On 11 November 2023, 50 alumnae, spanning seven decades of St Helen’s collective history, came together with the current Chapel Choir to form two sizeable scratch choirs. The day-long event was a key part of the celebrations which have been taking place to commemorate 100 years of Chapel.
The scratch choir alumnae – some of whom had not set foot in School for 50 years – were treated to the famous St Helen’s katsu chicken lunch followed by a tour of the beautiful school campus, showcasing both older parts and the many new additions over the decades, including the brand-new Benedict Building. In the afternoon, Helena Rakowski, Director of Music, and her predecessor, Andrew Tillett, took charge of the 70-strong group of singers, who spent several hours in rehearsals preparing for the evening concert.
The Choral Concert took place in the beautiful Chapel of the Holy Cross, which was filled with family and friends of the singers. It was wonderful to hear the voices of many generations of singers, and to enjoy the repertoire of music, which they had played a part in choosing. Among them were St Helen’s favourites: ‘The Snow’, ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Alleluja Jubilate’ and as a finale, the St Kate’s Hymn.
It was a privilege to be amongst those alumnae for whom Chapel represents a very special place in their musical journey and formed many memories of school life. We would like to extend our gratitude once again to the singers past and present who supported this initiative and came in their droves to celebrate the centenary of Chapel, as well as the Directors of Music who ably led them.
We hope you enjoy the photos and video of the concert.