St Joseph’s pupils past and (nearly) present were singing together for the First Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall last week as they took part in the BBC Proms Youth Choir. The girls had all been part of St Joseph’s prestigious Canzonetta choir during their time at St Joseph’s, and it was this experience that provided the platform for their selection as part of Cornwall Music Hub.
The girls taking part (L to R) were Naomi Gillies, Daisy Cooper, Florence Losasso, Hannah Carnegie and Rosanna Rowe, with Frankie Gilbert kneeling. Naomi left St Joseph’s in 2012, Hannah in 2013, Frankie in 2014, Daisy and Flo in 2015 while Rosanna left just this summer. They said of St Joseph’s highly renowned former Director of Music, Mrs Elisabeth Mann and her husband Jonathan “We all want to say a big thank you to you and Mr Mann, none of us would be here tonight if it wasn’t for you and our Canzonetta experiences!”
The BBC Proms Youth Choir recruits up to 350 young singers from various choirs and music hubs from every corner of the UK, who then rehearse in their local areas with their own leaders across the year.
As the performance approaches, the BBC holds a four-day intensive rehearsal residency: this year, 2017 the Proms Youth Choir is made up of singers from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Choir, University of Birmingham Voices, selected singers from the Cornwall Music Hub, the Black Country Music Education Hubs and the London-based Proms Youth Choir Academy.
Rosanna Rowe added “It was a wonderful experience. I’ve learnt so much… I don’t know if you know John Adams’ Harmonium or not but when you hear you’ll realise how crazy it is. Both time and key signature changes nearly every bar and the rhythms are just obscure! Not to mention how high it is…it was intense but great fun. It also splits into 12 different parts so you have to concentrate like mad. I sung 1st Soprano. Flo and Daisy were 2nd Sopranos and Frankie, Hannah and Naomi were Altos. It’s been a massive challenge but I’ve definitely learnt a lot!”
Very well done to all the girls involved, and to Mrs and Mr Mann for their work with the choirs over the years. With the appointment of Mr Peter de Blois as St Joseph’s new Director of Music, all involved in the school look forward to a bright musical future for the school.