Music News October 2022

JellyfishThe end of the summer SMMA “term” was properly celebrated with 2 very different musical events.

The more prestigious was the Organ Plus concert on 24 July, with Director of Music Oli King on the organ, Kate Llewellyn on trumpet and Guy Llewellyn on French horn. They played an eclectic mix of pieces, from Gershwin to Bach and from Purcell to Saint-Saens. This very enjoyable concert raised £521, to support music at St Mary’s, and was a fitting coda to the successful summer concert series, which in turn raised over £2,500, all excluding Gift Aid. These events could not take place without a lot of hard work, most obviously by the performers, but also by the back room helpers in organising, publicising, acting as front of house, sandwich making etc. We are very grateful to all of them.

Somewhat less elevated was the mermaid and pirate themed musical party, complete with visiting octopus and jelly fish, courtesy of the Beare family, who also performed suitably sea-themed songs.

Musical contributions by members of the SMMA included guitar and keyboard pieces, as well as numerous shanties, ranging from laments for absent or lost lovers to more rousing songs to assist the crew in working together in their tasks on board. Noel Starr provided a songbook from the early 1920s, some of which contained lyrics which are completely beyond the pale a century later, and were hastily edited out. Not only the decorations, but also the refreshments had a nautical theme, with goodies in the shapes of fish and shells. Many thanks to everyone who played a part in organising this delightful end to a busy year, especially to Nell and Hannah, and to Noel and Judith as hosts.

Now we are looking forward to the Choral Scholars concert, which this year will include Scholars who graduated from the choir during Covid restrictions, so did not have a chance to showcase their talents. We are not quite sure what to expect, though songs from Abba are rumoured to be on the programme.

Meanwhile, the choir got back to work at the beginning of September, starting to rehearse for the regular Sunday services, and also for the Patronal Festival on 11 September, followed by Choral Evensong later that evening. It is a pleasure to welcome Patricia, the former Head Chorister of the Junior Choir, to the first sopranos as a Choral Scholar, as we say au revoir to Jo, who has gone on secondment to the Isle of Skye for a year. Congratulations, too, to Alex who has taken over as Head Junior Chorister. More on future musical events in the next newsletter.

Ottilie Lefever