So after our youth service last night we were back at St James for music of a different kind, a concert by Voces Cantabiles, a well regarded choir that was formed in 2003, drawn from a variety of musical institutions around the country.
If you take a look at their list of concerts on their website, you’ll see that St James is in amongst some fairly illustrious company, indeed from St James the choir are going to compete in the International Choral Grand Prix in Italy. So how come such an acclaimed choir were performing in a small Berkshire church on a Monday night?
The link is through Barney and Paul Smith, who lead the choir. Although they have sung in many cathedrals, their parents live in the village and come to St James. Both Barney and Paul helped out the St James choir when we were without a Director of Music, and on special occasions, indeed every so often when Barney or Paul are around on a Sunday, the harmony lines of the Church Choir are augmented by the two of them.
Anyway, as a result, they have been using the Church to practice, and in return they gave us a concert to raise money for the restoration. Sadly as it was on a Monday a number of people couldn’t make it. Plus since the power had failed in part of the village, the concert was by candlight too. However it was an excellent occasion, and as with their previous concert for us we feel honoured to have them sing at St James.