Music for a Spring Bank Holiday
On Saturday 26th May 2018, the MHR Singers held their Spring concert in our Church, under the direction of the MHR Director of Music, Kathy Underhill. It was a popular event that attracted around 100 people despite the competition of a major football match on TV that same evening!
The first half featured the MHR Singers, occasional accompanied by organist Emma Gibbins and started with the famous Vaughan Williams piece "Let all the world in every corner sing".
There then followed an a cappella section of familiar motets including "If ye love me" by Thomas Tallis and "God so loved the world" by Stainer.
The third section featured pieces by MHR Directors of Music, Kathy Underhill, Arthur Sparke and Philip Prior before the powerful "O radiant dawn" by Sir James MacMillan and the meditative "God be in my head" by Alexander L'Estrange.
The final section featured the beautiful "Agnes dei from Messe de Clovis" by Gounod, "Hymn to the Trinity" by Tchaikovsky before the first half closed with John Rutter's triumphant Easter anthem "Christ the Lord is risen again".
The second half featured organist Emma Gibbins playing our magnificent Makin Westmorland organ.
Emma is currently the Director of Music at Newport Cathedral and is no stranger to our Parish as she has previously accompanied the MHR Singers on the Rome Tour and also performed an organ recital in our church in 2014. To mark her return, the Parish arranged for a camera to show Emma at work via a large screen placed in front of the altar steps rather forcing everyone to turn around! This (together with the cabling) was kindly provided by Dave and Iain from Support AV Ltd.
Emma played a fascinating and varied programme of lesser known organ works starting with "Nu la oss take Gud" by Egil Holland, a mainly fast flowing piece that included "cluster chords" in the latter stages. This was followed by "Merch toch hoe sterck" by Cor Kee and "Aria on a chaconne" by Joel Martinson.
Emma then played the interesting "Variations on 'Amazing Grace'" by Denis Bédard followed by "Waltz (from Dance Suite)" by the British composer Noel Rawsthorne.
To finish, Emma played the classic "Crown Imperial" by William Walton.
Unsurprisingly, Emma received a standing ovation....
Therefore Emma played an encore piece of "Serenade" by English composer Derek Bourgois.
At end of a memorable evening, Kathy thanked the various people that worked so hard to make the event a success and then presents were given to both Emma Gibbins and Kathy Underhill.
A retiring collection was taken for St Luke's Hospice. It raised a magnificent £440.
Our thanks to Fr Dan for allowing the concert to take place in The Most Holy Redeemer.