St Mary’s Music News - March 2023

IMG 4325-800A mixture of coughs, colds and exams left the choir somewhat depleted immediately after Christmas, but numbers are now returning to normal. On the second Sunday in Epiphany Ellie gamely held her own as the only alto among a sea of sopranos, tenor and basses, including during the choir anthem.

The Epiphany Carol Service on 29 January marked the end of carols for the current liturgical year. The music was a mixture of the haunting and the comparatively jolly. In the first category were Howells’ setting of Frances Chesterton’s strange poem “Here is the little door”, Moles’ “Tribus miraculis” and Lauridsen’s “O magnum mysterium”. In the second were Crotch’s “Lo Star Led Chieftains” and the final motet, Mendelssohn’s uplifting “How lovely are thy messengers”.

Two of the Choral Scholars, Patricia and Isaac, have been commissioned. Meanwhile a number of the Scholars are learning the role of Crucifer, under Noel Starr’s watchful eye, supported by Lewis.

The Junior Choir has, if anything, been even busier. 4 of them have now earned their surplices, while one group has completed ribbon training, and a second group is due to start shortly. And to cap it all, they held a very successful cake stall on 4 February, supported by Alison, Bron, Oli and Hannah, at which they made just over £250.00. The takings will be used to fund a trip to Ely, where the highlight will be listening to Choral Evensong.

St Mary’s own Choral Evensong will be on Sunday 12 March, and Choral Eucharist with ashes will take place on Wednesday 22 March at 7.30 pm as Lent begins. On Good Friday 7 April the choir, with the brass group, will be performing a Devotional Offering of Bob Chilcott’s St John Passion at 7.30pm.

The SMMA’s AGM will be held in the Parish Rooms at around noon after the 10.30 service on Sunday 12 March. A copy of the Agenda and Minutes of the 2022 AGM will be found on the noticeboard in church and outside the Parish Rooms. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

On a more secular note, the SMMA is undertaking a new venture with a series of 3 short Wednesday morning coffee concerts (with cake!), on 3 Wednesdays in March, 8, 15 and 22 . These will start at 11.30 am and last approximately 40 minutes. Refreshments will be available from 10.45 am.

The coffee concerts will supplement the well-loved summer lunchtime concert series which runs on Wednesdays from 31 May to 19 July.

Finally, make a date in your diary for a very special organ concert on 1 July by Anna Lapwood. She is a broadcaster, conductor and director of music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and resident organist at the Royal Albert Hall.

Ottilie Lefever