On Teamwork. A great example of how to achieve it

St Johns College Cambridge Choir

St Johns College Cambridge

Last night I attended an Epiphany Carol Service at St John’s College Chapel in Cambridge. There is nothing special about that, however, I was blown away by the sheer talent on show.

This service was full of small examples of brilliant teamwork. Here are a few.

Solo’s efforts. I suspect that any of the choristers could perform the many treble solo’s that appeared; and that any one of them would have wanted to sing them. However, there are no individuals here and if you look carefully, you will see that the lads acknowledge the solo singers with quick looks, raised eyebrows or a subtle thumbs up signal when they think no one is looking. Very supportive.

Talking to the layclerks after the service, I assumed they would all be off to the pub for a quick social before tea. No, they don’t really drink very much, it’s not good for the vocal chords. Now you have to know that the layclerks are all university undergraduates. Drinking is central to the social scene. You need real discipline to abstain at all.

Despite this being one of the dozen or so highlights in the chapel calendar, the choir master decided to premier a piece by James MacMillan, written in 1978 and very unusually featuring an Oboe with Choir. Presumably, this has not been performed before because it was regarded as “difficult”. It was a truly stunning piece of music, wonderfully delivered. How and why would they attempt this? Their answer was “why not?, – it just takes lots of practice.”

Overall a stunning performance, from a great choir, who have the dedication, committment and mutual support to be one of the best choirs in the UK. I suspect that several of our national sports teams could learn a lot from their approach.

Have a great week.


About the Author: Adam Blackie is the author of Your Digital Personality and a professional Interim Manager who leads information management teams through their change programmes. He works with CEO’s and their Boards in the UK to change the way technology is used by staff and their customers.


About Adam Blackie

A career Freelance Accountant who specialises in leading helping others to hold onto their money.
This entry was posted in choirs, choral music, Implementing Change, Leadership, teamwork and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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