A total of 300 Yago-linked people, including an 81-strong choir, teachers, and parents, went to Rome last week to sing to His Holiness, the Pope.
Many of you will know that the Yago School Choir has performed in many concerts, but the size and emotion of this performance exceeded even the high expectations the parents and children had before the trip.
Our pupils gave three outstanding recitals. The first, at a private mass organised for us by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Vatican City and Vicar General of the Vatican State, was in Saint Peter’s itself. The children and their parents, led by Dr. Curtial, Mr. Resa and Father James, entered the basilica through the Bronze Door, opened just for us. It was a moment that will live long in the memories of those who were lucky enough to be there. Directed by Mr. John Durant, our Head of Choir and also a renowned conductor, composer, and orchestral arranger, the choir sang liturgical music delicately and beautifully, accompanied on the organ by Auxiliadora C. Caballero.
That night, the choir put on an open concert in the Church of Saint Ignacio de Loyola that stirred the emotions of more than 500 concert-goers.
And to put the icing on the cake of our three days in Rome, on Saturday, June 29th, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, they were invited to participate in a mass presided over by His Holiness the Pope, during which more than 30 archbishops were ordained. Once the ceremony was over, they went to say the Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square. After the prayers, His Holiness publicly greeted ‘Yago School and the children of this great choir’, and they sang one of the school’s sevillanas, accompanied by the Director of the school’s recording studio, and leader of Siempre Así, Mr. Rafa Almarcha.
Music is one of the pillars of Yago School’s educational project, and one of the essential areas in the holistic development of all its pupils. Since the very beginning of modern pedagogy, many experts have insisted on the importance of music in education from as young an age as possible. It is shown to help the development of both sides of the brain and is a tool that helps to develop a multitude of skills with different benefits for learning.
This is why, since we started in 2010, Yago School has been firmly committed to music education, teaching music and movement in Infant, and moving to conventional sight reading from 5 years old. From the first year in Primary up to the third year of Secondary, all children have classes in which they learn on one of the school’s 32 pianos. Singing is also a priority, with classes dedicated to it, and several live performances during the school year. There is also a professional recording studio, where pupils can experience priceless musical moments, like recording with top-class musicians.
We also put forward a large number of pupils for the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) exams, for which external examiners come to the school, and our children all get exceptional results.
The school choir is made up of more than 120 children who develop their listening and singing skills, enabling them to learn a wide repertoire and perform in professional concerts. Since its inception in 2011, the Yago School Choir has been invited to participate in many different ceremonies.
As well as our June trip to the Vatican and recognition from the Holy Father, the choir has also performed in a Christmas concert at the Maestranza Theatre in Seville with the Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville, as well as many other concerts, one highlight of which was accompanying the celebrated Seville group Siempre Así.
This extraordinary journey makes a magnificent first of the many events the school will organise and celebrate next year for the tenth anniversary of our founding.