Three’s company

Arnold choir girls - Grace Card, Aimee Desmond and Chloe McConville
Arnold choir girls - Grace Card, Aimee Desmond and Chloe McConville
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Three Arnold School students are to sing in Westminster Abbey on Remembrance Day

Grace Card, Aimee Desmond and Chloe McConville will be representing the school in the world premiere of Howard Goodall’s Oratorio – a 45 minute work commissioned by the United Church Schools Trust (UCST) to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the influential King James text of the Bible.

The premiere performance will be conducted by Goodall himself in Westminster Abbey on Sunday November 13 as part of the evening service at 6.30pm.

There will be an orchestra of approximately 25 and a choir of approximately 60 pupils taking part. The orchestra will be made up of professional players, augmented by pupils (and staff) from within the UCST group of schools.

Goodall is most famous for his theme tunes for Blackadder, Mr Bean and The Vicar of Dibley.

He is an Emmy, Brit and Bafta award-winning composer of choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores, and a distinguished broadcaster.

In recent years he has been England’s first ever National Ambassador for Singing, the Classical Brit Composer of the Year and Classic FM’s Composer-in-Residence.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music education.

The oratorio is written in 10 movements, lasting about 45 minutes.

“To have our pupils performing in a world premiere, conducted by Howard Goodall in Westminster Abbey, will certainly be an outstanding honour for Arnold and for our three girls,” said the school’s director of music Daniel Chandler.

“Chloe, Aimee and Grace are all very excited but not at all overawed by the high profile nature of this event.

“We wish them good luck for their forthcoming rehearsals at Lincoln Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, and for the world premiere itself on November 13.”