You may have noticed that we were a bit light on tenors at last night’s rehearsal. Derek, Gina, Diana and Wendy coped admirably, but I am sure they would admit that they would have preferred to have had a few more of their colleagues with them.
One of the reasons is that a number of MWC members also belong to the Mater Chorale, which for the last two weeks has been standing in for two Cathedral Choirs in the UK, The Cathedral Choir Schools, which provide the choir throughout term times, are on summer holidays. To maintain the tradition of choral services in the cathedral every day, other choirs are invited to take their place. the Mater Chorale were in Lichfield (see left) last week and in Winchester (see below) this week.
The trip may sound like an excuse for sight-seeing with a bit of music thrown in. But the reality is quiote different.
Each service includes two to four congregational hymns, sung to organ accompaniment. Then most services will need from the Choir an Introit, an Anthem, a Psalm (sung in traditional “pointed” style) and various chants such a the Gloria, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. And you cannot sing the same one at Evensong every day, nor in the three services which take place on Sunday. So there is a large repertoire to learn and i guess there will be extensive rehearsals every day prior to the services.
John Kibby and Paul Christmas from our tenor section, along with Judy Williams, are with the Mater Chorale. It must be wonderful to be immersed in the English choral tradition for a couple of weeks, but I reckon it will have proved hard work as well.