High Barnet's great tradition of Christmas carol concerts and services was given a boost with what was described as a marvellous musical performance by the choir and orchestra of Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School.


Musicians spilling out into the nave and soloists standing in the chancel gave a packed parish church an evening of music and singing that delighted everyone, said Father Sam Rossiter-Peters, team vicar of St John the Baptist.

Pieces by the school orchestra and ensemble were conducted by QE Girls’ director of music Emma Coy (standing above left in the choir stall) with music teacher Dzvina Stepanyak conducting the choir.

The soloists were Jessica Damiean (year 7) Away in a Manger; Saniah-Rae McClymont (year 11) Silent Night; and Sophie Freegard (year 11), When a Child is Born.

Readings were by Audrie Chong (year 8); Isabella McLean (year 7); Lucy Waller (year 11); and Aretha Waterberg (head girl).

Violet Walker, QE Girls’ headteacher, who also gave one of the readings, welcomed the Mayor of Barnet, councillor Nagus Narenthira. (from left to right, Mayor’s escort, Kan Narenthira, Father Sam Rossiter-Peters, Councillor Narenthira, and Mrs Walker).

Other guests included Neil Enright, head of Queen Elizabeth’s School, and Martyn Bradish, head of the endowment fund trustees for the two Barnet schools of Queen Elizabeth 1.

Mrs Walker said she was particularly pleased to welcome Rebecca Hanley, past chair of QE Girls’ board of trustees whose innovative approach had been so instrumental in helping to modernise the school’s constitution in preparation for academy status.

With her was her daughter Grace Hanley, who was head girl in the last academic year, and who is now studying politics at Cambridge University.