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Winchester Cathedral choristers help to win Grammy for video game soundtrack

16 February 2024

Voices recorded at Abbey Road Studios for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Winchester Cathedral

The choir records at Abbey Road studios

The choir records at Abbey Road studios

THE choristers of Winchester Cathedral are celebrating after a track featuring their voices helped a former chorister to win a Grammy Award for the Best Soundtrack for Video Games and other Interactive Media.

The music for the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor video game was composed by Stephen Barton, who is the son of two Church of England clerics and attended the Pilgrims’ School as a chorister in the 1990s, and by his colleague Gordy Haab.

Mr Barton commissioned the choristers to contribute to the soundtrack in 2022; it was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, in London. Accepting the award in Los Angeles on Sunday, Mr Barton praised the choristers for their “smooth jazz chords”, and said that their involvement had been a “special moment” for him. He posted his congratulations on X/Twitter: “So proud of the boys and the big part they played in some of the most emotional and wonderful moments in the game.”

Winchester CathedralChoristers of Winchester Cathedral on the Abbey Road crossing

Afterwards, Mr Barton said: “It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be able to have the choristers join the very small number of musicians who have recorded official music for the Star Wars musical universe. They were, as always, consummate professionals, effortlessly taking to the world of studio soundtrack recording, click tracks, and some very difficult music to learn and record extremely fast.”

The track had already been heard by “tens of millions of people”, he said. “We have heard players describe their moments as ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ and ‘spellbinding’. For me, it was just a joy to be able to come full circle, and it absolutely reminded me that most of the skills I use daily as a professional musician came from being in the choir and at Pilgrims’ [School], and that the choir is world-class, as ever. . . Huge thanks to them and the staff. We are all very proud of their work.”

The director of music at Winchester Cathedral, Andrew Lumsden, said: “This is fantastic news for all of us at the cathedral and the Pilgrims’ School, but particularly for the choristers. They are thrilled to have won the award and are over the moon with excitement. It is also very exciting that we have similar projects already in the pipeline.”

The winning track can be heard on: youtube.com

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