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Choral Highlights

Earlier this term, the Senior Girls’ Choir recorded two pieces for broadcast on Marlow FM: I Give You A New Commandment by Peter Aston and The Father’s Love by Simon Lole.

The quality of the singing was pleasing, and I was delighted at how the girls responded to the recording session. Rhidian Jones accompanied the Choir with great sensitivity, which made the overall experience such a joy.

In recent weeks, I have launched a new informal singing group for boys and restarted Voice for Life coaching during many of our rehearsals.

This training scheme is designed by The Royal School of Church Music and encourages choristers’ development in many aspects of their musicianship. I am extremely grateful to Lauren and our intern, Becca, for their volunteering, which supports the technical aspects I already include week by week.

As I write, the RSCM is developing excellent online resources which our choristers will find most helpful in the continuation of their musical studies.

In February, our Candlemas Service contained three settings of the Nunc Dimittis, the well-known Canticle of Simeon which is ever-present at Evensong. The prize for the chorister who can correctly give the plural of ‘Nunc Dimittis’ remains unclaimed. The settings by Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548 –1611), Matthew Owens (b.1971) and Christopher Totney (b.1982) provided a variety of challenges for the Choirs.

It has been a delight to see further new faces at our monthly Choral Evensong, particularly since Christmas. You are always most welcome to share these timeless liturgies with us and please be assured that the Choirs greatly appreciate your support.

In these uncertain times, my pre-recorded hymn playing will feature during our online services which can be seen on YouTube and I am thankful that organ voluntaries will continue to be expertly performed by our invaluable Rhidian.

I am determined to ensure the choristers continued musical development and am encouraged by the multitude of novel and intriguing opportunities.

It seems fitting to conclude this little ramble with the Collect “for Aid against all Perils” from The Book of

Common Prayer, which is familiar to us from Evensong and seems so appropriate in the current climate.

LIGHTEN our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

This article, written by our Director of Music, James Grimwood, featured in the Easter 2020 edition of The Bridge – the magazine for All Saints’ Church in Marlow. Pick up your free copy in church or download it here.