The Choir of St Peter and St Paul, Uppingham travelled to London recently to sing in the Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.
The Chapel is a Corporate Member of the Prayer Book Society.
Ralph Norwood, the former Director of Music at Uppingham School is now Director of Music at Greenwich. Each year the Chapel choir take a summer break and the Rutland singers leapt at the chance to perform at such a historic venue.
The beautiful chapel, also dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is an architectural masterpiece. Rebuilt in 1779 by James ‘Athenian’ Stuart following a dreadful fire that gutted the original building, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Featuring a richly decorated ceiling, naval themes throughout, and an exceptional altarpiece painted by the Raphael of America, Benjamin West, and is considered to be one of the finest 18th-century interiors in existence.
Uppingham’s choir sang at the Sunday morning BCP Choral Communion service. It was led by the Revd Dr Susan Blackall, Assistant Chaplain Emeritus at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel and the sermon was given by the Revd James Francis, Staff Chaplain of the Fleet, Royal Navy.
“The musical highlight was singing the ‘Introit’, the Byrd Motet Haec Dies (This is the day which the Lord has made) in the Ante-Chapel,” explains John Wardle, Director of Music at Uppingham Church. “It’s a floor below the main chapel. The acoustics of the Ante-Chapel are exceptional and then we processed into the main chapel on the floor above, up an impressive flight of stone steps.”
The choir were accompanied on the organ by Peter Clements, the Organist and Head of Academic Music at Uppingham School.