Music News February 2021
The choir has been very busy since the last newsletter which took us to the beginning of November. Importantly, members of the choir have sung for every service either live in groups of 2 to 6, or in larger numbers in recordings. It has been a privilege to contribute to regular worship, especially when we were able to attend in person, before the latest lockdown.
In a piece of very good news, we are delighted to report that Harry Sunderland was accepted as a member of the National Youth Choir before Christmas, joining George Cass who has been a member for some time.
In November there was a special recording for Remembrance Sunday, which now seems a very long time ago. The small number of participants was in marked contrast to the throngs of local military and civilian groups including both adults and children who normally attend this solemn event.
Since then the adult choir and choral scholars have sung in 2 carol services, the first for Advent on 6th December, and then in the service of Nine Lessons and Carols on 20th December. This year because most of the practices were on Zoom, the carols chosen were relatively well known, and – possibly a first – all in English.
It was very exciting to be a full choir in church again, albeit socially distanced approximately 3 metres apart, and with relatively little time for face to face, or rather mask to mask, rehearsals, to limit the possible transmission of the virus. This meant that the members of the choir were spread across the full length of the church from the West door up to the rood screen, which made keeping in time with each other, Oli and the organ distinctly taxing. Oli had to spin like a top in order to bring all the different voices in at the correct times. For all of us learning how to perform together, and getting the microphones adjusted for the various locations and musical inputs is still a work in progress, but happily progress is definitely being made.
All the services have been livestreamed and are accessible from the church website, including very creative photography of parts of the church which were particularly relevant to individual carols, for example a stained glass roundel of the Virgin Mary.
Meanwhile the Junior choir has also been busy. They pre-recorded music for both the Christingle service and the Lighting of the Tree service.
Unfortunately, the choir will not be singing in church in January due to the worsening health situation. This means that it has sadly been necessary to cancel the Epiphany Carol Service. Oli does of course, with typical resourcefulness, have a plan B which is to record-and-stitch some motets for inclusion into live streamed services on the third and fourth Sundays of Epiphany. Watch this space!