A particular focus of the school is the Chapel. The school’s Chapel Choir is of an exceptionally high standard, with many singers and organists winning scholarships to leading universities. The vocal and all-round musical training the pupils gain from this is very special but, set in the context of a coeducational day school and term-time only commitments, allows the pupils still to have time to develop many other co-curricular skills in an academically thriving environment. All singers are encouraged to learn an instrument too, to complement their musical development.
The first Chapel Choir (of boys and men) was founded in preparation for the chapel’s consecration in 1961, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II the following year. The Choir is now made up of four sections, which perform in a variety of combinations:
- Prep Chapel Choir (J3-J4)
- Girls’ Choir (IIIs-IVs)
- Boys’ Choir (IIIs until the voice change)
- Chamber Choir: Sopranos & Altos (girls in LV-VI Form); Tenors & Bases (boys from the voice change-VI Form)
We are one of only a very few day schools in the country with a Chapel Choir that sings a choral service of either Eucharist, Evensong or Compline each Sunday evening in the School Chapel, a tradition unbroken since the consecration of the Chapel in 1961. In addition, the choirs regularly have trips to cathedrals and churches; since 2010, various sections of the Choir have performed in Worcester, Lichfield & Gloucester Cathedrals, St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle and Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon. The Chamber Choir now has an annual trip to sing Evensong in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
The Advent Carols Service and the two Nine Lessons and Carols Services in December are particular highlights of the year and the Chapel is full on both nights, with over 550 in the congregation for each service.
The choirs have also toured abroad. In 2013 the Solihull School Boys’ Choir became linked with the Bergen Boys’ Choir in Norway and the two Boys’ Choirs joined to perform Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in the Bergen International Festival. In 2016 the Chamber Choir toured Normandy.
Over a number of years now, one of the three choirs (in rotation) sings regularly on the live broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Daily Service’. In July 2016 the BBC came to the School Chapel to broadcast the live Radio 4 Sunday Worship, with the Bishop of Birmingham leading the worship.
The Chapel also has a fine Nicholson organ, which was restored in 2008.
For more information, please contact the Head of Choral Music.