Windsor


Visiting Windsor at regular intervals, I can never quite get used to the colossal bulk of the Castle, grafted onto a fairly normal southern town (albeit a town rather over-supplied with souvenir shops). Astonishingly low-flying airplanes bound for nearby Heathrow add to the out-of scale, almost surrealist, effect.

Beneath a particularly mighty wall, I joined a long queue of parents waiting to enter St George’s Chapel for a celebration of the 175th anniversary of The Royal School. As previously mentioned on the blog, this is a state primary school, now a First School (years 1-4 plus reception) founded by Prince Albert for the children of estate workers in Windsor Great Park. The same charming school building, surrounded by fabulous landscape, is in use today.

I collaborated with the pupils on a school anthem, Who has seen the wind ?, which the children sang on this occasion; they wrote the words and I wote the music. Their lyric starts off with a quotation from Christina Rossetti but then amplifies it powerfully. Its implication is that there are forces in life which can’t be seen, only experienced in the phenomena they create: for instance “a voice whispers through the noise/stillness leads us to peace”. I felt elated while writing music to accompany these optimistic thoughts, much appreciated during difficult times. Many thanks to Head Mrs Bev Coombridge, MD David Manners and all at The Royal School . See you at the 200th ?

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JUDITH WEIR

Composer