We were treated to three special services at Rochester Cathedral over the weekend, all celebrating musical history.

On Saturday, former Cathedral Organists Barry Ferguson (1977-1994) and Roger Sayer (1994-2008) and former Organ Scholar David Price (1991) conducted and played the organ for the Old Choristers, including founder members of the King’s Singers (Chris Gabbitas OR), The Sixteen (Chris Royall OR) along with former KSR teacher and lay clerk, Nick McMillan. 

On Sunday morning, the BBC van was parked outside the North door of the cathedral to broadcast a short radio interview with cathedral Director of Music Adrian Bawtree and Lay Clerk Isabella Chambers (OR) on R4’s Broadcasting House programme. The broadcast returned to the end of Matins in which the cathedral choir sang Stanford’s Jubilate in Bwith great gusto. 

Sunday Evensong involved the playback of the first ever recorded live broadcast of the Magnificat of Stanford in B♭, which was broadcast over telephone lines in 1926 and cut onto a Shellac Vinyl at 80rpm. The performance of the Nunc dimittis was live and incorporated the Old Choristers once again. 

You can listen to the recording on the Cathedral’s website: https://www.rochestercathedral.org/articles/2024/5/16/earliest-known-recording-of-a-live-cathedral-choir-rediscovered

And find out more about this amazing discovery: https://www.rochestercathedral.org/articles/2024/5/16/earliest-known-recording-of-a-live-cathedral-choir-rediscovered

As well as coverage by the BBC the story has been featured in the Telegraph and Church Times, Radio 3 and Radio 4.

A brilliant weekend and a chance to feel part of the incredible musical history which surrounds us at Rochester. 

Related Posts

  • Senior School News

    For 'Field Day' all our Removes and Lower Sixth enjoyed of variety of activities. The CCF visited the Historic Dockyard to conduct an Army Syllabus Assessment and pupils also took part in Rocket Building, Drone Flying and Command Tasks. Other pupils used their time to volunteer at the Royal British Legion or helped around the [...]

  • Nursery & Pre-Preparatory School News

    On Tuesday Year 3 had a day full of excitement with their second instalment of PickleBall, which they thoroughly enjoyed and then a Geography walk in the afternoon to explore the wonderful tourist attractions and local history we have on our doorstep! We will be using our photos in this term's project about our [...]

  • Old Roffensian, Senior School News

    On a glorious Rochester summer evening, the First XI played an Old Roffensians XI on the Paddock in a T20 game. The ORs batted first (they didn’t have eleven men to start with) and following an aggressive opening stand by Alaistair Saunders and Joe Middleton, which resulted in a couple of broken roof tiles on [...]