Stone and Voice: Shining a Light on our History
This review was submitted by Callum Bruce in Year 11:
On the evening of October 18th, a very special event took place within the impressive walls of St. Peter’s Church, Bournemouth. The thought-provoking concert was part of a Heritage Lottery Fund supported development project known as ‘Stone and Voice’, and saw musicians from Bath Philharmonia, The Choir of St. Peter’s Church, Bournemouth School for Girls and Bournemouth School coming together in a perfect display of collaboration.
‘Stone and Voice’ is a project led by St. Peter’s Church, which aims to share the stories of a remarkable chapel (‘Stone’) situated within the grounds and the lives of the 23 parishioners named on the World War I Shrine (‘Voice’) within the church, to which the Resurrection Chapel is now dedicated.
Conductor and Musical Director Jason Thornton opened the first half of the evening by explaining that the music we were about to hear had been composed by the Bath Philharmonia Creative Learning Team in association with Year 9 music students from Bournemouth School. The creativity in the music was incredible and we were taken on an epic journey from our seaside town of Bournemouth to the ravages of the war and its tragic consequences, complete with everything from birdsong to tinnitus! Real stories of the 23 named men filtered through the music as members of the joined choirs held candles in remembrance. The poignant silence that remained afterwards was testimony to the depth of emotion that had been created. Truly impressive!
The second half of the concert brought us a performance of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, a piece chosen (I am reliably informed) for its ‘emphasis on eternal rest and consolation’. This seemed a perfect response to the dramatic movements of the previous hour. There was a stunning solo performance from James Atkinson (British baritone and former student of Bournemouth School) while Austin Spendlowe (member of St. Peter’s Choir and Bournemouth School student) gave us the striking treble solo.
Everyone involved truly deserved every moment of the emphatic applause at the end of the evening. An extremely evocative and deeply moving evening of music and memories.