Newnham Gardens Tour with Musical Accompaniment


Die stille Lotosblume – Clara Schumann (2’ 30”)

Song of the Seasons – Elizabeth Poston (1’ 54”)

Die Lotosblume – Robert Schumann (1’ 30”)

The Sally Gardens – Benjamin Britten (2’ 14”)


SOPRANO: Charlie Pemberton (NC 2016)

PIANO: Sarah MacDonald (Director of Music, Selwyn College)


CHARLIE PEMBERTON, SOPRANO is a Classics PhD student at Newnham College. She recently completed her undergraduate studies and MPhil, also at Newnham, graduating with a Double First and Distinction respectively. Since coming to Cambridge, Charlie has been a choral scholar in the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, directed by Sarah MacDonald. With the Chapel Choir, she has toured the East and West Coasts of the USA, led evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, recorded four commercial CDs, sung in the premières of commissions by James MacMillan and Paul Mealor, and featured on BBC Radio 3. With the Rodolfus Choir (directed by Ralph Allwood), she performed both as chorister and soloist in the Royal Festival Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Charlie gained her vocal diploma (DipABRSM) before coming to Cambridge in 2016, under the auspices of Baroque specialist Lorna Anderson. She was also the winner of her county’s inaugural Young Singer of the Year competition, and performed the leading role in her school’s semi-staged production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. She recently reprised this role in Greece as part of the 2019 Horto Music Festival, directed by Timothy Brown, with whom she travelled to Austria the previous summer as the soprano soloist in a performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass. She has played the role of Cathleen in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea with Selwyn Chamber Opera, and has given several recitals at Selwyn and Newnham, the most recent as part of the Minerva Festival. She is taught by Anita Morrison.

SARAH MACDONALD, PIANO, is a Canadian organist, conductor, and composer, living in the UK, and she holds the positions of Fellow and Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Director of the Girl Choristers at Ely Cathedral. She has been at Selwyn since 1999, and is the first woman to hold such a post in an Oxbridge Chapel. She was Director of Music at Newnham College from 2000 to 2010. Sarah studied in the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto and at the University of Cambridge. Her teachers included Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, John Tuttle, and David Sanger. Sarah is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and was recently awarded the Associateship of the Royal School of Church Music. She has made over 35 commercial recordings, and her many published choral compositions are widely performed internationally. She leads a busy international career directing, writing, recording, and composing.

This recital was recorded in the Hall at Selwyn College, Cambridge, (model C Steinway) on 20-21 August 2020. Digital editing by Sarah MacDonald.