St Cedd's School

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Parents' Information Line

St Cedd’s School Pupil Becomes Westminster Abbey Chorister

St Cedd’s School Year 3 pupil, Gabriel Downes, will become a Westminster Abbey Chorister from September having accepted a place at Westminster Abbey Choir School.

Having been a chorister at Chelmsford Cathedral since Year 1, and indeed one of their youngest ever choristers, Gabriel will join the world-famous Westminster Abbey Choir this autumn, which takes part in state and national occasions as well as singing evensong six days a week and gives concert performances worldwide.

Gabriel discovered his passion for music from a very young age at St Cedd’s School, learning instruments in and out of school alongside his choral commitments.

This fantastic achievement is in recognition of Gabriel’s talent and dedication to singing, and by joining the Westminster Abbey Choir he has also secured a place at the Westminster Abbey Choir School, which is a purpose-built school set in the heart of the Abbey precincts solely for the choristers, providing a complete preparatory school boarding education tailored to the needs of choristers.

St Cedd’s School’s Director of Music, Ms Elizabeth Marshall, says: “The Music Department are delighted that Gabriel has been offered this fantastic musical opportunity. Singing is very much at the heart of the music teaching at the School as the voice is not only the instrument that everyone carries with them, but the activity of singing with others is such a good vehicle for learning about music, how to express ourselves and for promoting general wellbeing. Alongside the singing performances that all pupils participate in throughout the year, there are also extra opportunities for pupils who show a particular aptitude for singing to join our chamber choirs that sing Evensong in Chelmsford Cathedral each term. Some also join one of our small singing groups that work towards taking singing examinations. St Cedd's School has a strong religious choral tradition and, as a member of the Choir Schools Association, has a history of providing pupils with the support needed for them to train as choristers and sing in the Chelmsford Cathedral Choir.

“Having shown much musical potential, these are opportunities which Gabriel has made the most of through his natural musical enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. We wish him all the very best as he takes up his place at Westminster Abbey Choir School and we look forward to hearing of his progress.”

Mr Matthew Clarke, Head of St Cedd’s School on New London Road, says: “We are delighted for Gabriel and look forward to hearing of his future endeavours as a Westminster chorister as he builds on the excellent musical and academic foundation that St Cedd’s School has provided.”