More than 500 people packed into the Cathedral for an evening of festive song with Truro High School for Girls. The widely used ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ format, upon which the service was based, was invented by the school’s founder Bishop, Edward White Benson, in Truro in 1880. He went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury.
The service began in darkness with the school’s Chamber Choir holding candles as they walked through the Nave singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.
The school’s Prep, Senior, Sixth Form and Chamber Choirs also took part in the prestigious service which also included readings from girls of all ages.
Performances included ‘Carol of the Bells’ by Mykola Leontovych, ‘O Holy Night’ by Adolphe C Adam and ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ by Jester Hairston.
Soloists included Prep 6 Bryher Gemmill and Year 11 Lucy Peek who were last month told that they have been selected to sing with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
The final carol of the evening ‘O come all ye faithful’ was given an unexpected twist with the opening verse sung in Latin by the school’s Chamber Choir. The school is very proud of its classics teaching and is the only one in the county offering Latin through to A Level standard.
Headmaster Dr Glenn Moodie said: “This evening’s service was a truly magical start to the festive season with some absolutely incredible performances from our girls: the perfect opportunity for our community to share the joy of Christmas. It is a matter of considerable pride that the school has roots in such an historic Christmas tradition and we are honoured to carry on this legacy at the home of ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’.”