Choristers sing at the 2015 Rugby World Cup Welcome Ceremonies
The RGS Godfrey Searle Choir was selected from hundreds of choirs from across the nation to sing the official tournament song World in Union. The young choristers, students from Reigate Grammar School and Reigate St Mary’s Preparatory and Choir School, welcomed the national team of Wales to the tournament at the team’s welcome ceremony at the Guildhall in London on Monday 21 September in front of an audience which included HRH the Duke of Cambridge. The welcome ceremonies marked the official start of the World Cup and saw the players capped and celebrated as they entered the third largest sporting event in the world.
Everyone involved has felt a huge sense of pride at performing for the Rugby World Cup. Helping with the welcome ceremonies was an honour and one of which the choristers feel privileged to have been a part.
We asked some of the staff and students involved to tell us exactly how they felt to represent not only their school but also their country as hosts of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Mr Simon Rushby, Head of Music at RGS commented, “I am thrilled that the RGS Godfrey Searle Choir was asked to perform at this prestigious event. The choristers and instrumentalists involved have worked extremely hard in preparing for this event, and I know that the experience will be one that they never forget.”
Hugh Blayney RGS Head Boy and Henry Morris RGS Senior Prefect commented, “It was undoubtedly a once in a lifetime experience and an extremely special day for all the choristers. The feeling we got as a choir whilst performing not only to our sporting idols in the Welsh Rugby Team, but also to Prince William, was an emotion that will be hard to equal. A rather humorous side to the occasion was watching Mrs Glynne-Jones’ conduct beside the towering 6ft 9in figure of Luke Charteris. To round off a truly momentous day, we were later treated to a performance of ‘Ar Lan y Mor‘ by the Welsh players themselves. However, I can confidently say that the choristers well and truly showed them how it is done. A lot of the boys managed to get signatures from the Welsh team, who themselves were so friendly and generous. Ed McTavish, who had been playing Cajon (a percussion instrument) to accompany the singing, managed to get his Cajon signed by the whole team!”
Commented RGS Head of Choral Music, Mrs Tali Glynne-Jones, “I went up to Twickenham for an exciting briefing day back in May. We were not told our teams/venues until that point and I was EXTREMELY excited to be given Wales (very passionate rugby nation, fantastic national anthem and I have Welsh grandparents so I feel instinctively drawn to supporting Wales myself!) and The Guildhall, which is a dramatic venue – 45ft high ceiling, wonderfully dramatic room holding 750.
On the briefing day, we were given a back stage tour covering a visit to the players’ locker room and the opportunity to walk out of the tunnel, up to the edge of the hallowed turf and even a quick sit down in the special seat reserved for the highest VIPs. It was amazingly exciting. The atmosphere was very positive and we are all delighted to have this fantastic opportunity provided by the Youth Sport Trust.”
The RGS Godfrey Searle Choir comprises pupils from both Reigate St Mary’s Preparatory and Choir School and Reigate Grammar School in addition to Lay Clerks. The Choir sings at Evensong services throughout the local area in addition to regularly singing at Southwark and Chichester Cathedrals. In recent years the choir has been chosen to sing the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in addition to singing on top selling albums across pop and rock genres.
The RGS Godfrey Searle Choir reprised the song they performed at the Welcome Ceremony, at the Old Reigatian Vets vs. Canada match which took place at 4.30pm on Tuesday 22 September.