It is not every day that you get asked to take part in the first ever performance of a piece of music, but you can listen below to the S6 choir singing ‘Light in the Darkness’, a ‘homegrown’ RGC carol. I was part of that choir and really enjoyed the opportunity of learning a new carol, especially after finding out that it was written by Mr Elder, Head of Senior School, which ultimately made it even more special. 

Initially, Mr Pearson, Assistant Head of Music, contacted a few pupils, asking if they would like to add vocals to his own recording of the carol. He told us that he had created the melody but would not reveal who had written the words! We absolutely loved the carol and, after listening to it over and over, we managed to record our tracks at home. 

Once the whole school received the news that Mr Elder would be retiring next summer, we had a feeling that he might have written the carol, but surely that couldn’t be the case… after all, he is hardly a familiar face in the Music Department! But once our suspicions were confirmed as actually being true, more and more people submitted recordings to Mr Pearson. Once the recording was finished and I was able to listen to it for the first time, I felt super proud to have been part of it. As a pupil who has a real passion for music, I found it truly inspiring that Mr Pearson and Mr Elder had come together to create such a stunning piece with a lovely melody and meaningful words.

When speaking about the carol, Mr Elder commented, “The title of the carol, 'Light in the Darkness' sums up 2020 for me - it has been an incredibly difficult year but there has always been the hope that a 'new day' will dawn and that hope will beget - will create - more hope.” He went on to say, “Mr Pearson has created a very special melody for this carol and it would be great if individuals and choirs were to listen to it and then want to sing it themselves. Because I'm not very musical, I really struggled to get the rhythm right but my wife counted out the beat for me, and I think that we got there in the end, with the lyrics capturing, I hope, some key elements of the mystery and wonder that are at the heart of the Christmas story.”

Megan C (S6)