Anniversary Concert 2014

St Catherine’s Association 10th Anniversary Concert

Guildford Cathedral provided a wonderful venue for a very special concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the St Catherine’s Association with a memorable performance of Handel’s Messiah. The St Catherine’s Association is a very active group embracing former or current pupils, staff, parents, Governors and local friends. Over the past 10 years it has welcomed back hundreds of people who have connections with the School, old and new.

The St Catherine’s Association Choir has sung regularly since its foundation in 2005. Conducted by the school’s Director of Music, Geoffrey Field, the Senior Chamber Choir, alumnae, parents, staff, governors and friends came together to sing Handel’s acclaimed oratorio. In 2005 the singers were accompanied by a professional orchestra. However, on this occasion, such is the strength of St Catherine’s own flagship string ensemble, Camerata, that they were asked to accompany, demonstrating their exceptional ability rising to the challenge of such a demanding piece with huge aplomb. The Association Choir was joined by distinguished, professional soloists including former St Catherine’s pupil, soprano, Fleur de Bray. Alto, Rosemary Clifford, tenor, Alexander Sprague, and bass Bozidar Smiljanic also added to the majesty of Handel’s most famous work. At the end of the performance, the appreciative audience, which included the Lord-Lieutenant Dame Sarah Goad; Cllr David Elms, Deputy Mayor of Guildford; Cllr Liz Wheatley, Deputy Mayor of Waverley; Cllr Tom Martin, Mayor of Godalming and Rt Revd Ian Brackley, Bishop of Dorking; gave a standing ovation and enthusiastic applause for what all agreed had been a superb performance.

Messiah was originally performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742 for charitable benefit, and so it was fitting that the St Catherine’s Association concert should support the work of another charity. The retiring collection raised over £1300 for Shooting Star CHASE, a local children’s hospice, in memory of Lachlan Armitage, cared for by this local hospice but who sadly lost his battle with an incurable genetic disease just before his 3rd birthday. Lachlan’s family, who have close connections to St Catherine’s, are dedicating this year, which would have been his 10th birthday, to raising funds for Shooting Star Chase.