Thursday, 27 November 2008

From the New Liturgical Movement

Coolest. Incipit. Ever!

By (Jeffrey Tucker)

Advent will soon be upon us, which means many things, among which is the annual fight--a polite one, no doubt--over who gets to sing the incipit (opening phrase) to the solemn version of Alma Redemptoris Mater.
Coming to York this Advent!

The Original Post on NLM has a splendid version of the solemn tone sung to Ambrosian Chant.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Chant & Carols

Well, since the last time I posted anything here, we've created another bit of history. A week ago on Sunday [16th], 4 intrepid chanters went to St Mary's Abbey and sang Vespers, concluding with the 'York' Solemn Salve Regina. We had done this last year, the first time [we believe] it was sung there since the Reformation - almost 500 years ago, only to be told that the monks wouldn't have sung from the place where we did, which was the main ruin. So, this year, we went and sang in the Monastic Choir and can now, quite legitimately, claim that we've sung music written for the Monks of the Abbey in the very place they would have sung it almost 500 years ago!

We now seem to have established a good relationship with the Museum Gardens authorities, so I would think it more likely that we'll return again for more services, maybe even Mass one day, though perhaps when its a bit warmer!

The full choir have now started rehearsing for our annual Carol Service at Bishophill on 18th December. This promises to be just as good as in previous years, so if you're in the York area and are free that evening, do please come along!

The Order of Service can be found here.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Chant Workshops

Yesterday, I spent most of the day on Tyneside, taking part in the last event [Mass in the Extraordinary Form] of a Gregorian chant workshop which took place there over the weekend. This was based mainly at Forest Hall, but the Mass I went to was at St Joseph's Church in Gateshead. It was organised by Dorothy of the Schola Gregoriana of Northumbria and led by the Scottish Gregorian Group directed by Alan Henderson.

During a very nice pub lunch, I was able to renew acquaintances with singing friends in Northumbria and also north of the border. This could lead to a collaboration in late spring/early summer next year, possibly at Brinkburn Priory, a venue of which I have already spoken very favourably earlier this year!

As for workshops, I've been asked if we can have one in York on a more limited scale. One of our new singers has requested one on singing Compline; basically going through the music for Compline in an afternoon session culminating in the service itself in the evening. It could be a good way of introducing people to singing and experiencing Chant in a relatively simple/informal setting. I'd be interested to hear what people think about this.

Meanwhile, our own Schola Cantorum is scheduled to sing in St Mary's Abbey ruins in the grounds of the Museum Gardens this coming Sunday at 3pm- weather permitting. We intend to sing Vespers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, concluding with the 'York' Solemn Salve Regina, which will be sung there for only the second time since the Reformation! Please do come and support us if you're in the area! The following weekend sees the first full choral rehearsal for the annual Carol Service at St Mary's, Bishophill Jnr. It never ends! Still, it keeps us out of mischief.. :-)