Music News October 2019
This is always a difficult month to report on the music at St Mary’s as the choirs and the brass group all have the month of August off, but after the four week break the choirs met to rehearse for the first time this academic year on 30th August. Their first duty of the term was to sing at the wedding of fellow choir member Jim Butler to Yvonne Huang on Saturday 31st. Perhaps unsurprisingly almost all the adult choir, most of the Choral Scholars and a good number of the Junior Choir all wanted to attend, and the space in the choir stalls was tested to its limit. The Juniors were largely corralled on benches squeezed into the space between the stalls and the screen – it was suggested that should any of them feel faint, they would still remain upright, held in place by their neighbours! Jim had chosen Praise to God in the Highest, by Sidney Campbell and The Lord bless you and keep you, by John Rutter, whilst the Beare family (Kate on piano, Ellie on cello and Susie singing) performed a beautiful version of a poem in Mandarin, which was also read at the service. The bride entered to Charpentier’s Te Deum for trumpet (Emma La Roche) and organ (Oli King) and the couple left as Oli played Bach’s Toccata in F BWV 540. The latter piece lasted several minutes and the bride and groom refused to leave the church until it finished! It was a great way to start the new term.
At our Patronal Festival on 8th September the choir was augmented by various friends to cover those still on holiday. The music in the morning included Hassler’s Dixit Maria and Joubert’s There is no Rose, whilst Evensong included Stanford in Bb Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and Vaughan Williams’ Let All the World. Jeremy’s morning voluntary was Veni creator spiritus (Sheidt) and he ended the Evensong on the triumphal notes of Widor’s Toccata in F.
The brass group doesn’t start again until 16th September, and we really need some new players - all welcome, but there is a particular need for trumpeters! Oli is proposing to do some open rehearsals during October, so if you have a brass instrument lurking in your attic, do dust it off and come along to join us. We meet in the Parish Rooms on Mondays from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. On a sad note, we are about to say farewell to Graham and Jenny Cottam, long-standing members of the group, who are moving to Scotland later this month. Graham has been the secretary to the brass group for several years, making sure everyone knows where they should be
and sorting out the music folders for services and other engagements.
With Noah moving up to join the Choral Scholars we welcome Eden Faith as the new Head Chorister. We also offer our congratulations to our Michael Swindlehurst Organ Scholar, Elliot Randall, who at the end of his first year with us achieved a merit in his Grade 5 Organ exam – a great result as he was new to studying the organ formally a year ago! We are delighted that he will be doing a second year as our Organ Scholar.
On the horizon this term are Remembrance Day, Advent and Christmas…it’s good to be back!