Music News - May 2019

choir-stalls-0986-800As Easter is unusually late this year, the second half of March and the beginning of April have been full of Lenten music, some already performed, and some still in prospect at the date of writing. During Lent the congregation have, as is customary, been joining with the choir in responsorial psalms. In addition, at the start of each service they have been learning the new music to one of the five otherwise familiar congregational hymns which form part of the St John Passion by Bob Chilcott. Each hymn has then been one of the hymns sung later in that service, so that when the Devotional Offering is performed, the congregation will be confident in participating.

The choir and musicians will be performing Chilcott’s beautiful work, first performed in Wells Cathedral on Palm Sunday 2013, as part of the Devotional Offering on Good Friday at 7.30 p.m. It is narrated by an Evangelist, with contributions from other participants in the Passion Story, interrupted from time to time by crowds, Jews or soldiers (the choir). The choir’s main contribution, however, is four Meditations, which they have already sung during Lenten Eucharist services. The texts are English poems written from the 13th to the early 17th centuries, described by the composer as “deeply human responses to death, to life, and to man’s relationship with the world and with God”. The choir of St Martin in the Fields sang one of the hymns as an anthem on Radio 4’s Morning Service on Passion Sunday.

On a sadder note, the choir sang at the funeral of a one of our choir members, Ian Barclay, on 5 April. Ian loved singing in the choir and we miss him.

Finally, St Mary’s Music Association AGM took place on Sunday 3rd March. Thanks were given to the many people who enrich the musical life of the church, and the accounts were approved.

Ottilie Lefever

Come and Enjoy the Big Choir Experience

On Thursday 16th May 2019, Saffron Walden Choral Society are coming to St Mary’s for an informal “Open Rehearsal”. Whatever you previous singing experience (or none), you are invited to join them for the evening (7.30 to 9 p.m. with refreshments afterwards) – or even just come and listen. Lots of different choral music will be given an outing – including of course the “Hallelujah Chorus”. Don’t miss it!

David Hoy