Archive

Recent Events

Sunday 20 November 2016, Regional Festal Evensong for Christ the King,  St Mary the Virgin, Goldington, Bedfordshire
This event, another in our popular series of Regional Area Evensongs, was conducted by Christopher Muhley, our Area Chairman, and accompanied by Roger Carter, organist of St John’s, Harpenden and member of the Area Committee.

Tuesday 20 September 2016 – MEET, EAT AND SING!  The Abbey Primary School, St Albans
Members were invited for Wine, Fish and Chips to meet the committee and then sing a variety of music by Parry under the direction of Rosemary Field, Deputy RSCM Director for Education.

Saturday 21 May 2016 – Boy Choristers – Evensong with the Cathedral in St Albans Cathedral
Boy Choristers were invited to sing evensong with the St Albans Cathedral Choir. Boys were at least dark blue ribbon standard and aged 10 or over.  Following a warm up and run through of the music, the boys joined the Assistant Master of the Music, Tom Winpenny, and the Cathedral Choristers and Lay Clerks in their rehearsal for Choral Evensong.

Friday 6 May 2016 – MEET, EAT AND SING!  The Sun Hotel and St Mary’s Church, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Lunch at 12 noon, Workshop 2-4pm
This event, following a similar format to the popular ‘Ageing Voices Ever Singing’ event in 2012, was again directed by Rufus Frowde (Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace).  The event was aimed at the more mature singer, and arranged to coincide with the discount lunches at the Sun Hotel on weekdays.  Music was a mix of musical styles and genres.

Saturday 9th May 2015 – Hands & Voices Lifted High! Principles of Singing and Gospel Singing Day
with Deborah Miles-Johnson and Dawn Thomas Wallace at Maulden Village Hall, Flitwick Road, Maulden, Bedfordshire

2014 Area Choirs Festival Feedback
Our Area Choirs Festival with Presentation of Awards was held on Saturday 29 March 2014 in the Cathedral. For details of this event see this link. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far, although there are a small number of comments for discussion as to improvements. A number of people asked to see everyone’s feedback, and for an online feedback form. Comments are collated below and we would like to thank all those who responded; we always discuss feedback at committee level and many changes this year were as a result of previous feedback. You will see, though, that opinions are often directly contradictory, so we can’t please everyone! Hopefully you will recognise your own comments.

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Regional Festal Evensong: Bedford
On October 14th 2012 a Regional Festal Evensong was held in St. Paul’s Church Bedford. It was a wonderful opportunity to sing under the direction of John Witchell, the Former Head of Hertfordshire Music Service. The accompanist was Ian Runnells, the Director of Music, St Paul’s Church Bedford. It was an inspirational service which allowed less experienced singers to join with the more experience and tackle music that they would not normally be included in the repertoire of the average Parish Church.

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Ageing Voices Ever Singing
On Thursday 31 May 2012 we held another in our popular RSCM series of Ageing Voices Ever Singing events, the first in our area. Directed by Rufus Frowde (Organist and Assistant Director of Music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace), the event was aimed at the more mature singer, and arranged to coincide with the discount lunches for pensioners at the Sun Hotel on Thursdays.

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Area Festival 2012
Saturday 28th April 2012 saw some 147 singers from 23 affiliated choirs taking part in the biennial Diocesan Area Festival at St. Albans Abbey.

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Goldington Regional Festal Evensong: Event Review
An RSCM Regional Festal Evensong was hosted on Sunday 8th May 2011 by the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Goldington, Bedford.

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Regional Evensong at St Michael and All Angels Church, Watford
On a cloudy, dreary Sunday afternoon, 36 choristers from all over the diocese made their way to St Michael and All Angels church in Watford ready for the RSCM Choral evensong event. In the capable hands of Andy Benoy directing the joint choir and Chris Muhley accompanying on the organ, a two hour rehearsal was followed by tea, coffee and a large selection of home made cakes kindly provided by members of the choir and congregation of St Michaels.

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Area Chamber Choir in St. Albans Abbey – October 2010
Our Chamber Choir once again had the privilege of singing services at St Albans Abbey while the Abbey choristers were away on their half term break – and it is a privilege and a great pleasure to sing in such a wonderful place. The “echo” of the voices in the choir stalls when the singing stops is magical.

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Area Chamber Choir Evensong, Braughing – September 2010
Sunday 19th September saw the return of the RSCM Chamber Choir to St Mary’s, Braughing for Choral Evensong. The music comprised the Ayleward Responses, Canticles sung to Gibbons Short Service and the anthem Batten’s O sing joyfully. The service was accompanied by Chris Muhley and directed by Roger Carter. It was lovely to be back in this beautiful church and we were made very welcome by the Team Vicar, Jeanette Gosney, who also preached at the service.

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Choral Matins at All Saints Church, Turvey – June 2010
Some 45 singers from around the St Albans and Bedford Area (together with two visitors from Northampton) sang Choral Matins at All Saints’ Turvey, near Bedford, on Saturday 19th June 2010. This provided an unusual opportunity for choirs to sing a service that is rarely held outside cathedrals these days.

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Diocesan Choirs Festival – March 2010
The daffodils may have been slow to come into bloom this year, but that did not deter the three hundred or so choristers who travelled from throughout the Diocese to attend this year’s Diocesan Choirs Festival on Saturday 13th March in St Albans Abbey. The singers had already been put through their paces at four regional rehearsals, ably directed by Christopher Muhley, with Roger Carter accompanying, and it showed; the overall sound was both cohesive and confident.

