Under the expert charge of Alex Mason, Director of Chapel Music – and accompanied by Dr John Godwin – the Chapel Choir assisted evening worship in the inspiring surroundings of the former abbey church, which dates back to 1093.
Clergy, Old Salopians, staff and choristers nestled cheek-by-jowl in the ornately carved quire to enjoy wonderfully clear and dramatic performances of Sumsion in G and Elgar’s stirring anthem, The Spirit of the Lord. Henri Cramsie stepped in as Cantor in the Preces and Responses by Reading with characteristic verve.
In a rousing finale, Arthur Hope Barton took controls of the cathedral’s huge Grand Organ with conviction and mastery that belied his youthful Third Form years to play out the choir with Karg-Elert’s recessional, Nun Danket Alle Gott.
Mr Mason said: “It was a real privilege for the Chapel Choir to sing Evensong at Chester Cathedral. I was thrilled with their wonderfully stylish performances of the Sumsion and Elgar in particular, and their professionalism throughout the occasion was commendable. Arthur Hope Barton almost literally pulled out all the stops for the recessional organ voluntary - a remarkable achievement for one so young. They all fully deserved their post-service feast at Pizza Express!”
Following the service, the 100-strong congregation moved to the magnificent surroundings of the Chapter House for a drinks reception hosted by the Headmaster. Current and prospective parents were joined by a strong turnout from the Old Salopian body, reinforcing the strength of links between Shrewsbury School and the Cheshire area over many decades.