Schola

SCHOLA

One of the features which made JH special was the existence of the Schola.  David Bowman, an able musician with a tough attitude to boys  established the music in the upper school after the retirement of Philip Dore who had succeeded Fr. Austin in 1959? The timetable in the house had to be geared so that the boys could all meet together four times a week to rehearse.  They had a full rehearsal on Wed. at 8.00 and sang at the Schola Mass on Friday and at the High Mass on Sunday.  The high standards achieved and the number of boys in the schola was a very positive aspect of the house and the fact that they went on foreign tours, well organised and highly professional was a very enriching experience and also provided great credit to the school.  However there was always a tendency to make the Schola music dominate the lives of the boys  some of whom were also learning 2 instruments as well.  The Number was about 20 boys which meant about 7 or 8 per year, .   Fortunately the scheme to increase numbers did not materialise.  Fr. Henry was always involved in the schola and organised the Ampleforth Singers who were a select group of schola members which was organised by one of the senior boys – the  conducting and selection of music was his responsibility.  These usually worked very well, they had local concerts  and sang at Masses in parishes.  At the end of term they would go on national and international tours when the main schola body did not.  Fr. Henry’s  behind the scenes organisation and push did wonders for this group.