Bishop’s Choir sings again in the Willow Carol Concert 2021
A truly magical introduction to Christmas – Mrs Wilde
It was the bleak midwinter, but nobody made moan! The choir rehearsed diligently at school with Miss Punchard and ate their packed teas before the annual trip to St Albans Cathedral for the Willow Carol Concert. Pupils and staff were welcomed by Bob and Megs Wilson, the Willow Foundation Co-Founders and Life Presidents, whose daughter, Anna, attended Bishop’s. She was described by her mum as quite a ‘naughty’ girl, but one with a passion for life. Unfortunately she died of cancer and it is in her memory that the Wilsons began Special Days for young adults, like Anna.
With lots of new choir members (as well as a year without a live concert) nerves were present but so was the support of the Willow family. Miss Morgan was there to photograph the rehearsal. After Hertfordshire Chorus’ wonderful renditions of: In Dulci Jubilo, Joy To The World and Here We Come, our choir was on. You could have heard a pin drop when they finished their melodious performances of ‘Like It’s Christmas’ and ‘Something About December’ before the audience broke into rapturous applause. Watching the Wilsons’ faces said it all to me.
Added to this was the honour that was bestowed on one of our 6th formers, Hannah Fitton. She was asked to participate in the Willow Tree procession and represented Willow School Supporters by hanging a bauble on the tree.
It was a truly magical night and one that the Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School Choir should treasure. The concert also raised an incredible £13,135 for the Willow Foundation!
Willows carol Concert 2021 – Hannah Fitton, Year 12.
Last week, the Bishops Hatfield Choir performed at the annual Willows Foundation carol concert alongside the renowned Hertfordshire Chorus, led by David Temple, who we have had the pleasure of performing with at various events, in the past. The Bishop’s Choir attends the concert every year due to the Willow’s Life Presidents’ daughter once being a student at Bishop’s herself.
Performing at the St Alban’s Abbey is always an amazing experience, and this year was no different. It was lovely to be back since last year had to be virtual, due to Covid restrictions. We were able to perform two songs for the packed audience and Bob and Megs Wilson, the co-founders of Willows. This year, in particular, I personally was able to be a part of the bauble ceremony which in itself is a lovely tribute to all those who support the Willow Foundation and its amazing mission to help seriously ill young adults and their families. I was really proud to be able to represent our school and its choir.
Our Bishop’s choir, that meets every Thursday, had practiced for several weeks for the event. As we have a number of new participants, it was a first-time experience for many of the students in the choir. Ms Punchard selected the songs, ‘Like its Christmas’ and ‘Something about December’ which were a great mix with the traditional carols that featured in the rest of the service, specifically those sung by the Hertfordshire Chorus.
The Willow Foundation provides special days out for young people living with a life-threatening illness. We heard from a young woman who had suffered from cancer in her early twenties and was so grateful to the charity for funding a day in a recording studio, where she produced some beautiful songs – which she shared during the evening. This is such a wonderful charity for Bishop’s to support and despite being a sad cause, the whole evening was happy and joyful. The service made the choir feel ready for Christmas, especially as they were giving mince pies on the way out!
Photos: Danny Loo & Liz Morgan