The Choir of St. George's Chapel comprises 23 boy choristers and twelve Lay Clerks singing alto, tenor and bass. The boys are educated at St George's School which is situated in the Castle grounds, and the Lay Clerks live in the Horseshoe Cloister, just to the west of the Chapel, and on Denton's Commons.
St George's Chapel exists to provide a place to give thanks to Almighty God and to pray for the Sovereign and the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and the work of the choir is central to that aim. The choir was founded at the same time as the founding of the College in 1348 and, with the exception of the Commonwealth period (1649-60), has sung the services continuously since then. The choir sings regularly in the presence of the Queen and other members of the Royal family, and in recent times sang at the marriage of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones; it sang also at a concert in celebration of the seventieth birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, and at celebrations for the eightieth birthday of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. The choir sang at the funeral of Princess Margaret in St George's and also at the Thanksgiving service for her life held in Westminster Abbey.
The Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Sacred Music by Sir John Tavener (born 1944). Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Christopher Robinson, conductor. James Oxley, tenor; Matthew Brook, baritone; Colin Cartwright, countertenor. Roger Judd, organ (trk. 8). Recorded July 11-13, 1990. Re-issued June, 2013. (Re-issue of Hyperion CDA 66464 from 1991)
The Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor The Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, offers a sumptious programme of jewels from the anthem tradidion whose repertoire spans five centuries.
Works by Parry, Brahms, Ouseley, Gardiner, Tallis, Bach etc.
Master T.L.J. Grant AndersonThe Choir of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Retail price 4/6. Deleted March 1942. A & B: Mendelssohn's anthem (1844) (wds by William Bartholomew (1793-1867) based on Psalm 55, vv. 1-8) Recorded on two sides 28 March 1927 (matrices WAX2536-3, 2537-1) with the Choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor & organ accomp. directed by the Revd Dr Edmund H. Fellowes. Recorded in St George's Chapel.
C.M. Crabtree in The Gramophone (Sept. 1927, p. 152) writes that this is "not a good [record]", but the anonymous reviewer in The Sound Wave (London, Sept. 1927, p. 545) comments: "The best parts are the concerted ones. The solo boy has a good voice, and sings with that utter absence of all expression that is typical of the usual choir-boy. The recording is inclined to blast at times -- particularly on the 'ev' of the last every -- but that may be due to the machine used."
The Choir of St. George's Chapel, WindsorRussell Thorndike (Arthur) Russell Thorndike (1885-1972): "Children of the Garter. Being the Memoirs of a Windsor Castle Choir-Boy, during the last years of Queen Victoria." (London, 1937: Rich & Cowan Ltd. large 8vo pp. xi, 224. 24 photographic plates.) The author was the Shakespearean actor & novelist brother of Dame Sybil Thorndike. This very readable account of his six years at Windsor is full of amusing anecdotes & affectionate pen portraits. The Master of the Queen's Music was Sir Walter Parrat & Thorndike illustrates his methods like this: "What are you getting nervous for in that 'run'?" he would demand from a new boy. "There's nothing to fear about it. It's a good 'run' I assure you. It has stood the test of time, and is quite a famous 'run'. But it must be treated with a full control, and if you are going to be stupidly nervous, it shows that you are thinking about your silly self, instead of this capital piece of music, which is much more important than the feelings of a mere boy." For a piece of faulty singing we got no pity. It was a crime to let down composer or choir.
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