Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The John Downton Music Room

Today, at the kind invitation of the Headteacher, I had the great joy of blessing the new music room at Walthamstow Hall School. This new room is named after John Downton (1906-91), Poet, Musician and Artist. A generous bequest was left by his sister Hilda with the intention of creating this music room and being named after him.
This new music room will assist in a splendid way the students of this fine school in developing their talents and in creating music.
The opening of the John Downton Music Room was introduced by the Chair of Governors, Mr Ian Philip, this was followed with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by Mr John Mitchell, cousin of John Downton, who gave a moving speech. After the blessing of the Music Room all gathered were treated to a magnificent music interlude by the students which also had the premier of "Melody, O Melody" composed by the new director of Music of the school Dr Richard Peat for this occasion. The music is set to words of a poem written by John Downton himself.
It was a splendid occasion honoured by the presence of the Town Mayor.
It is moving to see the generosity of benefactors in leaving  bequests that secure a future for the musicians of tomorrow.

This was the prayer used for the blessing:

Loving Father,
we give you praise and glory for all your gifts:
you have called us to follow your Son Jesus,
you have invited us to be your people singing your praise.
Father, we give you honour and glory for making the beauty of this world and for calling us to be your people.
Your wonderful creation is the silent music of your great love.
In the harmony of creation, we glimpse the beauty you wish to share with us.
In music, you reach levels within our being that few words can ever penetrate.
We thank you for all the gifts you give us,
especially for the gift of music  and musical ability.
We humbly ask you to bless + this music room and all those who use it.
Give them strength and wisdom to appreciate the beauty of harmony.
Fill them with joy as they carry out their study of music.
May all of us one day be gathered safely in that joyful and unending symphony of your 
presence in heaven.
Heavenly Father, as we ask you to give eternal rest to John and Hilda, enable us to 
give you praise through Christ Your Son in the love of the Holy Spirit, 
now and for ever. Amen

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