Music News - March 2022

Img 3516-800Last year, during the third, gloomy, wintry lockdown, the Epiphany Carol Service had to be cancelled. This year’s joyous service on Sunday 23 January was the first Rev’d Jeremy Trew had ever attended, and I hope it will form part of his traditional worship in future. The music opened with the fireworks of MacMillan’s O Radiant Dawn and progressed through a varied range of music – Holst’s thoughtful Nunc Dimittis, Rutti’s rustic I Wonder as I Wander, Moles’ luminous Tribulis Miraculis, thunderous Glorious and Powerful God by Wood, concluding with Bainton’s expectant And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth. The small but perfectly formed congregation joined in the carols with enthusiasm. Much of the service was accompanied by our increasingly confident organ scholar, Yechan, including as the recessional Bach’s choral prelude on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern. A wonderful antidote to one of the gloomier months of the year.

And to conclude the process of lightening up January, the Candlemas service on the fourth Sunday of Epiphany was full of rousing hymns, as well as the more contemplative motet When to the temple Mary went by Eccard.

Now our very hard-working music librarians, Margaret and Yvonne, are putting away the numerous Advent, Christmas and Epiphany carol books and sheets, as well as swapping the red service books for green ones, and bringing out the music for Lent and Easter. It is a real labour of love to keep everyone supplied with the correct music. Every member of the Senior and Junior choirs (about 75 in all) has their own number, allocated on arrival in the choir, and every book and bit of sheet music is numbered. All of this kit is put into numbered lockers, along with a large eco-friendly jute bag and a folder. This means that no-one can “inadvertently borrow” and retain someone else’s music. The numbers of those who fail to return their music on time are listed on the choir notice board of shame, which is a very effective system!

The Annual General Meeting of the SMMA will be held in the Parish Rooms at 11.30 on Sunday 20 March after the morning service. Everyone is welcome. Very sadly we shall be saying farewell to Bron Ferland as Chair of the Association, after many years in this role. There will be a proper tribute included in the report on the AGM in the next Newsletter, but meanwhile the whole SMMA is very grateful for her wise leadership during her time in office.

Ottilie Lefever