A Wellington School pupil has beaten hundreds of hopefuls to gain a place in a prestigious National Choir. Charlie Pemberton in Year 13 has had an invitation to join the Rodophus Choir. She will join former Wellington School Head Boy Will Hester, who also sings with the choir.
With a sound hailed as ‘unspeakably beautiful‘ by Gramophone, the Rodolfus Choir has established itself firmly over a period of thirty years as one of the leading young choirs in the United Kingdom; during which time they have developed a lasting reputation for their commitment to the very highest level of musicality. Comprising some of the finest young singers in the country, its members are all alumni of the famous Eton Choral Courses. The group have become renowned for their imaginative programming, their innovative and exciting performances, as well as for their extensive array of prestigious recordings.
Charlie and Will have both spent many years singing in Wellington School’s Chapel Choir, which has a well-established reputation for choral excellence. The choir performs an impressive annual programme of service music and concert work, with a repertoire to envy many cathedral choirs and leads services at cathedrals and churches all over the South West region. The choir’s performance schedule and impressively high standards are ably supported by an outstanding team of vocal teaching staff, including Lorna Anderson, Naomi Harvey and Eddie Wade and the choir is directed by Andrew Trewhella.
Over the last two summers, three sixth form choristers have attended one of the celebrated Eton Choral Courses – known to be an essential for any able young singers considering applying for choral scholarships at university. Last year, Will Hester attended a course led by Tim Johnson, former Assistant DoM at Wellington and now Director of Music and Precentor at Eton College. Amongst other highlights, this afforded Will the wonderful opportunity to sing Choral Evensong in the chapel at New College, Oxford, at which he was cantor for the responses, as well as soloist in Purcell’s Evening Canticles. The choir was directed by New College’s DoM, Edward Higginbottom.
This summer, Will Mitchell attended an Oxford based course, again directed by Tim Johnson which included a recital at Keble College Chapel, Choral Evensong in Christ Church Cathedral and Compline in New College Chapel.
Charlie Pemberton was based at St John’s College, Cambridge, where the course leader was the founder of the ECC, Ralph Allwood. Charlie was fortunate to sing in a choral recital in the famous King’s College chapel, directed by Stephen Cleobury and also to take part in a vocal masterclass led by the fabulous countertenor, Iestyn Davies.
Charlie hopes to study Classics at Cambridge. Will Hester is taking a gap year after finishing at Wellington in July, during which he will be a tenor choral scholar at Sherborne School and Sherborne Abbey, before hopefully going to Oxford to study PPE next Autumn.
Director of Music, Andrew Trewhella said: “It’s wonderful to see our choristers receiving recognition at this level. The Chapel Choir is something truly special – the jewel in Wellington’s choral crown – and it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be associated with it and to work alongside these wonderful young people. To see them begin to move on to bigger and even better things is a truly rewarding part of my job”.