Composition by Westminster alumnus
Westminster alumnus composes The Nightingale Grace to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale
Recent leaver Jonathan Watts, whilst still a pupil at Westminster, was invited by The Nightingale Fellowship to compose a grace to be sung at a service in Westminster Abbey to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale on the bicentenary of her birth.
Though the global pandemic caused this service to be postponed, it did eventually go ahead one year later on International Nurses’ Day, Wednesday 12 May 2021, in celebration of the outstanding contribution of nurses and midwives during the coronavirus pandemic. Jonathan’s ‘The Nightingale Grace’ was performed by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist, in the presence of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, and a congregation that included Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, and Westminster alumna Helena Bonham Carter CBE.
Jonathan plays the bassoon, clarinet, piano and violin. He was a music scholar at Westminster, and left last year to read Mathematics at St John’s College, Cambridge, and to sing countertenor in the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Florence Nightingale service was live streamed, and is available via this link until Sunday 13 June. ‘The Nightingale Grace’ can be found at 1:14:50.