Choir and music
Music at St Andrew's
By our Director of Music: Trevor Dawson
There has always been a choir at St. Andrew’s for as long as I can remember. I know, because I used to sing in it! Without giving away too many clues as to my age, we’re talking about the 60s here (that’s 1960s!) and I can remember there being about five others in the choir apart from myself.
Following my appointment as organist at the tender age of 14, the choir entered something of a “golden age” in terms of numbers and we had maybe 25+ young people on the books at any one time.
Coming more up to date, our choir has undergone quite a marvellous renaissance! Once a month, on the first Sunday, we sing choral evensong with a choir of around 25 choristers and are continually building upon our repertoire of liturgical music. The choir consists of singers with a distinguished background in music and passionate amateurs. For our regular Sunday morning services, we are blessed by a smaller, but passionate group of singers.
In recent years, the choir of St Andrew's has been invited to sing at various services, including the cathedral churches of York, Norwich, Chester, Wells, Southwell, Ripon, Bristol, Chichester and Christ Church Oxford.
If you are an amateur with an interest in music or a veteran chorister and would like to sing with us, we would love to hear from you!
Choral Evensong takes place on the 1st Sunday of the month at 6:30PM
Cancellation of Ely Cathedral tour
Sadly, the planned choir tour to Ely Cathedral, which was to have taken place at the end of August, has had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty over when choral singing can safely return to our churches and cathedrals.
On a more optimistic note, we are booked to sing at Salisbury Cathedral in 2021 over the long weekend Saturday 29th to Monday 31st May (inclusive). We are also negotiating with Ely Cathedral about the possibility of singing there in the summer of 2022.
During this unprecedented time when we are unable to meet together to worship in church, several members of the choir are continuing to assist with the recording of two hymns which form part of the online streaming of the Sunday morning services.
This has been masterminded by Nic Moodie, one of our choristers, who sends out a video to the singers earlier in the week with the organ accompaniment and the score of the four part harmony arrangement of each hymn. Each singer then needs to listen to the video through headphones whilst recording themselves on a separate device singing either the soprano, alto, tenor or bass line. These separate audio files from about a dozen or more singers are then sent back to Nic who has the job of editing them into one single file which is then used for the online streaming. It all sounds rather complicated, and it's not easy, but it's great to still hear the contributions from our singers from wherever they are in the country and for them to still be able to contribute to the music week by week in this way. Please do follow one of our Sunday morning services on Facebook to hear the final results!
Credit must also be given to Jacob Holme, our Church and Community Youth Worker, who is also a technical guru in his own right! It is Jacob who has made possible the online streaming of services during the pandemic.