Over 160 musicians put on an epic performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in the stunning setting of Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 24th February. 70 members of Rochester Choral Society, 38 of King’s Senior Choir, 23 from the Rochester Cathedral Choir, eight members of staff and Old Roffensians joined forces with 25 members of Aurum Vocale Instrumental collective and six professional soloists

The piece narrates Jesus’s betrayal, arrest and crucifixion, and has a running time of over two and a half hours. Our performance used the original language (German) and something close to the original pitch (a semitone lower than usual concert pitch), with historic instruments.

The occasion was a wonderful community collaboration, and the Senior Choir and Choristers performed incredibly well. Full performances of the St. Matthew Passion are relatively rare, given the scale and expense of performing the work. No doubt the performers will remember the concert for the rest of their lives. A special mention goes to those pupils and staff who sang solo roles alongside professional soloists, helping to bring the story alive.

Although the concert was a resounding success, it was not without its challenges on the day: Our original Evangelist (Sam Boden) and Jesus (Charles Cunliffe) were unable to join us due to illness, but we were very grateful to Ruairi Bowen and Sam Pantcheff who stepped in at the last moment. Thank you to all who made the concert possible and who came to support us. We wonder what the next big collaboration will be…

Mr Mountford, Director of Music

The performance was also lauded by the Mayor of Medway Cllr Nina Gurung.

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