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Area Chamber Choir – March 2010
Our local Area Chamber Choir sang their first Evensong of the year in St Albans Abbey on Saturday 6th March. This being Lent, the music chosen was appropriate for the season. The anthem was Stanford’s O for a closer walk with God and the canticles were Weelkes’ Short Service. Ayleward Responses, Psalms 64 and 67 along with the hymn Be thou my guardian and my guide completed the service. Roger Carter was in fine form seated up in the organ loft and once again the service was directed by our Area Chairman, Christopher Muhley.

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Meet the Director
We were delighted to welcome Lindsay Gray, the Director of the Royal School of Church Music, to the St Albans Area on Wednesday 18th November. The venue was the Church Hall of St Stephen’s, St Albans, and a group of loyal affiliates gathered to hear Lindsay speak eloquently about his own life – the background which brought him to his current position – and that of the Royal School of Church Music at large.

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St Albans Area Youth Singers
On Monday 26 October 2009, 20 young singers from across the Diocese came together in St Albans for the first time as the RSCM Area Youth Singers. They began the day at the Abbey Primary School with some warm-ups and activities to get them singing in parts, then set to work to learn the music for evensong, to be sung later that day.

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Area Chamber Choir
The Area Chamber Choir was busy on 24th and 25th October 2009, singing the services in St Albans Abbey. 28 singers drawn from 15 parishes joined together to sing Saturday Evensong and Choral Eucharist on Sunday morning under the direction of Area Chairman, Christopher Muhley. Claire Cousens was the organist.

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Regional Festal Evensong
A regional evensong took place at Dunstable Priory on 26 July. Nearly seventy singers of all ages from across the region came together to sing Choral Evensong, including Canticles by Walmisley in D minor and the anthem Greater Love by Ireland. The director was Marie Price and the organist was Martin Hart.

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Cathedral Organ Restored – A weekend of Celebration
On 6 and 7 June 2009 we celebrated the restoration of the Harrison & Harrison organ at St Albans Cathedral.

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Boxmoor Festal Evensong, November 2008
This event, another in our popular series of Regional Area Evensongs, was held on Sunday 23rd November 2008, at St. John’s Boxmoor, which is in the Hemel Hempstead Deanery.

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Braughing Evensong
On Sunday 21st September 2008, 23 singers from area choirs combined to rehearse and perform Hilton’s Lord for thy tender mercies’ sake, Smith Responses, sections of Psalm 119, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis to Harwood in A flat and Ernest Bullock’s Give us the Wings of faith, together with three hymns and Final Responses by Peter Hurford.

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Safari Evensong
This was a rare opportunity to sing in three architecturally fine churches. Undaunted by the weather, an intrepid party of choristers met at the historic church of St Mary’s, Woburn early in the afternoon of Sunday July 6th 2008 to brave the elements and sing Evensong at three locations in the same benefice, the other two being at St John the Baptist Eversholt and St Peter Milton Bryan.

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2008 Diocesan Choirs Festival
This event, which is held biennially on the ‘even years’ took place on 17th May 2008 at St Albans Abbey. Over 250 singers came from all over the Diocese, representing 25 choirs of all types. Ages ranged from 6 or 7 upwards. There was a colourful array of robes and a purposeful atmosphere as we led in and began the rehearsal, led by Andrew Lucas, Master of the Music for the Cathedral.

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St Albans Abbey Evensong – 11th February 2008
Our Local Area sang Evensong in the Abbey on Monday 11th February 2008. Unlike the Diocesan Choirs’ Festival which can cater for a capacity crowd, this occasion had room in the choir stalls for thirty singers only. Christine Barron, Lay Reader of St Paul’s Church, St Albans reports on what turned out to be a very successful event.

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2nd Area Convention, 29 September 2007
The 2nd Royal School of Church Music St Albans Area Convention was held on 29 September 2007 at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Elstree. The event consisted of a mixture of talks and interactive workshops on a diverse range of topics aimed at all those leading or participating in worship and making music with “spirit and understanding”. Take a look at some photographs. Can you spot your own smiling face among them?

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Turvey Evensong, 1 July 2007
This event, another in our popular series of Regional Area Evensongs, was held in the picturesque village of Turvey, which boasts one of the finest and oldest churches in the Diocese of St. Albans, dating back to Saxon times, possibly even Roman.

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Compline, January 2007
A number of members gathered in the vaulted chapel of All Saints Pastoral Centre, London Colney to further their knowledge of plainsong. The afternoon finished with the Office of Compline.

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Boxmoor Festival Evensong, November 2006
It was a wet, windswept Sunday afternoon in late November. So what on earth possessed the best part of a hundred choristers to wend their way to St John’s Church, Boxmoor, near Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, when any sane person should surely have been relaxing with their feet up in front of a good fire?

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Newsletters

  • November 2006: New committee, awards successes, and a look back at recent festivals (1Mb)

N.B. This website has taken over the function of the newsletter and no further issues are planned.

Documents

  • Website poster (70k)
    We have prepared a poster for affiliates giving details of the local Royal School of Church Music Area Website. You may care to laminate it for longevity; ideally it should be printed in colour so that it catches the eye, but – above all – please display it in a prominent position. The more people who visit the website, the more feedback we get, and the better able we are to schedule events that suit everyone’s needs. And, remember, there is no upper limit to the number of people from any affiliated body that can subscribe to the e-mail list.
  • N.B., Acrobat Reader is needed to view PDF files. If you don’t have it installed, you can download the free software from the Adobe website. Also, if you find the PDF file doesn’t open automatically from within your browser when you click on the link, save the file to disk (usually by right-clicking the file and selecting ‘Save As’) and then open the file directly using Acrobat Reader.