In the middle of a relentless fortnight as one of the official accompanists for RAM entrance auditions (tied to a ludicrous number of soprano panels this year, it would seem…), an excuse to escape to Winchester for the day was very welcome! It was the end of term at The Pilgrims’ School, marked by their Christmas Carol Service in the cathedral. This year was particularly special, however, as it saw the retirement of Hilary Webster (Director of Music), who has been at the school since 1979. Having spent a very happy and productive gap year working in Winchester between school and university (a combined post at the choir school and the College), and having been much encouraged in the early stages of my interest in accompaniment by Hilary, I was so pleased to be able to be back for this special occasion. Delighted to see that the carol service standard is as extraordinarily high as ever!