Music News February 2019

Img0457-800The last music news reported on the Remembrance Day Devotional Offering when a retiring collection was taken in aid of Help for Heroes. The SMMA committee agreed that the SMMA would contribute the expenses incurred so that the entire collection of £788 was passed on to the charity.

December 2nd saw the traditional Advent Carol Service. This is always a very special service, hugely atmospheric with the whole thing beginning in darkness and then candles and light gradually being added as the service progresses. No-one tripped over or set fire to anything, and the congregation appeared to enjoy the musical offerings from the choir. These included much loved favourites (Palestrina’s  ‘Matin Responsory’, Mackie’s ‘We Wait for thy loving kindness’ and the congregational carol ‘Lo he comes’) as well as other items from the repertoire such as Battishill’s ‘O Lord, look down from heaven’, Gibbon’s ‘This is the record of John’ and ‘Bogoroditse Devo’ by Rachmaninov. This is very much a town event with the readings being read by the leaders of other churches in the area.

Just two weeks later we had the Christmas Nine lessons and Carols. Again, many very familiar carols and a format which all recognise – first introduced into Kings College Cambridge one hundred years ago!  The choir carols included ‘I saw three ships’ (arr. Willcocks) and the rhythmically challenging ‘I wonder as I wander’ by Rutti. However, the undoubted highlight was a new composition by local musician (and Junior Choir parent!) Philip Sunderland. Based on biblical texts from Micah and Isaiah, and including the text of a poem ‘Advent Calendar’ by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, Philip’s composition involved a tenor soloist, brass, timpani, organ and harp, with some lines sung by the Junior Choir and others by the adults and Choral Scholars. The piece culminated in the entire congregation joining the choirs in singing the carol ‘Of the Father’s heart begotten’.  Huge congratulations to Philip – and to our Director of Music, Oli King who had the mammoth task of bringing the whole thing together for the very first time during the afternoon’s rehearsal!

Img0300-ed-800Our youngest choir, Joyful Noise, sang under Kate Beare’s leadership for the final time at the first tree service, having also sung a couple of weeks earlier at the Christingle Service. Kate has received presents from parents, the choirs and SMMA and been thanked profusely for her leadership of Joyful Noise since 2012. Her successor as leader of Joyful Noise is Anne Cass, a local teacher and member of our congregation. Anne will welcome children in school years 2-4 on Friday afternoons. For full details see our choir page or contact the Parish Office or speak to Oli, Anne or Bron. The music email is:

The Junior Choir sang for the second tree service and, as always, thoroughly enjoyed placing the gifts given to the Mayor under the Christmas tree!

By the time this goes to press, the adults and Choral Scholars will have sung at the Epiphany Carol Service at 6.30p.m. on 27th January.

Next? Well, we are about to start work on Bob Chilcott’s ‘St John Passion’ ready for the Good Friday Devotional Offering. Do put that date in your diaries: 7.30p.m. on Friday 19th April!

Bron Ferland