Music at St. Mary’s
The annual Bursary has been awarded to James. James has been a member of the church choir as a Junior and now as a Choral Scholar for five or six years, and he is also been a much-valued member of St. Mary’s Brass Group where he plays trombone. Many congratulations, James!
October’s Evensong contained three pieces arranged for double choir: the Buxtehude ‘Magnificat’, Stainer’s anthem ‘I saw the Lord’ and Holst’s ‘Nunc Dimittis’. It was lovely to have Jeremy Allen’s son Patrick play the cello to accompany his father’s playing in the Magnificat. The Junior Choir was almost a full turnout, with some fourteen singers, three of whom were singing for their very first Evensong. We were delighted to welcome two Junior Choir parents, one Choral Scholar parent and both of Jeremy’s sons to help swell the ranks as for various reasons a number of our regular members were unable to attend.
Patronal church festival September 10th 2017
Shards of Autumn sunlight cast their rays through the trees around the church on the day of our Patronal church festival of St. Mary the Virgin. If Autumn sunshine outside and music inside can set the scene then these morning and evening services were truly memorable.
A large congregation gathered to sing the opening hymn of ‘Tell out my soul’ which was preceded by the adult choir singing ‘Cantate Domino’, by Giuseppe Pitoni, from the back of the church.
The service continued in the same glorious vein with Haugen’s Gloria and Harwood ‘s setting in A flat of the Sanctus, Benedictus and Angus Dei.
At the Communion there was a complete change of tone when the choir sang ‘O Magnus Mysterium’ by Lauridsen, a piece quiet and ethereal enough to make the hairs stand up on the back of one’s neck.
The service concluded in its former joyful phase with a magnificent rendering, by Oliver King, of J S Bach’s Toccata in C.
The service was taken by the Rector David Tomlinson, who, with Rachel Prior, also officiated in the evening.
The theme of rejoicing continued in the evening service and, although there were not so many in the congregation, the junior choristers made the choir almost full.
Stamford ‘s dramatic setting to Psalm 150 was followed, after the first reading, by Wood’s Magnificat in E flat no.2. The Nunc Dimittis by Wood followed the second reading.
Sound reverberated into every space of our magnificent church as the choir sang Handel’s anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’. Nothing could outshine this piece except Vidor and Jeremy Allen showed just how marvellous the Toccata in F can be. The congregation did not move until the music was over and then showed their appreciation. A joyous end to a truly festive day.
Choir and choral scholars’ concert 15th September
On the 15th of September the choir and choral scholars’ families were treated to a magnificent concert in the Parish Rooms, prepared by the youngsters to mark the departure to university of three of their members and to honour the friendship and musical achievements of the group.
Liam will study in Cambridge, Lewis in Colchester (University of Essex), Alex in Lancaster and Rebecca in Warwick and we wish them fun and success.
Liam confidently introduced the participants and the evening started with a soulful rendering of “Misty Mountains” performed by Lewis and Liam, Susie, Ellie and Patrick. The standards were set and there was a lot more to follow.
George sang “Linden Lea” and gave us the occasion to enjoy his accomplished tenor voice, being accompanied by our organist Jeremy on the piano. Nathan followed with “Caro Mio Ben”, equally pure delight to listen to.
Liam was back for “Ill Wind”, a challenge of speedy text delivery, which he mastered with skill and humour.
Susie sat with assurance at the piano and her powerful soulful voice soared up to fill the room with an unnamed original song, a real treat!
James, Oli and Kate were next with “It don’t mean a thing”, and we enjoyed their trio of brass instruments and the jazzy rhythm of the piece.
The whole group then gathered for a medley of The Lion King‘s musical famous songs. All dressed in black, with fun bits of yellow ribbon and scarves, and a soft toy version of a lion to inspire them, Rupert being the drummer and Kate accompanying on the piano, with Patrick on the guitar, they sang in an ensemble that is a tribute to their years of hard work, friendship and fun under the expert advice of Kate, who leads Joyful Noise and Oli, our choirmaster.
When they started “Can you feel the love tonight”, we certainly heard the words resonating in their hearts as well as in the room!
They finished with a very moving song on friendship “Love call me home”, which moved us to tears and we felt very blessed to have been present to a party that celebrated their commitment, the diversity of their talent and the loving friendships forged along the years.