Durston House is very proud of its Choirs, the Junior Choir (Years 3-4) and the Senior Choir (Years 5-8). Both choirs play a prominent role in the musical and cultural life of the school, performing at each of the three major school events, the Carol Service, the School Concert, and Prize Day, as well as at Assemblies and other school gatherings. The quality of their performances is much appreciated by the whole school community, and draws large numbers of parents and friends to each occasion.
Both choirs are led by a member of the Music Department. They rehearse twice weekly, early in the morning, requiring real commitment from the boys, who will have auditioned for a place in the choir at the beginning of the school year. Effective planning and meticulous musical guidance from staff ensure that the boys develop singing skills, team work and discipline.
The choirs sing in parts, from a range of genres, mixing traditional choral work with music from a range of cultures or from more contemporary styles of pop and rock. The boys seem as much at home with the South African freedom song, Bawo Thixo Somandla, as they are with John Tavener’s The Lord’s Prayer. Many bring to bear their own musical experience of learning instruments, coupled with musical theory that is learnt in class, to demonstrate a real understanding of what they are singing. Talent is obvious, and the very best are invited to sing solo parts, where appropriate. The solo part for Once in Royal David’s City is always much sought after by the boys, and a delight for those who attend the candlelit service before Christmas.
Not only are the Junior and Senior Choirs an asset to the school, but also an important element in the broad education of the Durston boy. For all, a cultural awareness is enhanced by their contribution. Their professionalism and dedication to their craft are an example.