St Paul’s Girls’ Choir & Orchestra

It is of great importance that the parents should understand that we intend to make the music of the School of more than ordinary merit” (Miss Frances Gray, the school’s first High Mistress in a letter to the Governors in 1904).

It was with such high ambitions for music in mind that Frances Gray appointed the distinguished composer Gustav Holst as the first director of music of the St Paul’s Girls’ School in 1905. He was to remain in post until his death in 1934 and most of his greatest works, including The Planets, were written during this time. Following Holst, the school has been fortunate in having a succession of distinguished musicians (whether as composer or conductor) to lead the department, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells and John Gardner. The current composer in residence is Dr Bernard Hughes, whose works will be performed on this tour. The music department is housed in an historical listed building dating from 1913 and designed to Holst’s original specifications. It includes a 220 seater recital hall (The Singing Hall), the Holst Room used for academic teaching, and sixteen sound-proofed individual teaching rooms. Music plays a central and much valued role in the cultural life of the school. Pupils of all levels and abilities are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular musical activities and a very high proportion of the girls take music lessons (over 80%). There are two orchestras, a string orchestra, several wind groups, five choirs, and many smaller chamber ensembles. Pupils from the school are regularly represented at the highest levels in the National Youth Orchestra, the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, the National Children’s Orchestra and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. A number of pupils also study at the Junior Departments of the London music colleges, and many go onto study at the top universities in the UK and America.

Wednesday, July, 19 | 21h30

Ruínas do Carmo – Museu Arqueológico do Carmo

Thursday, July, 20 | 21h30

Igreja de São Pedro

Saturday, July, 22 | 18h

Mosteiro da Batalha


Selections from:

John Gardner* (1917-2011): A Shakespeare Sequence
(choir, piano duet, percussion)

Edward Elgar (1857-1934): The Snow
(choir, two violins and piano)

John Rutter (1945-): The Lord bless you and keep you

Lyn Williams (1963-): Alleluia

Gustav Holst* (1874-1934): Brook Green Suite
(string ensemble)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), Bernard Hughes (arr.): Libertango
(string ensemble)

W. A. Mozart (1756-1791): String Quartet in Bb, K.589: Finale – Allegro assai
(string quartet)

Norman Hallam (1920-1997): Dance Suite
(wind quintet)

Bernard Hughes+ (1974-): Three Impromptus
(wind and brass ensemble)

Giovanni Gabrieli (1553-1612), Charlotte van Passen (arr.): Canzon C.194
(brass quartet)

Serguei Prokofiev (1891-1953): March
(wind and brass ensemble)

J. S. Bach (1685-1750): Fugue
(wind and brass ensemble)

Henk Badings (1907-1987), Bernard Hughes (arr.): Rondo Popolare
(wind and brass ensemble)

* former director of music of St Paul’s Girls’ School
+ current composer in residence at St Paul’s Girls’ School