The Inns are alive with the sound of music. Vanora Bennett explores the world of the other dedicated professionals of the Inns of Court
At about five o’clock on any day of the week, the Inns of Court will be busy with preoccupied men and women in black, trundling wheelie bags of documents back to chambers after a busy day in court. Yet even the most hurried barristers may slow and smile as they pass the honey stone of Temple Church. The sound that prompts this reaction is the pure treble voices of the Temple’s choirboys drifting out into the evening air – the other dedicated professionals of the Inns, still practising.
A thriving music scene
The Temple Choir – 18 boys serving an apprenticeship lasting five or six years, and 12 professional choirmen – is (in my possibly prejudiced view as the parent of a Temple choirboy) one of the most remarkable features of the thriving music scene at the Inns of Court. The CD released by the choir this summer – “The Majesty of Thy Glory” – reveals an extraordinary musical combination of poise and passion. The choir’s repertoire ranges from cantatas to Christmas carols. This might not be so astonishing if the only performers were the knowledgeable choirmen, building up their London singing careers – but it is an almost incredible achievement for the schoolboys who, whenever sighted in the flesh, dodging between long thin black-clad legs outside the church, seem to have nothing more remarkable than football or skateboards on their minds.