Music News - June 2022

SMMA Mozart Req Good Friday 20April was the month of Easter, which naturally meant the majority of the choir, Oli, and Jeremy spent most of Holy Week camped out at the church either rehearsing or singing in the services taking place. Palm Sunday heralded the return not only of Junior and Senior Choirs singing together again, but also processing amid the congregation. The first time in over two years! This hiatus required a brief rehearsal for newer members of the Junior and Senior Choirs to be introduced to the intricacies of crisp corners, a stately walk, and no waving at mum as they pass up and down the nave at the start and end of each service (and a helpful refresher for our long term members too!). The rehearsal clearly paid off as the procession on Palm Sunday went without a hitch. The choir also sang for Choral Evensong on the evening of Palm Sunday, singing the Morley Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis - Fauxbourdon, Smith responses and O Lord, Look Down from Heaven by Battishill.

We were extremely pleased to be joined by the East Anglia Chamber Orchestra who accompanied the Mozart Requiem as part of our Devotional Offering on the evening of Good Friday. As the first time the Junior and Senior Choirs have performed in a major choral event since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was wonderful to be supported by such a rich and vibrant sound. For a number of our Junior Choir this was the first performance of this scale they had ever taken part in, and they all did fantastically! The SATB solos in the requiem were shared between existing members of the choir: Helena Auty, Karin Fischer-Buder and Lizzie Bennet (soprano), Diana Hoy and Ellie Beare (Alto), Steve Cass and Toby Prevost (Tenor), Liam Goddard and Peter De Vile (Bass). In addition to singing the Requiem, the Choir began the performance with a Kyrie Eleison written by a Ukrainian composer, Myroslav Skoryk, which they have also been singing in services leading up to Easter, and Thou Knowest Lord by Purcell. There was a retiring collection for DEC Ukraine, which raised over £2,300.

The morning service for Easter Day saw both choir and Brass Group reunited in front of the screen singing and playing together, again, a first since the start of the Pandemic. The Brass Group played before the service and accompanied the choir in the Easter Hymns and in a rousing congregational rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Evensong on Easter Day featured more from the Messiah – Handel’s Worthy is the Lamb ending with the grand Amen.

Overall, Holy Week 2022 saw a number of firsts post-pandemic with a growing sense that, while total pre-pandemic normalcy is not quite there, we are well on our way to returning to many of the things we have dearly missed during the last two difficult years. The choir had a well earned rest the week after Easter, though family service on the 24th April was supported by a select group of volunteers to give the Junior choir a break. The choir were back rehearsing on the 29th April, preparing music for May and beyond.

Ellie Beare

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