Congratulations to all the students, staff and alumni who were a part of the University Cecilian Choir‘s service of Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral yesterday.
It was the first time the Cecilian Choir has sung at Canterbury Cathedral, and as seasoned choral evensong singers will know, it’s quite a discpline to learn; the pointing and flexibility of psalm-singing, the need for security in delivering the unaccompanied Responses, and the constant having-to-be-on-your-toes throughout the service so you are ready for what comes next, with the right music in the right order, able to pluck the note of your chord from the intoned sentence from the Precentor. Not withstanding the additional challenge of singing in split formation across an extremely wide aisle in the Cathedral Quire, in mixed-voice arrangement without the security of singing amongst others of your voice-part. And all in front of an expectant congregation, fitting your contribution flawlessly into the well-oiled machinery of the Liturgy…
The Choir rose the occasion marvellously, particularly in Stanford’s Canticles in C and Elgar’s Ave Verum Corpus, a heady blend of lyricism and stirring ensemble singing.
It was lovely to welcome back some former members of the Choir and University alumni to take part; thanks too to organist Charles Francis, Organ Scholar and sixth-form pupil at St Edmund’s School, for playing for the service.
We are back at the Cathedral this Friday night, as the University Chamber Choir performs in the sonorous acoustics of the Cathedral Crypt to launch this year’s Summer Music Week...find out all that’s coming up 31 May – 8 June here.