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 Choir, Senior Choir and Flute Ensemble also took part in the prestigious service which included readings from girls of all ages.
It was a particularly momentous occasion for Prep School Choir Musical Director and Head of Boarding Dr Liz Dollins who made her directorial debut at the service. The choir’s heart-warming performance of ‘How Far is it to Bethlehem?’ is set to be the first of many under the expert guidance of Dr Dollins who this year joined the school from Cheltenham Ladies College.
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 Head Girl Savannah Hall. The school, which is the only institution in Cornwall to offer this ancient language through to A Level, this year celebrated all of its pupils studying Latin GCSE achieving straight A*s.
Headmaster Dr Glenn Moodie said: “Yet again our girls have lit up the Cathedral with beautiful singing and shown the impressive range of their musical and orchestral talents. It was wonderful to see so many parents joining us on what has become, for so many, the official start of the festive season.”
The service rounded off a fantastic year at school which has just been ranked by the Times Schools Guide 2018 as the top school in Cornwall and well within the top 200 independent schools in the country.