Paul Hale writes: “It was a particular delight this year for me, conducting my final Diocesan Festival in the Minster after twenty-seven years as Rector Chori & Cathedral Organist, because not only have our numbers kept up over the years, but the choirs were, this year, more prepared than I’ve ever known them, and sang their hearts out.
“The committee had commissioned an anthem (‘And made loud music’) specially for the occasion, from Guy Turner, a popular local composer and baritone lay clerk in the cathedral choir. After the initial inevitable misgivings (“How is this supposed to go?”) as choirs began to learn it during the summer, they soon caught on to Guy’s catchy rhythms and attractive melodies; it went perfectly in the service.
“Here I must give warm thanks to Peter Price of Wollaton, who very generously gave of his time to run several combined choir rehearsals in advance of the official pre-rehearsal. All this work really paid off – not just in the commissioned anthem, but in everything; the choirs sang with remarkable confidence, backed up by the Minster Chorale. The final anthem ‘Let all the world’ by Vaughan Williams raised the roof, Gerald Knight’s gentle ‘Now the God of peace’ ended the service calmly, and a very happy 200 singers processed out, to be warmly thanked by our new Diocesan, Bishop Paul, our Acting Dean, Nigel Coates, and by the Rector Chori – me! – in gratitude for all the Festivals we have enjoyed together over the years.”