Music Notes - August 2017

Music Notes – August 2017

News of the Choir

Congratulations to Aoife Brennan, Eva Niklova and Lauren Williamson who have all passed their Red Level chorister examinations. These are the hghest level of the internally examined awards and they will now go on work for the first of the externally examined awards of the Royal School of Church Music, the Bronze (Dean’s Chorister) Award.

Royal School of Church Music Summer School.

This year we will be sending 9 choristers to Bath for the RSCM Annual Summer School. Additionally, Abbi Grainger, our previous Head Chorister, will be Head Chorister of the whole course and our present Head Chorister, Chelsea Morris has been appointed as Pastoral Care officer for the junior girls. So we will be well represented. I am most grateful for the response we have had to our ‘Adopt a Chorister’ scheme.

The Summer School runs from Monday 21st to Sunday 27th August, the highlight being singing the services in Bath Abbey on Friday 25th , Saturday 26th  and Sunday 27th .

I do hope that some of our parishioners will be able to get down to Bath to support the choristers. It is always great to see familiar faces in the Abbey. The sight of a choir of over 100 young people all in their various different coloured choir robes as they process from the west door down the length of the Abbey is stunning, but this is only a prelude to the delight in store from the high standard of choral singing that is achieved after only one week of training. If you can make it you will be richly rewarded.

St. Oswald’s Day  -  Sunday 6th August

The final Sunday of this choir term will mark our Patronal Festival and, as you would expect, there will be a feast of music.

The morning service opens with Bruckner’s fine motet for the dedication of a church ‘Locus iste’ and the service will be sung to Harold Darke’s much loved setting of the Communion Service in F major. The anthem will be ‘O God, thou art my God’  by Henry Purcell, surely the greatest of our Restoration period composers. The anthem ends with a chorus of Alleluias from both sides of the choir which have been used as the basis of the well known hymn tune ‘Westminster Abbey’.

Even if you don’t regularly come to the evening service, do please join us for a fitting end to our Feast of Title celebrations. The Canticles will be sung to the setting in D Major by George Dyson, written as a tribute to Wagner when he (Dyson) visited Beyreuth to hear the Ring Cycle.

As 6th August is also the Feast of the Transfiguration we shall open the service with Tallis’ setting of ‘O nata lux’ and the anthem will be the popular setting of the Te Deum by sir Charles Villiers Stanford in B flat.

The Scholars & Gentlemen

The Scholars & Gentlemen is a chamber choir of 16 voices originally formed from the Choral Scholars and some of the Gentlemen of the Church Choir. The group will be performing a programme of music by the Spanish Renaissance composer Tomas Luis de Victoria on Saturday 9th September at 7.30pm. The main work will be the motet ‘OQuam Gloriosum’ and the Mass that Victoria based on the music of the motet.  

Harry Christophers, the Director of the world famous ensemble ‘The Sixteen’ said of Victoria “He is not only the greatest Spanish Renaissance composer but, for me, he is the greatest Renaissance composer – full stop. He was, quite simply, a genius.”

Why not come along and see for yourself. Tickets at £8.00 (concessions £6 and supporters of St. Oswald’s Choral Foundation £5.00, children under 12 free of charge) are available from me before or after any service or by telephone on 01691 649933, e-mail at or you can purchase them on the door.


The Music team and Choir would like to thank everybody for the encouragement and support that you give to the music at St. Oswald’s and we look forward to our new term starting on Sunday 10th September.

Mike Donkin  -  Director of Music

Music Notes
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