As part of the celebrations to mark the 175th anniversary of the founding of Sibford School, a special choral festival is to be held at St Mary’s Church in Banbury.
Sibford School was established by the Religious Society of Friends in 1842 and on Saturday 1 April Sibford choristers will be joined by pupils from Quaker schools in West Yorkshire, Essex and Northern Ireland for the Friends Schools Joint Choir Festival 2017.
This exciting musical collaboration will feature a combined performance of Fauré’s Requiem. In addition, in true festival spirit, each individual choir will also perform a piece of their own choice.
Fiona Hudson, Head of Music at Sibford School said: “We are delighted to welcome friends from our sister Quaker schools to join us for this event and are looking forward to a fabulous evening at St Mary’s.”
Explaining why she chose Fauré’s Requiem as the festival pièce de résistance, Fiona said: “Fauré’s Requiem contains the most beautiful melodies and harmonies. The final movement ‘In Paradisum’ never fails to inspire and uplift.
“In the early days of Quaker schools, music was positively discouraged. Quakers were opposed to instrumental music, comparing it to the Devil, and, according to our school history, if any of Sibford’s early pupils were caught illicitly playing music they had their instruments confiscated and even broken in two!
“However, history also assures us that by the 1920s ‘music and dancing and art, once thought to be snares of the Devil, were now seen to belong to the Angels’ so, I therefore thought that we would be safe with piece of work that didn’t receive its first performance in the UK until 1936!”
The Friends School Choir Festival will start at 7.30pm. Entrance is free and all are welcome. There will be a retiring collection in aid of BYHP (Banbury Young Homelessness Project).
Sibford School Head, Toby Spence, said: “Sibford School has played an important part in the Banburyshire community over the past 175 years and we hope that as many people from the local community as possible will be able to join us for what promises to be a fantastic evening of entertainment.
“We would also like to thank our sponsors, Edwards Insurance Brokers, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Ansvar and Congregational Insurance who have enabled us to make this a free event.”