After a long journey by coach, plane, and then another coach, the Mount St Mary’s and Balborough Hall Choirs along with parents and staff arrived at the Church Village Hotel in the Catholic centre of the world – Rome! After a couple of hours of rest, and our first Italian meal, we made our way to Sant’ Iganzio in Loyola. There we were met by our Headmaster, Dr Nicholas Cuddihy, who joined us on a brief tour of the church.
A quick walk through Rome and we arrived at Oratorio del Caravita for our first concert. Together with I Fiori Musicali, an Italian choir involving staff and pupils from the Jesuit School in Rome, works from a diverse range of composers including Mozart and Faure were performed. The performances would have been captivating anywhere; but there in the oratory, where a young Mozart once stood and played, the atmosphere and sentiment created by the music was wonderful. A beautiful unaccompanied trio by Mendelssohn, performed by year 12 pupils Samantha, Alex and Annie, created a magical moment and another highlight was the point at which our choir joined with the Italian singers to sing Rutter’s ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ – a very special moment. As the concert came to a close, Dr Nicholas Cuddihy spoke to the choirs and audience: despite their exhaustion, many only having grabbed fragments of sleep in the past 24 hours, they performed like true professionals – ‘a great credit to the Mount, Balborough and England!’
Written by Lucy Kitchener