Rehearsing for Summer Cathedral Visits

Lewes Singers rehearse in Ringmer Church

We’ve had one of our three rehearsals for our forthcoming cathedral visits:

Westminster Abbey: our fourth visit will be from Friday 20th July evensong until Sunday 22nd evensong. Music to include Byrd 2nd service, Brewer in D, Berkeley Missa Brevis and anthems by Blitheman, Osgood and Wood.

Canterbury Cathedral: our first visit to Canterbury will be the weekend of 18th and 19th August. More about the music to come.

The photo above was taken at Ringmer Church before our concert there in February.

Concerts in Eastbourne and Ringmer in February 2018

We’re giving two concerts in February 2018 and hope to see you there!

Where and when:

  1. All Saints Church, Grange Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4HE on Saturday 24th February 2018 at 6pm.
  2. St Mary’s Church, Ringmer on Sunday 25th February 2018 at 3.30pm.

Programme:

A chance to hear three choral masterpieces of the twentieth century: Benjamin Britten’s Rojoice in the Lamb, Gerald Finzi’s Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice and Aaron Copland’s stunning In the Beginning featuring mezzo-soprano soloist Briony Lambert. We’re delighted to welcome back organist Iestyn Evans, director of music at St James’s Church, Marylebone, and former organ scholar at Westminster Cathedral.

Tickets:

£10 (under 19s free) on the door (subject to availability) or in advance – tel 01323 410761.

Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page…

Christmas concert at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton

The music room at The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
The music room at The Royal Pavilion, Brighton

We’re delighted to have been invited to sing in the Music Room of the Royal Pavilion, together with the Brighton Consort, in their annual Christmas charity event on December 7th.

The Royal Pavilion is a magical place at Christmas, and the Music Room will be a fantastic place to sing.

Our programme will include Kenneth Leighton Lully Lulla, Rutter Nativity Carol, Tavener’s The Lamb and a lovely arrangement of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  We’ll be joining with the Consort to sing Mendelssohn’s stirring Weihnachten.

Nick will also be accompanying some numbers on his chamber organ.

Chichester Cathedral next month & 2018 plans

We’re back at Chichester Cathedral to sing the services on September 2nd and 3rd. Two anthems by Clive Osgood, Arvo Part’s Nunc Dimittis and William Byrd’s Four Part Mass are some of the pieces we’ll be singing.

We’ve had the first of our two rehearsal days and are looking forward to the weekend.

Plans for 2018 are shaping up well. In February we are giving audiences another chance to hear our 2014 concert ‘Masterpieces of the 1940s’ , featuring the wonderful Briony Lambert who takes the mezzo solo role in Aaron Copland’s ‘In the beginning’. More details on our Concerts page and even more detail nearer the time.

Come July we will back at Westminster Abbey, our fourth visit, for a weekend of services. We love singing there, it’s such an experience and a privilege.

Looking ahead to December 2018, plans are underway for a Christmas concert – unforeseen circumstances meant we didn’t have a 2016 Christmas concert, but we’re now keen to get back onto our regular biennial appearance at St Michael’s which is always popular (we even had to turn people away last time, which is always a shame!) More details nearer the time. We’re looking forward to seeing all our lovely supporters for another magical evening of Christmas music.

Clive Osgood in final of Radio 3 Carol Competition

Clive OsgoodClive Osgood, one of our basses and our regular accompanist and organist is in the final 6 of BBC Radio 3’s carol competition! You can hear all the finalists here and cast your vote, voting is open until 5pm on 21 December and the winner will be announced during Radio 3’s Breakfast show on 22 December. Exciting!

Listen to Clive’s carol here..

Singing at Winchester Cathedral next weekend

winchester cathedral

We’ll be singing the services at Winchester on Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th October. We’ve just had the second of our rehearsals and the music is all sounding lovely. As well as plenty of English music in the fine Anglican tradition (Sumsion in G, Howells’ Jubilate etc) we’re enjoying learning a new piece for us, Jonathan Dove’s ‘Seek Him that Maketh the Seven Stars’ – beautiful and ‘moderately challenging’, as it says on the back of the score!

We’ll also be singing Andrew Carter’s ‘Wakefield Service’ which we sang at Westminster Abbey a few years ago. Another wonderful 20th century piece, one that doesn’t get a lot of outings, for some reason. Also we’ll of course have Nick’s responses and some lovely psalm chants. I think we do a good job of the psalms, and we always sing some of them a cappella which I think adds to the mystery.

It’s great to have our organist Clive Osgood with us too!

Saturday 29th October, 5.30pm Evensong:

Responses: Houghton (throughout the weekend)
Canticles: Sumsion in G
Anthem: Weelkes, When David heard (hear a snippet of us singing this here)

Sunday 30th October

9.45am Mattins:

Jubilate: Howells, Collegium Regale
Anthem: Victoria, O quam gloriosum

11am Sung Eucharist:

Setting: Darke in F
Motet: Bairstow, Let all mortal flesh keep silence

3.30pm Evensong:

Canticles: Carter, Wakefield Service
Anthem: Dove, Seek him that maketh the seven stars

September concert – ‘Faire is the Heaven’

Faire is the Heaven poster

We’ve a concert coming up in Lewes, at St Michael’s Church, on Saturday 26th September at 6pm.

We’re calling it ‘Faire is the Heaven’ after the anthem of that name by English composer William Harris. It’s one of two Harris anthems on the programme, which also includes two of J S Bach’s mighty motets, Komm, Jesu, Komm and Lobet den Herrn, motets by Charles Villiers Stanford and the Requiem by Herbert Howells.

We sang Faire is the Heaven at Westminster Abbey last month when we sang five services over three days. Tiring, but wonderful. They can seat up to a thousand people for services, and that’s just in the Quire and transept, not the main nave (which only gets used on special occasions). The atmosphere in the Quire is always magical, but there’s something a little disconcerting to know you’re being watched round the corner on screens by who knows how many hundreds of people.

The transept at Westminster Abbey before a service

Westminster Abbey is the final resting place of many fine musicians, writers & artists. Polly took a pic of Nick and I by the monument to Henry Purcell.

Nick & Robin Houghton at Purcell's grave, Westminster Abbey

Purcell was the organist at the Abbey from 1679 to 1695 and he’s buried a few feet away from where we’re standing. We always try to sing something by Purcell at Westminster Abbey and this time is was ‘O God, Thou art my God’ at Sunday Evensong.

The music for the September concert is on order and we’ll soon be sending it out to singers prior to our first rehearsal on September 12th. Incidentally, if you’re in Lewes do drop by St Michael’s during the day – not only will you hear us in rehearsal, but it’s Heritage Open Day at the church and it’s a good chance to have a nose around and hear more about this fascinating building. There are many other historic properties open in Lewes on that day – full details here.