London Oratory School Schola

London Oratory School Schola

The London Oratory School Schola was established in 1996 and is a choir for catholic boys. The current director of the Schola is Lee Ward. The choir's patrons are HRH Princess Michael of Kent, the actor Simon Callow and the composer James MacMillan (musician). [ "London Oratory School Schola"] , Boy soloist, "accessed 2 May 2008"]

Directors of the Schola

The choir's founding director was Michael McCarthy. After seven years with the Schola, McCarthy moved to the USA to become the Director of Music at Washington National Cathedral] . [ [ "Michael McCarthy"] , Washington National Cathedral, "accessed 2 May 2008"] He was succeeded by Steven Grahl, who is now Organist and Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church and Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford. [ [ "Director of Music: Steven Grahl MA (Oxon), PGDip (RAM), FRCO"] , St Marylebone Parish Church, "accessed 4 May 2008] The current director is Lee Ward, who combines work as Director of the Schola with his duties as Director of Music at the London Oratory School. He is also Director of Music at St John-at-Hampstead Church and a renowned organist who performs both in the UK and abroad. [ [ "People - Lay People"] , The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead, "accessed 4 May 2008]


On 7 July 2007 the Schola performed a concert in Rome, backed by the Vatican, with the "Orchestra Philarmonia Di Roma". The concert, written by Michael D’Alessandra, aimed to recall the glory of Rome. [ [ "Seventh Heaven Music"] , Rome Reports, 10 July 2007] [ [ "The London Oratory School Schola"] , Vatican Radio, 24 May 2007] [ [ "Seventh Heaven Music"] , Rome Reports] [ [ concert poster] ]

The choir's concert for World Aids Day took place at the "Cadogan Hall" in London on the 1 December 2007. The choir performed Gareth Valentine's "Requiem"), Colin Mawby's "A Song of Hope" (world premiere) and Duruflé's "Requiem". All proceeds from the concert went to the SURF Fund (a campaign which works in Rwanda campaigning for free anti-retroviral treatment for survivors of the genocide, and provides medical support to reduce the effect of opportunistic infections) and SOS Children's Villages (a charity working in Swaziland to provide resources for those living with Aids and to help prevent family abandonment). [ [ "Concert for World Aids Day - The London Oratory School Schola"] , Cadogan Hall] [ [ World Aids Day concert poster] ]


The schola was involved in some controversy in November 2007. For its performance for a World Aids Day concert, the beneficiary, the Terrence Higgins Trust, was abruptly dropped one month before the concert was to take place.

David McFadden, the headteacher of London Oratory School, claimed that the nominated charity did not support Christian values so the school could not support the charity from the proceeds of the concert. [ Callow Quits London Oratory Post] [ The Pope Vs Terry Higgins]

In response, Actor Simon Callow threatened to resign as patron of a choir at the school in protest. He was also a patron of the Terrence Higgins Trust. [ [ Callow in threat to quit Oratory post | UK news | The Guardian ] ]


Film soundtracks

The choir has also featured on many film soundtracks including "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, "The Phantom of the Opera", "The Golden Compass", "The Brothers Grimm" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". [ "London Oratory School Schola - Filmography"] , The New York Times, "accessed 2 May 2008"]

Audio recordings

The choir recorded an album of Christmas Carols, 'Songs of a Shepherd' in 2001, released on the Herald record label. [ [ "Songs of a Shepherd "] ,, "accessed 2 May 2008"]

The London Oratory School Schola worked with the choir of an orphanage in Harare, Zimbabwe, to record a version of the popular Christmas carol Silent Night. The orphanage cares for children who were abandoned or whose parents died, largely due to AIDS. This recording supported, and was launched on, the World AIDS Day. [ [ "Silent Night in Zimbabwe"] , Association of Zimbabwe Journalists, 24 December 2007] Over 50% of the purchase price goes directly to the orphanage in order to assist it with its work. [ [ "The Christmas Single of 2007 - Silent Night (Makandifira)] , "accessed 2 May 2008"] .


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Choir brochure]
* [ Siena music festival]

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