Former Worth School pupils makes history the world of sacred music

Former Worth School pupil and choir member Mark Spyropoulos with the Schola at Worth School after becoming the first Englishman since the Reformation to hold a contract with the Sistine Chapel Choir - picture submitted
Former Worth School pupil and choir member Mark Spyropoulos with the Schola at Worth School after becoming the first Englishman since the Reformation to hold a contract with the Sistine Chapel Choir - picture submitted

A former Worth School pupil visited his old choir after becoming the first English singer since the Reformation to be awarded a contract with the Sistine Chapel Choir.

Last month Mark Spyropoulos enjoyed coaching the current members of the school choir joined by director of music Michael Oakley.

He delivered a session for the full choir which focused on singing music in many parts in Latin, including the most famous of all Sistine Chapel music, the Miserere by Gregorio Allegri.

Later he spent time with the Schola, a sub-group of the choir, working on more intricate repertoire and plainsong.

Mr Oakley said: “Mark was always a true enthusiast as well as a potentially fine musician. He has gone on to sing in many different places, though obviously the Capella Sistina is a unique experience.

“The students have loved working with him, feeding off his energy and experience.

“With the choir due to go to Rome and St Peter’s over the Easter break, including singing for the Papal Mass on Sunday April 24, having Mark with us brought a little of the Vatican experience to us, so that we can work on it and take it back to the Vatican at Easter.

Mark advised the aspiring singers to take their time with their talent as well as exploring all the arts as everything from theatre and dance to painting and architecture ‘inform everything you’re doing’.