So with our big Autumn Concert coming up tomorrow, what was a slightly sore throat on Wednesday night has progressed through occasional coughing, to a delightful tickly cough today – problem is that it’s just the kind of cough that can reduce me to a coughing fit if I push my singing voice in the wrong way. Fingers crossed it improves before tomorrow night!
Anyway, whether it gets worse or better, tomorrow night is the St James Church Choir Autumn Concert in the Church. There are fifteen items on the programme – so it shouldn’t be too long before the audience can get across to the finger buffet in the Parish Centre. There is a good mix of choir and solo items, including a big finish with Morte Christe followed by O Thou the Central Orb – which is why I don’t particularly want to have a tickly cough on the night!
All proceeds to the Conservation Appeal too. Kick off is 7:30pm, and as far as I am aware tickets will be on the door too.
A couple of years ago I blogged about Voces Cantabiles a choir run by the two sons of a couple who attend St James who played a couple of concerts for the Church, the second of which ended up being by candlelight thanks to a power cut. The choir has gone from strength to strength winning a number of prizes around the world. They also have a smaller ensemble known as Voces8 consisting of just eight singers who have won awards in their own right. Digging around on YouTube I found that they now have their own channel where they are steadily uploading examples of their performances, and showing their range. Everything from this performance of The Lamb by John Taverner – something that I know from experience is fiendishly difficult. At the other end of the spectrum you have their latest video – â€œI’m a Trainâ€?.
Not surprisingly this seems to be another example of a church struggling with change – something I wrote about a few months ago with regards to the goings on in Cambridgeshire and Devon. (I’ve avoided any more comment on the Cambridgeshire case in particular until the dust has settled as it is currently going through the legal process.)
Based on their repertoire, and the list of places where they have previously sung in the eBay listing, you get the impression that the choir of St Stephen’s is pretty good. It is even more interesting when you use Google to dig past the somewhat bland website to the details of the musical tradition and browsing around what is left see how much the choir features – take a look at the page of music and events.
Aside from Ruth Gledhill I have yet to find out exactly why the choir is up for sale, and what the changes are that are causing it to want to sell itself on eBay – Ruth mentions trying to talk to the clergy and choir members, but as yet no further information.
In recent years, we’ve not had much opportunity to demonstrate our traditional British stoicism in the face of the British weather – not so this year. After major flooding yesterday, and with more rain predicted, today was planned to be the annual swimming party and barbecue for the junior choir. There was some speculation that maybe we’d cancel – as you can see from the picture we didn’t!
Here you can see the junior choir happily swimming whilst it pours with rain – and with the parents huddled under umbrellas!
If you look at some of the otherpictures in the set you can see that despite the weather we had the barbecue too – in the garage…
Having said that it was still rather galling when after an afternoon of downpours, just as everybody was leaving the sun finally came out – well for a few minutes anyway.
Thoughts from, and the lives of a Canadian and a Brit living in Southern England.