Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ascension, Parts 1 & 2

Part 1:

The Feastday itself on Thursday sees me (Ceteris Paribus) travelling over to Brigg in Nth Lincolnshire for a full Solemn High Mass complete with choir & orchestra (a very rare event!) who will be performing Haydn's Missa Sancti Ioannis a Deo, better known as the Little Organ Mass.

Part 2:

Sunday Evening sees at many Rudgates who are available that evening singing Byrd 3 & whatever else I can find to suit the complete imbalance of voices we have this time around. We have *no* Altos on Sunday, hence the need to change the music we'd originally planned. :-(

We now have the opportunity every third Sunday in York to sing some wonderful music where it was originally intended - liturgically. It's been more or less handed to us on a plate! All we need is a regular group of singers to keep the third Sunday in each month clear...

We shall of course continue to sing elsewhere throughout the North of England (& beyond, if we ever get a trip to mainland Europe organised). If you're a singer, and interested, get in touch!

We need to get out more...

I write the title to this tongue ever so slightly in cheek after attending two Chant workshops, the first at St Austin's Church, Wakefield ably led by Philip Duffy & organised superbly by Patrick Ganley under the umbrella of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge. The second at St Alphonsus' North Ormesby, a more localised gathering, despite my efforts to give it as much publicity as possible, but a success nevertheless thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Fr Bill Charlton - the Parish Priest, and Eamon Manning, who flew over from Belfast (narrowly avoiding the ash cloud!) to lead the workshop. You can read more about this here.  Now that I know the Eremite is a more than useful Tenor, he's not going to escape the Rudgate Radar! Being an ad-hoc choir, we're always going to be looking out for new singers to replace those who come and go at regular intervals.

As for the workshops, I learned a lot from both of them. The main thing that struck me was the thought that we mustn't retreat into our own little enclaves, otherwise we run the risk of becoming too complacent & isolated and  not benefiting from the scholarship & experience of dedicated people who lead workshops such as these, who impart their love of this music at such events for the benefit of all of us. The Internet is brilliant of course, both in terms of access to books & free sheet music as well as recordings and demonstrations from the likes of YouTube, but there's nothing quite like experiencing first rate tuition on a sound practical level with other singers.

The good news (in Yorkshire at any rate) is that there may well be more of the same coming our way in the not too distant future. There was talk of the Wakefield event becoming an annual occasion (St Austin's has a super acoustic btw), and Eamon is going to be resident in York for at least a year from September, and yes, I've bagged him as another Rudgate Recruit!