Area Chamber Choir celebrates ten years

The Area Chamber Choir celebrates ten years

 

After an “advanced singing” module at an area convention in October 2007, we were asked if any of us would be interested in forming a choir to take good choral music to churches in the diocese and sing occasionally at the cathedral. A number of us signed up and on 11th February 2008 we sang our first service, Choral Evensong at St Albans Cathedral, as the RSCM St Albans, Herts & Beds Area Chamber Choir.

 

Over the years a core of founder members have welcomed keen newcomers and have sung at several churches and annually three or four times at the cathedral. We sang our tenth anniversary evensong at the cathedral on February 10th 2018. The line-up included several founder members.

Throughout all this time we have been ably directed by Christopher Muhley, who has made every rehearsal fun as well as teasing our best singing out of us.

We have lost several of our regular members during the last ten years, some have moved away and, sadly, three have moved on to the celestial choir.

New members are always welcome and should contact us at rscmchoir@yahoo.co.uk

 

February 2008 

 

Christopher Muhley directed, Roger Carter played the organ and Kevin Goss was cantor.

The choir was:

Soprano: Pat Beach, Helen Carter, Judi Cornforth, Sandie Fenech, Gill Heath, Marie Price, Judith Reeve, Brenda Woodman and Christine Barron
Alto: Catherine Barrett, Stella Brooks, Sally Creedy, Brenda Harris, Pamela Shelton-Smith, Susan Sims, Anne Throup, Adela Walster and Kathy Westwood

Tenor: Stuart Brant, Derek Cann and Simon Creedy

Bass: Trevor Boyce, Peter Garner, Peter Hatswell, Andrew Howarth, Colin Innes-Hopkins, Andrew Long and John Wearmouth.

The music was: Byrd responses, Wood in C minor, Bow thine ear, O Lord (Byrd), Be thou my guardian and my guide and Psalm 51.

 

February 2018

 

 

Christopher Muhley directed, Nicholas King played the organ.

The choir was:

Soprano: Helen Carter, Alice O’Driscoll, Susan Sims, Gill Heath, Brigid Brennan, Judith Reeve, Gill Elliott, Julie Goodwyn, Helen McKay, Rosemary Knight, Pat Leggatt

Alto: Stella Brooks, Adela Walster, Catherine Barrett, Ruth Bardou, Kate Muhley, Susan Hare

Tenor: Rus Westmacott, Alex Courtney, David Scriven, Uday Tuladhar, Jeremy Goodwyn , Josh Pollard, Nicholas Hare

Bass: Peter Mackenzie, Kevin Scott, Michael Brooks, Paul Leggatt

 

The music was: Rose responses, Sumsion in G, Like as the hart (Howells), Love divine all loves excelling and Psalm 27 and 150.

RSCM Area Chamber Choir

The RSCM Area Chamber Choir, directed by Chris Muhley,
sang evensong at the Cathedral & Abbey Church of St Alban on December 30th 2017. The organist was Nicholas King.

Photo: Tony Price                        

The music was:

Responses – Rose
Canticles – Howells ‘Collegium Regale’
Anthem – Leighton ‘The Coventry Carol’
Psalm 105 vv 1-11
Hymn 74 What child is this

Future dates when the choir will be singing at St Albans Cathedral are:

Saturday 10th February – 4pm Evensong
Saturday 8th September – 4pm Evensong
Sunday 9th September – 11.15am Eucharist and 6.30pm Evensong

If you are an experienced choral singer and would like to sing with the Area Chamber Choir please email
rscmchoir@yahoo.co.uk

The choir normally has only one rehearsal before the day so some sight-reading ability is expected.

 

'Reform and Renewal' workshop for singers

Around thirty singers gathered at St. John’s church in Harpenden on Saturday 23rd September for an afternoon exploring the new RSCM Reform and Renewal book.

This volume contains a wealth of material suitable for choirs of all ability ranges, and various suggestions of how these can be woven into an act of worship, as well as being used singly.

 

 

 

Ably directed by Chris Muhley and Marie Price, with accompaniments from Roger Carter and Nicholas King, much of the repertoire of the book was sung through, ranging from plainsong and Renaissance through to more contemporary offerings, including an attractively approachable setting of the evening canticles commissioned from Malcolm Archer for the book, and the more challenging fare of a setting of the Jubilate by William Mathias.  The emphasis was very much on becoming familiar with the contents of the book rather than on detailed rehearsal.

 

After a break for tea, a short act of worship took place, led with sensitivity by James Reveley, drawing on some of the items which had been looked at during the afternoon – and one which had not been, just to keep everyone on their toes.

We were very encouraged by the very positive spirit of the occasion, expressed in many warm comments on the feedback forms.  The stock of several dozen spare books which had been brought along sold out as participants purchased sets to take back to their choirs.

 

 

Our grateful thanks to Roger Carter for hosting the event, and to all who supported the afternoon.  Those who were not there missed a good occasion, which we shall seek to repeat in our future programme.

Nicholas King

 

 

 

 

 

Organists' Workshop at All Saints Luton

 

This event was held at the Church of All Saints, Shaftesbury Road, Luton on their fine Mander organ. There were 6 active participants from churches in Biggleswade, Campton, Eggington, Leverstock Green, Royston and Welwyn. Each player was offered advice by Roger Carter, mainly on aspects of hymn accompaniment such as the choice of introduction, the use of appropriate stops, rhythmic spacing between verses and how to adapt worship songs idiomatically to the organ. The workshop concluded with a look at ways into improvisation with material derived from hymn tunes.
Roger Carter