The Somerset Choral Society are delighted to be part of the 2019 Wedmore Arts Festival and will present a programme of “Music for a Summer Evening” in conjunction with the talented young local violinist Poppy McGhee at St Mary’s Church, Wedmore at 7:30pm.
In the Five Mystical Songs Vaughan Williams uses the words of the famous metaphysical poet George Herbert and it ends with his magnificent setting of the hymn “Let all the world in every corner sing”. Ed has chosen two pieces from Brahms, the first being his masterful setting of Paul Flemming’s hymn Die Geistliches Lied which is a devotional poem espousing the idea of trusting to the divine for your future. The second piece drawn from his German Requiem is “How lovely are thy dwellings” which is the central and best known movement from the Requiem. Finally, Ed has selected two choruses from the Requiem by Gabriel Faure the haunting Sanctus with the solo
violin playing over the top and in perfect contrast the Libera Me movement with its
grounded and visceral Baritone solo sung by Craig Bissex.
After the interval, we are pleased to welcome violinist Poppy McGhee who will be accompanied on piano by Matthew Redman. Poppy has chosen an especially varied programme with the whole audience in mind. Whether you enjoy the simplicity of Salut d’amour by Edward Elgar, the intensity of The Prokofiev Sonata, the serene beauty of Brahms’s Contemplation or the cheekiness of The Hot Canary by Paul Nero, there should be something here for everyone.
The Somerset Choral Society held a very successful Choral Workshop “Come and Sing Faure Requiem” on Saturday 27 April in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Fifty Singers from all over the local area registered and enjoyed an enjoyable day’s choral singing led by their Musical Director Ed Goater punctuated by breaks for hot and cold drinks and biscuits and some social chat. For the workshop Ed chose Movement 1 “Introit and Kyrie”, Movement 3 “Sanctus”, Movement 5 “Agnus Dei” and Movement 7 “In Paradisum”. The workshop ended with an informal performance of these four pieces starting at 2:30pm.
On Saturday 24th November, Somerset Choral Society performed a programme of Advent and Christmas music and readings to an appreciative audience of 150 people in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore that was lit entirely by candles; it proved to be a wonderfully atmospheric celebration of Advent. The choir performed Bob Chilcott’s “ On Christmas Night” plus seasonal favourites including Harold Darke’s arrangement of “In The Bleak Midwinter”, “Adam lay y’bounden” by Boris Ord, “The Three Kings” by Peter Cornelius, “Gabriel’s Message” by Edgar Pettman, “Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming” by Praetorius and concluded with a rousing arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by David Willcocks. As well as the music, there were a selection of seasonal readings. Virginia Waters read “Reading from Advent 1955” by John Betjeman, Edward Goater read from “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas and Adrian Shephard read “The Art of Sending Christmas Cards” by William Connor.The choir was conducted by its Musical Director Edward Goater and accompanied by Organist Matthew Redman. To complete the Advent atmosphere, the audience were able to sample mulled wine and mince pies before, during the interval and after the concert.
On a beautiful sunny afternoon on Sunday 2nd September, the Somerset Choral Society celebrated the start of their new term with a Garden Party held at the home of two of the choir members, Roger and Celia Starr. In the lovely surroundings of the Starr’s garden, members were treated to “bubbly” and a traditional cream tea organised and prepared by Janet Leek and Gillian Ticehurst. A great time was had by all as people sat around the beautiful garden eating, drinking and enjoying entertainment that was provided by the Churchill Singers, a choir member Maurice Jackson’s rendition of “Albert and the Lion” and music from local singer/songwriter Winston Chubb. Members attending described it as a really enjoyable and relaxed afternoon social event.
On Wednesday 5th September the choir started the hard work of rehearsals at Sidcot School Concert Hall in preparation for the next production which will be a Candlelit Concert of Advent and Christmas Music at 7:30pm on Saturday 24th November in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore.
Singer Songwriter Winston Chubb
Maurice Jackson – Albert & the Lion
Enjoying the “Bubbly”
“Soaking up the Rays”
Somerset Choral Society performed the Mozart Requiem and Handel’s Foundling Hospital Anthem in Wedmore Church on Saturday 16th June to an audience of about 120 people that were very appreciative of their performance. Andrew Kirk played the organ accompaniment brilliantly while Lucy Balderson’s effortless top notes were fabulous. The three enthusiastic young male soloists acquitted themselves very well and, in particular, the counter-tenor Finn Lacey demonstrated his remarkable voice with some remarkable trills.
Ed Goater their Musical Director commented “Tremendous thanks from me to all of you for your work in the concert on Saturday. You all committed admirably to putting on the very best performance and, if occasionally lacking in tempo, was never lacking in enthusiasm and vigour! The Handel was very well sung, with all the passage work coming out nicely. I think people enjoyed hearing it for the first time. The Mozart was of course, a pleasure to perform and hear you sing. I was particularly impressed with how you coped with the difficulties of performing with the organ – live on the spot.”
All in all the end product was a very successful concert after a difficult rehearsal term.
Our next Concert will be at 7:30pm on Saturday 16th June in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore when we will perform George Friederich Handel’s “Foundling Hospital Anthem” in the first half, then an interval for wine and soft drinks followed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem”.
Lucy Balderson – Soprano
Finn Lacey – Counter Tenor
Oliver Chubb – Tenor
Harry Guthrie – Bass
Andrew Kirk – Organist
Andrew is the Organist at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.
The Foundling Hospital Anthem (HWV 268), also known by its longer title “Blessed are they that considereth the poor” is a choral anthem composed by Handel in 1749. It was written for the Foundling Hospital in London and was first performed in the chapel there. Handel wrote two versions, one for choir only and one for choir and soloists. It is compiled from material originating in other works by Handel, ending with the “Hallelujah” chorus from Messiah. The Somerset Choral Society will be performing the version for choir and soloists.
The Requiem in D minor, K. 626, is a requiem mass by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart composed part of the Requiem in Vienna in late 1791, but it was unfinished at his death on 5 December the same year. A completed version dated 1792 by Franz Xaver Süssmayr was first performed on 14 February that year. The Somerset Choral Society will be performing using the second edition of the score published by Novello that is written for voices and orchestra but the performance will be accompanied on organ.
Rehearsing the Mozart Requiem