This summer, the Trinity Boys Choir was delighted to be invited to perform at the BBC Proms, which is considered the biggest classical music festival in the world. There are daily concerts running from the middle of July to early September in the Royal Albert Hall and other venues around the country. Every concert is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and some are filmed.  

Trinity Boys Choir is proud to be the only school-based choir to be regularly invited to perform in the festival. This summer the choir was invited to perform alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Gustav Mahler’s 3rd Symphony with conductor Sakari Oramo.  

This was the choir’s nineteenth appearance at the BBC Proms and the fourth Proms performance of this epic work. The choir has also featured in other Proms concerts as part of the Glyndebourne Opera Company. 

Mahler’s 3rd Symphony is the longest in the standard orchestral repertoire and draws on a huge orchestra as well as a boys’ choir, a women’s choir and a mezzo-soprano soloist. The boys sing in the 5th movement of 6 and represent the voices of angels. It is a short but remarkably affecting and important moment in the piece. 

Forty-three boys rehearsed at various times during the summer holiday and then gathered for the final rehearsals with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. These final rehearsals took place in the iconic BBC Maida Vale Studios, which have recently been bought by the film composer Hans Zimmer, as the BBC is moving soon to new studios in East London. The choir included eleven boys who were just about to join the school.  

One of these, a new JBug, Henry Pettitt, said “This is amazing. I am singing in the Royal Albert Hall before I have even joined Trinity and I am already coming back in a few weeks to sing in The Lord of The Rings!” 

Director of Music, David Swinson, says of the experience: “I was so proud of the boys. They have to sit very still for a long time and then suddenly stand and sing brilliantly. We had a number of new JBugs who are only 10 years old and they were so well behaved and focused. The reviews were very positive but two comments from professional colleagues pleased me the most. I had a German friend staying who runs a boys’ choir in Germany; he has trained boys for the piece many times and has heard many performances. The boys must sing in German, and he told me that our boys were the best he had heard. Also, the director of the BBC Symphony Chorus emailed to say – ‘my, the boys were fantastic!’” 

Bachtrack reviewed the piece, giving it five stars and saying, “The choral sound [of the choirs] was superbly delicate.” Seen and Heard agreed that the boys were ‘fine’. 

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