Three children in the Junior Choir were awarded their surplices in March following their meeting of the requisite criteria from the Royal School of Church Music. Well done to Helena, Rowan and Honor! This marks the end of their probationary period in the choir and is a well-deserved achievement. We are also pleased that three new joiners to the Junior Choir have started to sing in services on a regular basis. Patricia, Isobel and Matilda have been sitting in the congregation and joining the choir for the anthem at some recent services. It is no mean feat to learn what piece of music to sing when and the stock of regular service settings requires some assimilation so it is great that St Mary’s allows the children to join in gradually. They will soon be sitting in the Chancel with the rest of the choir.
Notes from The SMMA AGM on Sunday 5th March
Chair Bron Ferland thanked all those involved in organising the SMMA Festival Evensong and the Lunchtime concerts which raised over £2000. Organ recitals were well attended and Peter De Vile was thanked for organising them.
A new venture, an organ outreach concert aimed at 7-8 year olds from local schools, was well received, and it is hoped to repeat this in the coming year.
Choral Scholars demonstrated their diverse talents at their annual informal contert and thanks were expressed to Kate Beare and Patrick Li for their help.
Donations in memory of Keith Kent allowed an anthem book to be purchased which is now in use. A donation was received following the High Sheriff’s Service, and the Apple Pie sale raised further funds. A successful SMMA dinner was enjoyed and thanks expressed to those who helped decorate the hall, prepare the food and organise the entertainment.
Thanks were given to all those who help with refreshments at various Christmas Services, those who prepare publicity, and of course to Organists Oli and Jeremy. “The SMMA exists to support you in your work and that is a real pleasure.”
Oli reported that the choir gave a powerful performance of Part Two of Handel’s Messiah. The whole choir sang Choral Evensong at Southwark Cathedral and Peter De Vile and Caroline Goulder were thanked for their organisation. Amongst many services and events Karin Fischer-Buder and Jane van Tilborg contributed to the Readings and Music on Remembrance Sunday.
The Pop-up Choir attracted 18 singers and will be repeated in the coming year. The Junior Choir sang with the choir of Jesus College Cambridge and at Hadstock Church, as well as with the full choir at a range of services and at a concert. Oli thanked Kate Ollerenshaw for organising many of the Junior events.
Joyful Noise continues to flourish, singing at services and events including a performance of ‘David and Goliath’. Thanks were expressed to Kate Beare for her leadership.
The Choral Scholars contribute hugely to the music in the parish. The Brass Group are looking for additional players and Oli thanked Graham Cottam for his support of the group.
All the music at St Mary’s depends on the goodwill and work of many people and Oli thanked them for their support. He offered this quote from Martin Luther “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents that God has given us.”
There are some changes in the SMMA Committee Bron thanked Christine Laurence for her service as Treasurer, a role which has expanded over the years. Steve Cass elected to take over as Treasurer. Karen Goddard and Nell Bacon are joining the Committee and Noel Starr and Simon Potter are standing down. Kate Ollerenshaw stood down as Junior Choir Co-ordinator earlier.
The Rector, as President, thanked SMMA and the Music Groups for their commitment and work which enriched the worship at St Mary’s. The Choir’s visual presence and singing is an encouragement to the congregation. The choir is part of the body of Christ, with each member on their journey in faith. It is a collaborative venture, a communion grounded in prayer.
The Rector thanked Oli, Jeremy, Bron and the SMMA Committee for the shared sense of working together. “Long may it continue.”