At the age of 88, Sir David Willcocks remains a remarkable gentleman with a sensational sense of humour, a phenomenal ear and an athletic body that’s able to kick a large body of singers into shape in one rehearsal.
The 25th Singing Weekend – initially set up by Haileybury Almaty’s new Headmaster, Andrew Auster – relocated to Haileybury this year. Last weekend, the school provided the perfect location for rehearsals, workshops (that were innovative and informative), and a splendid lunch accompanied by the East Coast Wanderers Jazz Band. Hertford provided the hotels and B&Bs, and All Saints the concert venue for rewarding performances of Haydn and Parry; the concert saw the fusion of young soloists from the Royal College of Music, young/old, inexperienced/experienced singers from far and wide, two brilliant pianists and the explosively dynamic and experienced Sir David.
The enthusiastic participants vowed to return with swelling numbers for next May’s line-up to be led by Bob Chilcott, and directed again by the Director of Music, Quentin Thomas.