Winchester Cathedral choristers perform in Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall

June 3, 2021

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For this year’s annual Mountbatten Festival of Music, the Winchester Cathedral boy choristers were invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the prestigious concert. 

In collaboration with the Royal Marines Band Service, the choristers performed in an original commission called The Unknown Warrior by Corps Bandmaster, Ivan Hutchinson. As part of the performance, the choristers also sang God Save the Queen, as is tradition for the national anthem to be played.   

Thirteen of the boy choristers, ranging from the ages of 8 through to 14, were selected to spend two days in London, rehearsing and performing before the concert was pre-recorded, ahead of its premiere on the 5th June. 

William Holmes, one of the Head Choristers at Winchester Cathedral said, “Singing in the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Marines musicians was an amazing experience. There was no audience so it felt like there were musicians everywhere and we were spaced out singing, even more than we have been recently in the Cathedral. As we sang the Unknown Warrior, we had to try to not watch the drummers and buglers assembling the altar in the arena in front of us – which was tricky as the music and lighting was so atmospheric. It was a brilliant two days in London!”

The concert, which takes place every year, displays the versatility and skill of the military musicians and accompanying guest choirs, and features a wide range of musical styles, including music from the big screen and solo items, as well as traditional marches and overtures.

This year, the concert will be virtual and the world premiere will be broadcast from the Royal Albert Hall in London, and is available to watch on The Bands of HM Royal Marines YouTube channel at 7.30pm on Saturday 5th June.