Spent the day at Exeter Cathedral, for the RSCM 75th anniversary celebration Songs of Praise. Arrived at 10.30am. and left at 6.15pm. Phew, what a long day! Gordon Stewart was so inspiring, he even managed to get 500 church choristers to smile whilst singing!!! As the programme is to be broadcast on Whitsunday, they were all good singable pentecost hymns, plus a new anthem by David Ogden, and a couple of african harmony items sung as a medley. Switch on your telly and give me a wave!
Thanks to a kind nurse at the Surgery, I now have surround sound again – making the cathedral experience even more enjoyable. Now I have NO excuses for singing a wrong note……..
George Pratt took the orchestral rehearsal, Simon Ible the choral rehearsal. All music by Purcell – choral items were ‘Evening Hymn’. ‘Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem’, ‘Thou Knowest Lord the Secrets of our Hearts’, ‘Hear my prayer, O Lord’. Everything went really well in rehearsal except the twiddly bits in the ‘Praise the Lord’ anthem. George Pratt gave a lunchtime talk about baroque music and how it is best performed on modern instruments. The informal concert was quite well attended (unusual to get a ‘Free’ concert!) It was a treat to hear the orchestra and to sing such lovely music.
Damn the earache and deafness – roll on Wednesday!
A very low-key Service on Sunday morning, to save our voices for tonight. First Sunday of the month, so lots of bits of paper – Iona-type music not in our hymnbook. Sang ‘Peruvian Gloria’ and ‘Lifting my eyes unto the Hills’; anthem was ‘Lead me Lord’ by Wesley.
Festival Evensong – part of the Tavistock Sings! Music Festival. Smith responses, Psalm 150 (Stanford), Magnificat and Nunc Dimmittis by Brewer and Evening Hymn by Purcell. Went very well considering lack of time to practice and hardly time to breathe between items – you can always tell when the Choirmaster wants to rush home to watch something on telly! Cracking sermon on how music helps with worship. Despite being deaf in one ear and struggling with earache, a great evening.
Very small choir tonight (12) as Thursday is a bad night to get choristers into church – too many Choral Society rehearsals. Anyway, just enough people per part to sing ‘From the Rising of the Sun’ by Ouseley. Good to have the Vicar singing with us tonight – he let the Archdeacon do all the hard work!
Not quite a bunfight afterwards – just tea and biscuits in the parish centre – but a chance to catch up on news with friends from other churches in the Deanery.
On to Friday evening, and the final practice for the Festival Evensong on Sunday (part of the ‘Tavistock Sings’ music festival). Quick run-through of the Brewer Mag and Nunc, and Psalm 150 and Smith responses – revision of things we’d done before. Purcell anthem ‘Evening Hymn’ needed some serious work done on it.
Looking forward to the music festival – Mozart Requiem tomorrow, a Soprano solo recital in the Town Hall on Sunday Lunchtime, Festival Evensong, and a Purcell Workshop and Concert on Monday. It will be a busy weekend.
I have a voice again – hooray! Are we the only church which sings the Venite in the Eucharist? Brings back fond memories of Mattins. The anthem today was ‘Ave Verum’ by Mozart – I had to keep my hand clamped over my mouth to avoid singing it last night when I went to a choral music concert, but today I had permission to sing 🙂
The cream tea walk in the afternoon turned into a Cream Tea Takeaway as the walk was cancelled due to bad weather. Why let a little downpour spoil your fun? 5 of us decided to rebel and walk and scoff yummy scones anyway.
Off to the Roman Catholic Church for the Christian Aid service – all the hymns were sung to accordian accompaniment, which sounded quite surreal, and reminded me of the Caption competition a few months ago. I have never sung ‘Majesty, worship his Majesty’ as a slow dirge before. If Graham Kendrick were dead, he would turn in his grave. 😉
Sang too much on Saturday and now have no singing voice – apart from a few top notes which I didn’t tax too much the day before.
Fortunately nothing too demanding today – no evening service commitment, and a fairly gentle Eucharist. Sang Psalm 23 to Anglican Chant as the anthem – surprisingly effective. Interested to note that there was a reading from Acts, in place of the Old Testament reading, today. The curate called singing in the choir a ‘Vocation’ today – glad she realises it’s more than just a hobby.
Spent the afternoon on a walk through the woods to get to a cream tea (to raise money for Christian Aid). We got a little wet, but it made a lovely change from singing…..
Went to Exeter Cathedral yesterday evening for the core choir rehearsal – my ears were just as blocked so had to position myself carefully (next to a Cathedral Voluntary Choir member – if she can’t be heard then God help the rest of us…). Gordon Stewart was up to his usual amazing verbal tricks to keep us alert throughout the 2 hour practice. David Ogden’s anthem and the African music are going to be good. It’s great to sing in the Chapter House – I’m sure it is the accoustic and not our singing which made everything go so well. Quite a lot of boy and girl trebles as well as adults, but as usual the tenors were in the shortest supply – need to market Devon as a desirable place to live to the Welsh 🙂 I’m looking forward to recording day, on 10th May, now, although I’m sure it will be hard work.
Palm Sunday procession and it wasn’t (quite) raining…. managed to keep roughly in time to All Glory Laud and Honour as we waddled outside into the churchyard, around the church, and back inside again as the organ struck up ‘Ride on Ride on in Majesty’. The anthem was ‘God so loved the world’ by Stainer (good excuse for an extra rehearsal for tonight!).
No evensong tonight – we sang Stainer’s Crucifixion as a devotion instead. The only extras were prayers and two extra hymns. Two good soloists – a pleasure to listen to, and some magic moments, despite the often-criticised ‘Victorian slush’ – who shall forbid us to wallow in it occasionally?
I’m sure this used to be called ‘Passion Sunday’ but there you go – all change again…..!
A good excuse for lots more gloomy Lenten music, sung in a minor key, with much pathos, but still coffee and chocolate biscuits at the back! We cannot celebrate Lent really seriously – what would people think?!
Anthem today: ‘Hide not thou thy face from us O Lord’, by Tarrant.