News
Keeping you updated with the latest news
 

2020

9 January 2020
New Appointment for our MD
6 January 2020
Choral Evensong in Oxford

2019

3 December 2019
Stephen Cleobury 1948-2019
24 November 2019
Bach, Brahms, Reger - a moving tribute
23 September 2019
Over 300 for Fourth Rutter Day
30 July 2019
Evensong in Westminster Abbey
24 June 2019
Berlioz Requiem : a NBC first
29 May 2019
Evensong in Winchester Cathedral
20 April 2019
On Tour 2019 : The Netherlands
17 February 2019
The Colours of Mozart
25 January 2019
Bach Choir Burns Supper

2018

11 November 2018
Heroes for Peace - a fitting tribute
25 October 2018
Evensong for the Lord Lieutenant
21 October 2018
I was glad! A feast of Parry
1 September 2018
2019/2020 Season Launched
12 July 2018
Evensong in Worcester Cathedral
24 June 2018
French Fireworks! From Widor to Castagnet
28 April 2018
Rejoice! The UK and USA come together
11 April 2018
Evensong for Her Majesty the Queen
11 March 2018
Over 200 Singers for Mahler's Resurrection

2017

2016

2015

2014

 

St Paul's - Third Time Lucky?

Readers may remember that on Monday 24 October 2011, the eve of St Crispin's Day (Patron Saint of Cobblers, and therefore very much a Saint of Northampton), the Northampton Bach Choir were due to sing at St Paul's Cathedral for the very first time. Unfortunately the Occupy London protests were at their very height, and all services at the Cathedral were cancelled that week. With less than 72 hours notice we relocated to Gloucester Cathedral, through the kindness of the Canon Pastor, Celia Thomson.

It's official - we're here again

St Paul's kindly agreed to us coming the next year, so on Monday 29 October we finally made it to St Paul's! This time the complication was with our coach company who went into liquidation the day before we departed. Our Concerts Manager, Mark, and the Chairman at the time, Jennie, sorted everything out, and whilst we lost a big chunk of money, we did make it, and sang superbly. A few days later we received a wonderful letter from St Paul's saying how delighted they were with the standard of the choir, and inviting us to return.

Choir members outside St Paul's Cathedral
 
Ivan preparing his fingering with 113 stops
to play with

So... today, Monday 26 October we returned to St Paul's ... but what would be the drama? The Cathedral hadn't been closed nor had our coach company gone into liquidation. Well, our expected outward journey time of two-and-a-quarter hours by coach, more than doubled due to a fire, numerous road blockages, and roadworks. We spent just over four-and-a-half hours getting from Northampton to London! So... our lunch break was ditched and our rehearsal in the Song Room had to be efficiently dispatched to give us a little breathing time before the rehearsal in the Quire Stalls.

A wonderful day was had by all, and once again we had very complimentary feedback from the clergy and Cathedral staff; one of our members enquired with the sidesmen how many had been in the congregation, and they had counted 352 for the service register! And that doesn't note the countless people who were milling around towards the West end of the Cathedral.

Looking down from the Whispering Gallery
 
The stalls are so huge you wouldn't think
there are 50 singers here

As at Coventry the previous week, the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis were sung to the thrilling setting in B flat major by the Victorian composer Henry Smart, the Responses to the setting by the late seventeenth-century composer Richard Ayleward, and the anthem was the late Georgian composer Samuel Wesley's "Exultate Deo". Last time we sang at St Paul's the anthem we sang was "O Lord, look down from heaven" from the pen of another Georgian composer, Jonathan Battishill. Both were selected because they contain dramatic moments where the full voiced choir releases a loud and high chord, followed by a bar or more of silence. This effect was truly remarkable in the ten-second acoustic!

Having now sung Choral Evensong at Coventry and Gloucester Cathedrals, as well as at St Paul's Cathedral twice, we are now looking at where we might go next. Somewhere that can accommodate at least fifty singers is essential, and within "day trip" distance. That sadly rules out Westminster Abbey or St George's Chapel, Windsor, but we will report just as soon as we have our next exciting visit booked!