Whilst whole school communal singing is alive and very well at Mill Hill, sadly our hymn books are on their last legs and somewhat past their sell by date! In the interests of conservation they have been regularly repaired, but after almost 20 years of heavy use, finally they are now at the end of their lives and need to be recycled.
Thanks to our inspirational Director of Performance Music, Mr Kevin Kyle, and being ably led by our magnificent Foundation Chapel Choir, Mill Hill pupils of ‘all faiths and none’ sing in Chapel on a weekly basis with tremendous enthusiasm; and they almost raise the roof, especially when singing “Jerusalem” or “I vow to thee my country”! In order to encourage all Mill Hill pupils to enjoy such singing with integrity – but who do not necessarily share the belief system that these hymns represent – we respectfully suggest that these hymns can also be sung as “beautiful poetry to wonderful music.”
As a school with a proud non-conformist Christian foundation we are commissioning our own bespoke hymnbook, to be produced by the specialist company Gresham Books, who have worked with over 400 independent schools to produce hymnbooks of great quality and individuality.
Each hymnbook will bear the Mill Hill School crest on the front and will contain the most popular 100 hymns with full music harmonies. They will be used at all our weekly services and special Mill Hill occasions, such as our Foundation Day, Remembrance Service, Valedictory Leavers’ Service, CCF Dedication Service and Carol Services. In addition, there will be a short selection of well-known readings and prayers in order to guide and inspire, as well as a brief history of the School and the Chapel.
We believe that learning to sing hymns is not only a joyous experience in its own right (and is known to release happiness endorphins!) but has tremendous educational benefits. In addition, singing generates a unique ‘spirit’ that binds the Mill Hill school community together as we gather in Chapel on a daily basis. We believe that teaching young people to sing the best-known and most well-loved hymns within British culture will be extremely useful for all pupils as they go on from school and encounter weddings, memorial services and other similar occasions – not to mention international rugby matches!
The commissioning of these beautiful and hard-wearing books will cost around £8,000. We would be delighted to receive any gifts towards this project. Donors will not only be able to come and see the benefits of their gift, with 400 very smart hymn books placed in our school Chapel, they will be also able to come and hear the results!
Donors giving £50 or more will be able to have a book dedicated to them or in memory of a loved-one, and Old Millhillian choristers may even wish to make a dedication to their year’s choir or remember a Choral event at Mill Hill that they still cherish. Each dedication will be completed in beautifully hand-written calligraphy.
Any contribution – large or small – that you are able to give will be most welcome. Thank you very much for your support towards this important Mill Hill project which we believe will bring together the wider Mill Hill community, past and present – as well as continuing the great school tradition of excellence in singing!
Reverend Dr Richard Warden
Foundation Chaplain, Mill Hill School
Click here to make a donation and dedicate your hymn book. We shall contact donors to confirm the wording of their dedication.