Music News Aug-Sept 2019

IMG 0745 1024-edDespite being the end of term, the past month has certainly been a busy one!

Both the Adult and Junior choirs were due to sing Evensong at Coventry Cathedral on Saturday 13th July. Unfortunately, a large grime/R&B/hip-hop concert was subsequently scheduled just outside the Cathedral at the same time as Evensong, and although the choir can make a colossal sound when we want to, the concert would surely have drowned out our singing of Balfour Gardiner’s Evening Hymn. The Cathedral had no choice but to cancel Evensong entirely. We look forward to hopefully visiting next term. Many thanks to Caroline Goulder, Peter De Vile, Bron Ferland, Oli King and Jeremy Allen for all of their hard work so far.

The Junior Choir, however, did visit St. Botolph’s Church, Hadstock, to sing at the Holy Communion service on Sunday 7th July. The Anthem was Franck’s Panis Angelicus, a firm Junior Choir favourite. The Juniors really enjoyed the experience of singing at St. Botolph’s – here are a few of their comments:
“It had a brilliant atmosphere”
“A very different experience”
“It was welcoming”
“It was a friendly community church”
“It had a happy atmosphere and I definitely want to go again!!!”
The Junior Choir and Joyful Noise will also be singing at the Children and Youth service at St. Mary’s on 21st July. This will be their last service before they go on a well-deserved break until September.

As evidenced by last month’s concert, the Junior Choir are an incredibly talented group of musicians! Congratulations to Eden, who has attained a Distinction in his Grade 5 violin, Izzie, who passed her Grade 3 flute with Merit, Chloe, who achieved a Distinction in her Grade 2 violin, Emily, who scored a very impressive 139 out of 150 marks (a high Distinction) for her Grade 2 flute, and Harry, who passed his Grade 1 trombone with Distinction. Will has also completed his piano Prep Test, which prepares young musicians for graded exams. Well done to you all!

On Saturday 6th July, both the Junior and Adult choirs sung for the wedding of choir member Hannah Harpum to Sam Gray. Hannah joined the choir as a Junior, was a member of the Choral Scholars, and has sung in the adult choir since graduating from University. We will be sorry to lose her as a member of the choir, but wish Hannah and Sam all the best for married life as they move to Derby.

July has seen the second half of the lunchtime concerts. Since the previous Music News, we have enjoyed fantastic performances by Saffron Walden County High School, St. Mary’s Brass Quintet, and Anna le Hair and Arwen Newband. Diana Hoy and Wendy Watts will be concluding this year’s series of lunchtime concerts on Wednesday 17th July, which I am certain will be brilliant! Many thanks to Gill Gibson and her merry band of helpers for providing and serving refreshments before the concerts. We have also recently enjoyed the second of this year’s organ recitals, given by our Assistant Organist, Jeremy Allen, which featured pieces by MacMillan, Bach, and an exciting extract from ‘Murder in the Cathedral’. Special thanks also to Eliot, our Organ Scholar, who was page-turning. The next organ recital, given by our Director of Music, Oli King, will take place on Saturday 20th July at 3.00 p.m.

St. Mary’s Brass Group recently played at the Sewards End Village Fete. James Marsh, SMMA Brass Group representative, recounts:
“On Saturday 29th of June the St Mary's Brass Group played at Sewards End Fete. The whole band was looking forward to this as it was their last performance before the summer break.

The band was met with a large round of applause as they were introduced. The band played a range of pieces from traditional folk songs to more contemporary jazz pieces. All the pieces were hugely appreciated by everyone at the fete.”

The Choir will be taking a break throughout August, but will be back and (I am sure!) in fine voice for Morning Eucharist on 1st September.

Alison Lawrence