Hull Collegiate School one of first schools to perform award-winning piece of music! 

Wassail! Carols of Comfort and Joy, which was commissioned by United Learning, has won the Classic FM Best Classical Music Education Initiative at this year’s Music Teachers Awards.

The piece was premiered in two concerts in December, bringing together over 1000 staff and pupils from across United Learning’s schools, including those from Hull Collegiate School. 

Written by celebrated composer Alexander L’Estrange and conducted by him at the two premieres, Wassail! was created to inspire collaboration, musical excellence and joy through choral singing. Performers from United Learning academies and independent schools took part in the premieres in London and Manchester, side by side with acclaimed vocal ensemble Apollo 5 in a unique national initiative that also included teacher training, schools’ workshops, recording sessions and design.

The award, which was presented to Catherine Barker, United Learning’s Head of Music and Performing Arts, was voted for by the general public via Classic FM.

(Image HCS pupils rehersing with Alexandar)

Receiving the award, Catherine Barker said:

“It’s wonderful that the hard work of our students, teachers and musical partners has been recognised with this award – thank you to everyone who voted for Wassail! The project lives on through Alexander L’Estrange’s beautiful piece of music; we hope it continues to inspire schools and their communities to sing together for many years to come.”

Alexander L’Estrange said:

“I’m incredibly proud of ‘Wassail!’ From writing the work, recording and rehearsing it across the country with hundreds of amazing students and their brilliant teachers, to conducting the premieres – the whole process has been a complete joy. Thank you to everyone at United Learning and our supporters!”

James Webb, Director of Music at Hull Collegiate School, who took part in the event said:

“Being part of the creation of this amazing new piece was so exciting for all the pupils. Our choir was honoured to be asked to sing one part, ‘The Wexford Carol’, on our own at the first performance in Manchester. The entire piece was beautifully organised to ensure that all ages and abilities, as well as pupils from different schools across the country, could join together.”

Jon Coles, Chief Executive of United Learning, congratulated everyone involved:

Wassail! was a great project which thoroughly deserved to win the award.”

(Image Catherine Barker and Alexander L’Estrange collecting the award)

Find out more about music at Hull Collegiate School by visiting our next open event. 


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