Music News - May 2022

Ukraine Concert6th March was a big day for some of the newest members of the Junior Choir, as it was their first appearance at a regular morning service with the Senior Choir.  The two groups have now started rehearsing together, and will be singing together as a full choir on Palm Sunday.

The Concert for Ukraine on 12 March raised nearly £5,000 for the British Red Cross, UNICEF and WITH Ukraine.  It was put together at very short notice (less than 3 hours rehearsal for the choir), but nevertheless included a programme featuring Mozart, Holst, Handel, Fauré, Ireland, and Vaughan Williams, to name but a few.  Choral solos were performed by members of the choir, with performances of Chopin’s Mazurka in A minor by choral scholar Eleanor on the piano and J S Bach’s Fantasia in G minor by organ scholar Yechan.  The SMMA is very grateful to Andrew Malcolm for stepping in as emergency conductor, alongside Jeremy Allen who also underpinned the performance as organist.

Even the youngest musicians have been supporting Ukraine with a video of Taizé chant O Lord hear my prayer, masterminded by Lizzie Bennett.  There is a link to both these delightful performances on the church website.

Meanwhile, it has been all change on the SMMA committee.  After 3 decades of service, including the last 9 years as Chairman, Bron Ferland has finally stood down.  At the AGM in March Oli referred to her energy, dynamism and drive.  Bron herself described the choir as an extension of her family, and we have all seen her in action as guide, philosopher, friend and mother hen!  She will be a very hard act to follow, but Hannah Razzell has bravely taken up the challenge.  Meanwhile, Bron has agreed to stay on as music administrator.  The SMMA is also very pleased to welcome long time chorister Ellie Beare as a new committee member.

Mozart’s Requiem will be the centrepiece of the SMMA’s Devotional Offering on Good Friday, 15 April. The choir will be joined by the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra.  The evening will also feature a Kyrie by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk, which the choir have been singing in services, and Lotti’s Crucifixus.  Good Friday will be the first time that the Junior and Senior Choirs will be singing together at a big choral event since the start of the pandemic.  We are all looking forward to it, and to joining in the Easter worship as a complete SMMA family.
Ottilie Lefever