Mansfield’s Queen Elizabeth’s (1561) Endowed School has received backing from the local community for its 450th anniversary after the Mansfield Choral Society agreed to kick off the celebrations next month with a special summer concert.
Formed in 1973, the society has more than 90 members of all ages and has been using QE School as its base for concerts and rehearsals since 1996. The society performs three concerts each year and this summer’s event at QE on Saturday 9 July is especially themed to tie in with the 450th celebrations.
Musical Director David Wilson said: “Choral singing has a long tradition around Mansfield, as there is a programme for a concert in 1928 of Joseph Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ given by the Mansfield Choral Union.
“We’re very grateful for the help we have received from the school in the past 15 years, which has ranged from the hire of the hall for concerts, rehearsals and study days, printing programmes and posters and setting out the hall.
“We’re pleased to be involved in the 450th anniversary celebrations and will be performing the ‘Birthday Madrigals’ by John Rutter for the summer concert, which features five poems by Elizabethan poets - including Shakespeare - set to music.
“While the poems come from the time of the school’s foundation, the music looks to the future with some modern jazz influences.”
Since moving to QE School, the society has held carol concerts and light-hearted summer performances of jazz and swing music. Tickets for the concert, which begins at 7.30pm at the school, cost £10 for adults and £5 for under-18s, while under-12s get in for free, and include a complementary glass of wine or a soft drink.
QE School makes its facilities available for regular use by a number of organisations and John Carter, Chairman of both the Governors and Trustees, believes that positions the School at the heart of the Community.
He said: “It has been that way for the past 450 years and that is why we are so keen to involve the people of Mansfield - not just current and former pupils - in the celebrations.
“Part of our responsibility as the Queen Elizabeth’s Trust is to develop ways of sharing the school facilities, and opportunities to involve the community in the life of the school. This project fits with those objectives.
“The celebrations are an ideal chance to showcase the school and all its good work. The Reunion Garden Party will be a very special occasion, and we sincerely hope that the people of Mansfield will come to the Gala Day and enjoy being involved.”
Former pupils and members of staff have until Friday to reserve their place for the all-ticket Garden Party on Saturday 16th July, but tickets are not required for Sunday’s Gala Day. Admission is free, all welcome.