abbey, singing for the British Royal Family, and collaborating with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. My church, St. George’s Church, was fortunate to host them for an evening as the first stop of their South East Asia Tour this year. The concert was held in support of the Deanery of Laos, so attendance was free with donations accepted.
The evening included two songs about dragons, which juxtaposed Eastern percussive sounds on the marimba against Western choral voices. The best word I can use to describe the marimba’s sound is amusing. It was lilting, exciting, suspenseful, quick, and sharp. And it’s amazing to watch the musician, a teenager in her final year, strike the chords so deftly.
Other songs were slightly more traditional, and the evening ended with a Fauré requiem. In case you’re like me and have no idea who Gabriel Fauré is/was, he was a French composer from the late 19th to early 20th century. This was also known as the late Romantic period, characterized by more drama, mood changes, louder “louds,” softer “softs,” and stronger emotional expression.
And emotional it was, for the angelic voices floated up like a leaf in a breeze, going to a place in my heart that only music can reach, and carried me along with it.
Find out more about St George’s Church http://www.stgeorges.org.sg/
Find out more about Uppingham School http://www.uppingham.co.uk/
Though I didn’t know anything about Fauré, he inspired a student called Claude Debussy, whose composition of Claire de Lune I can recognize (it’s a long stretch I know!). Here’s a beautiful rendition: