Celebrating William Byrd
A good-sized audience in the Abbey Church enjoyed an outstanding performance from the Schola Cantorum who sung liturgy and motets by William Byrd in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his death on Monday night.
A good-sized audience in the Abbey Church enjoyed an outstanding performance from the Schola Cantorum who sung liturgy and motets by William Byrd in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of his death on Monday night. Many congratulations to Edward Seymour on the very impressive standard achieved by our young singers. We also welcomed James Weeks, composer, Byrd specialist and former pupil of mine, who gave an insightful talk: James is professor of Music at Durham University and a great contact for Ampleforth.
Amadea Pharaony and Eli Hennigan joined this week's staff briefing to talk about their roles as Wellbeing Monitors in the school. Alongside Sophie Vallack, Felicity Cunningham, Sam Bartle and Izzy Camacho, the Wellbeing Monitors are looking at initiatives to spread awareness about mental health and provide support for students and staff. After half term, they will be hosting year group get togethers in the Matthews Room throughout the week, creating opportunities for students to talk to their peers, and coffee mornings for staff and students to come together as a whole community.
On Tuesday, having been asked by Christians in the Holy Land, we marked the day as a world day of prayer for peace. Morning prayers in Houses reflected on this and the whole school assembly was devoted to a vigil for peace in Israel/Palestine and in other parts of the world where there is conflict. It was a very moving experience as we joined together as a community and prayed for peace. Richard Hudson spoke powerfully about being able to forgive. He said: "We must ask for God's comfort and support for those who have already fallen victim to the fighting. But we must also not forget to ask for forgiveness for our own harbouring of resentment and anger, so that - and this sounds like a cliche but is true - one step towards peace in the world may begin in our own hearts". Assembly concluded with a minute's silence before a Piper played the lament and walked down to the memorial chapel.
House retreats took place on Wednesday night into Thursday focussing on various themes from friendships, appreciation, and a time to pray. Destinations ranged from Durham, Lincoln, Whitby and York, as well as more local walks to Rievaulx, the village church and the Marian garden. More details are in the House newsletters.
Our hockey girls continue to impress with the U18s winning 6-1 against Fyling Hall this week and the U13 and U12s also seeing victory over Mowden Hall. We also wish the very best of luck to our equestrians Elizabeth, Olivia and Poppy who will be representing the College at the NSEA National Championships this week.
I am looking forward to drinks with the CCF staff and Senior Non-commissioned Officers this evening.