Music News - April 2022

The first part of February seemed indeed like the start of Ordinary Time, before the shocking events later in the month.

Services in late February were very exciting for some of the newest members of the Junior Choir, as they made their first appearances at regular morning worship with the adults. They join the pre-service rehearsals at 9.30, then sit with the congregation until they come back to the chancel during Communion to sing the anthem and later hymns, mentored and prompted by the more experienced Juniors. We very much hope that the 2 choirs will be fully reunited by Easter, both in rehearsals and for services.

Chair challenge1 Chair challenge 2

Meanwhile, Alison Lawrence organised a highly successful party for the Junior Choir on 5 March, ably assisted by other members of the Adult Choir. Creative talents were required to turn chairs first into thrones (comparatively easy), and then into monsters (much harder).

Things then got very competitive, as the 9 choristers tried to outdo each other in constructing origami corner bookmarks. The excellent refreshments included rainbow cakes.

On 13 February Choral Evensong was an opportunity for quiet contemplation, much appreciated by both congregation and choir, albeit the choir outnumbered the congregation by approximately 2 to 1. The anthem was Bairstow’s Blessed City, Heavenly Salem, with Alison as the soloist. The next Choral Evensong will have taken place on Sunday 13 March, with April’s scheduled for 10 April. These services normally take place on the second Sunday of the month, and are highly recommended as an oasis of calm in our busy and often stressful lives.

Now that Lent is upon us, the choir is supporting worship as usual, starting with the Ash Wednesday service. On Good Friday, 15 April, at 7.30 pm they will be performing Mozart’s Requiem as a devotional offering. Everyone is very welcome, especially after 2 years when Covid-19 put a stop to any such musical events.

Of course, the end of February has seen the invasion of Ukraine. On 6 March the choir sang an 8 part motet by Henry Purcell with the repeated refrain Hear My Prayer O Lord, and Let My Cry Come Unto Thee. This was chosen for Lent, but very apposite for these troubled times.

Oli King has put together a fund-raising concert on Saturday 12 March at very short notice. We are very grateful to Andrew Malcolm for stepping in, and to all the choir and musicians who have worked hard and fast to produce this event. The music includes the Ave Verum and Lacrimosa from Mozart’s Requiem, as well as pieces by Holst, Faure, Rheinberger and Lauridsen, among others. We hope that this concert will raise funds to support the British Red Cross, UNICEF and WITH Ukraine.

The 2022 AGM of the SMMA will have taken place in the Parish Rooms after the Sunday service on 20 March by the time this Newsletter is published. There will be a full report in the next Newsletter.

Ottilie Lefever, with thanks to Jim Butler for the photos.