AN OXFORD school wants its 100th birthday celebrations bolstered by members of the local community joining its new choir.

Headington School begins its centenary celebrations in September and has set up a new choral society to make up its Centenary Chorus.

The independent girls’ school is inviting residents to sign up for the singing group, which will give them a one-off chance to perform with current pupils, previous students and parents.

John Hutchings, Headington School’s Director of Music, said: "Singing is the very best thing a person can do – it is a social activity, improves health and boosts confidence.

“We aim to have fun and make some good music too, so come and join in, and get to know your neighbours.

“Headington School’s Music Department is Oxford's best kept secret and I wish more people knew about the great work our staff and pupils undertake. The secret of our success is the breadth of our diversity. We cater for all styles, creating rounded musicians with an appreciation of what makes music work.”

The choir’s programme will culminate in a performance at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre in next March as a central focus of the school’s Celebration of British Music evening.

The school’s choirs and orchestras will join up for an evening celebrating the best of British music, including Sir Hubert Parry’s I Was Glad and Hear My Words Ye People, as well as performances of his Jerusalem and Sir Edward Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory.

The school was set up in 1915.

Anyone wishing to take part would need to be available for a trial run at the school’s Foundation Day on Saturday, July 5, and will also perform at the Headington School carol service at Christ Church Cathedral in December.

Rehearsals will be held in the weeks leading up to the events.

Membership is free, although a charge would be made for materials.

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