Benenden has an outstanding reputation for choral singing, with many varied opportunities for girls to cover a broad range of repertoire, regardless of their experience. Although the groups listed below will be of particular interest to keen singers (and many girls are in two or three groups), we encourage all those who study instruments to sing as the skills developed have far-reaching benefits for all musical disciplines.
The Chamber Choirs are open to all, whether a confident performer or not. All girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 who have singing lessons are expected to participate, and those who have instrumental lessons are strongly encouraged to do so. The opportunity to make music with friends in a relaxed yet rewarding environment offers welcome variation from the busy schedule.
Chapel Choir (Director: Mr E Whiting)
The School’s only auditioned choir comprises approximately 34 girls across Years 9 to 13. The Choir rehearses twice each week, on top of services and other occasional commitments, and members of the Chapel Choir also attend Chamber Choir. Repertoire is predominantly sacred but with occasional exploration of other genres.
The Choir has enjoyed widespread acclaim for its commercial recordings and enjoys many opportunities to perform outside of School, for instance singing Evensong in the major London cathedrals and alongside Eaton and Tonbridge Chapel Choirs. They also regularly embark on foreign tours, most recently to Paris, Brussels, Venice and Slovenia.
Chamber Choir (Director: Mr E Whiting)
Chamber Choir is at the heart of school events, whether it be leading the Carol Services each December, performing in morning Prayers or concluding the festivities on Speech Day. All girls in Years 9 to 13 are invited to be a part of the group, and those who have singing or instrumental lessons are strongly encouraged to get involved. Meeting once a week for 40 minutes, the Choir’s repertoire is hugely varied, from sacred to secular to pop.
Lower School Chamber Choir (Director: Mr E Whiting)
Also non-auditioned, the Lower School Chamber Choir is open to girls in Years 7 and 8. The Choir enjoys a prominent role on major occasions, such as in Carol Services and within several high profile concerts. The emphasis is on singing for enjoyment and making friends with girls from other Houses, as well as the development of useful musical skills.
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