DAVID HILL MBE, SIR JAMES MACMILLAN CBE, JAMES O'DONNELL
THE SCHOLA CANTORUM is the liturgical choir of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Kensington. Its principal duty is that of serving the liturgy of the school and the Schola sings each week at the Wednesday morning school Mass.
The Schola also has frequent external engagements and is heard in concert halls and churches all across the UK and further afield. Locations the choir has sung recently include Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, Snape Maltings, Winchester Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, York Minster, King’s College and St John’s College, Cambridge, New College, Oxford, St John’s, Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, The Royal Festival Hall and The Royal Albert Hall.
Annual tours take place, with destinations in the past few years including Soweto and Cape Town, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Washington, Venice, Paris, Lisbon, Rome, Salamanca, Madrid, Leipzig, Dresden, Krakow, Assisi and Barcelona.
The Schola has appeared at the BBC Proms and the Aldeburgh Festival and its voices features on numerous famous film soundtracks including one of the Harry Potter films, The Batman, Rocketman and the Oscar winning score for Life of Pi. In February 2022 the Schola became the first state school choir to lead the BBC's long-running religious broadcast, BBC Choral Evensong, when it sang Vespers for the Feast of Candlemas. In February 2023 the choir sang the Motette services over three days at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig.
Professional ensembles the choir has worked alongside include The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Bach Choir, St James' Baroque, The London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, The Choir of London and the Gabrieli Consort and Choir. Soloists who have appeared alongside the Schola include Sir Thomas Allen, Iestyn Davies, Sarah Fox and Roderick Williams. Conductors the boys have recently performed with include Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir James MacMillan, Ed Gardner, Semyon Bychkov, Vasily Petrenko, David Hill, Paul McCreesh and Placido Domingo. Recent concert highlights have included a performance of Carmina Burana at the Royal Festival Hall and a highly acclaimed performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall.
The choir has firm links with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where boys have performed in many productions over the past twenty-five years. Boys also regularly sing with English National Opera and Opera Holland Park.