A sense of anticipation has been in the air for the duration of Michaelmas Term for various reasons. Jeremy Summerly’s appointment as Director of Music has made for an incredibly exciting and enriching term for all who are involved in Chapel Music at St. Peter’s. At the same time the Choir welcomed a new Organ Scholar, Benjamin Maton, whose assistance has proved invaluable to the Senior Organ Scholar in the accompanying and administering of the College Choir. Continuing thanks must also go out to Sue Young for her work with the Choral Scholars.
Musically, Michaelmas Term always begins notably earlier than the full academic term, with Organ Scholar and Choral Scholar Admissions Week, during which Rex Roxburgh was elected the incoming Organ Scholar. Rex will join Jeremy and Benjamin from October, 2016, following his gap year as an organ scholar in Australasia.
In addition to the Choir’s busy schedule of regular services of Choral Evensong on Thursdays and Sundays, the Choir have found the time to prepare for two high profile concert performances, and two Advent Carol Services.
Ralph Allwood returned to oversee a conducting workshop day during which undergraduate choral conductors from across the University were given opportunity to workshop their talents with St. Peter’s Choir in a rehearsal and service of Choral Evensong. Many thanks to Ralph for what is always an extremely rewarding day for so many members from across the University.
St Peter’s Choir was approached by Stephen Darlington, the Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, whose Choir were participating in a performance of Thomas Tallis’ Spem in alium with the elite chamber choir, The Cardinall’s Musick. Members of St. Peter’s College Choir made up choirs 6, 7, and 8 in Tallis’ monumental 40 part motet, which was performed once to the original Latin, and again in a later English version called Sing and Glorify.
— Katie Fellows (@KatieFellows1) November 21, 2015
As a result of oversubscription in previous years, and fire regulations placed on the Chapel due to major renovations being undertaking at St Peter’s as part of the Perrodo Project, it was necessary to hold two Advent Carol Services this year. (NB: That’s one more than a televised service that takes place in The Other Place!)
Loved the beautiful @SPC_Choir carol service this evening. Perfect way to start off the Christmas Spirit!
— Grace Buttler (@GButtler) November 29, 2015
As ever, this Service was a great occasion, with the two Services interlarded by the annual JCR Hog Roast. Preparations swiftly turned to the annual performance of Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, which this year was accompanied by Heather Wrighton. Included in the programme was also a setting of Gradual Viderunt Omnes, composed by the 12th Century French composer Pérotin Magnus.
Hilary Term’s Chapel and Music Schedule embarks with an Epiphany Carol Service, and closes with a Sequence of Readings and Music for Passiontide. Paul Spicer will be welcomed back to St. Peter’s to direct Evensong on March 3rd. A performance of Gabriel Faure’s remarkable setting of the Requiem will also take place, on February 27th.