It was a great pleasure to have Old Pangbournian and current Governor Mrs Charlotte Butterworth (née Drake after whom the Charlotte Drake Society is named) as our Guest of Honour at the first whole school parade of 2023. Charlotte was one of the first two girls to join the College in the Sixth Form in 1990.
The day started at a very cold minus 5 degrees celsius but by the parade had, thankfully, reached a positive figure of 2. In spite of these very cold conditions, which make it harder for Brass instrumentalists in particular to create a good sound, the Marching Band were in fine form.
Conducted by our experienced Bandmaster, Mr Andrew Thornhill, a former Director of Music in the Royal Marines, during the inspection they performed ‘Highland Cathedral’, and ‘Heart of Oak’ (Mrs Butterworth was in the Royal Navy for 12 years) and ‘This is My Country’ during the March Past.
At the end of the parade, on the Band’s March Past, Drum Major Oscar Brown successfully threw the mace and the parade ended in style.
The parade was preceded by a whole school service in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel led by the Chaplain, The Reverend Neil Jeffers. During it, the College Choir, conducted by Director of Music Mr Chris McDade, sang Mendelssohn’s soothing ‘Verleih uns frieden’ and The Reverend Rupert Shelley, current parent, gave a thought-provoking sermon. After the parade, The Head and Mrs Alexandra Garnier hosted a drinks and lunch reception in Devitt House.
Since the end of the pandemic restrictions, whole school parades have been very well attended by parents and families. It was therefore pleasing to see that, in spite of the very cold conditions of this College Sunday, it drew similar numbers and all enjoyed the hot drinks served under College gazebos beforehand.
With such a heavy frost, when the sun came out, the College campus looked resplendent in its beautiful Winter grey-green and white colours. There can be no doubt, the College's natural landscape is very special indeed.
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