Diocesan Festival 2012

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Saturday 13th October 2012

2.15pm on Saturday, 13th October, 2012, saw choirs from across the diocese gathering in Southwell Cathedral to prepare to sing at the Annual Diocesan Choirs Festival and Presentation of Awards. One hundred and eighty singers joined the cathedral choir under the direction of Paul Hale, Rector Chori at Southwell, in presenting At all times and in all places, an RSCM service celebrating the Book of Common Prayer. A prior rehearsal two weeks earlier had highlighted passages which needed further attention at the individual rehearsals of the various choirs.

As the rehearsal moved apace, so the choirs gained a sense of unanimity and blending of voices which augured well for the service at 5.45pm. Liturgy from the main services of the Book of Common Prayer was skilfully woven together with music from across the ages using the sung texts of those services.

Hymns, in some cases with descants by living composers, were sung alongside plainchant. Ferial Responses by Robert Ashfield, a former Rector Chori at Southwell were sung and Psalm 95, Venite, was sung to a chant by Lionel Dakers. Canticles were represented by the joyful and exuberant setting of theJubilate in C by Benjamin Britten and the effective blending of plainchant and polyphony in the Magnificat from Philip Moore’s 3rd. Service. The Sanctus from Harold Darke’s Holy Communion setting in F and the anthems Remember notby Henry Purcell and Prevent us, O Lord byC.H.H. Parry were the other musical items.

During the service, Long Service awards and awards for competence and proficiency in choral singing were presented.


Awards for Proficiency in Choral Singing after Examination

Bishop’s (RSCM Silver) Award

Rebecca Bailey
St. Leonard’s, Wollaton
Philip Hudson
St. Leonard’s, Wollaton

Dean’s (RSCM Bronze) Award

Sarah Norris
St. Leonard’s, Wollaton
Dawn Wilby
St. Mary the Virgin, Bunny

Bishop’s Long Service Award

Hilary James
St Mary’s, Greasley (25 years, also serving as Crucifer)
Janet Clark
St Mary’s, East Leake (more than 30 years)
Amanda Lees
St Peter & St Paul, Oxton (30 years, in York, Durham, Amsterdam, Milan – and Oxton!)
Sheila Perkins
St Peter & St Paul, Oxton (29 years, the first 5 at Redcliffe Road Methodist Church)
Geoffrey Perkins
St Peter & St Paul, Oxton (34 years, the first 10 at Redcliffe Road Methodist Church)
John Glass
St Swithun, Woodborough (26 years) whose Award was collected by:
Joanne Barker
St Swithun, Woodborough (27 years, starting at Arnold, and now Director of Music at Woodborough)
Dr Robert Middleton
St Swithun, Woodborough (28 years)
Michael Rowan
St Swithun, Woodborough (32 years, the first 20 at St Mark’s Woodthorpe)
Ann Miller
St Swithun, Woodborough (48 years, the first 26 in St Ann’s Nottingham and Lambley)  


Award winners 2012
Award winners 2012

As the final echoes of the singing gradually faded away in the wonderful acoustics, we were left to reflect on a wonderful and memorable occasion as Simon Hogan, Assistant Director of Music at Southwell Cathedral and accompanist at the service, dazzled us by his dexterity in the concluding organ voluntary.

Peter Price RSCM Southwell & Nottinghamshire Area Committee Member

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