ALL HALLOWS CHOIR
The choir meets to practise every Thursday evening in the church at 7:30pm. We lead the congregation in the hymns and sung elements of each Sunday morning worship, and sing an anthem every week. Our repertoire includes the widest range of choral music, from Byrd and Tallis up to Iona pieces and Margaret Rizza.
Four times a year we sing at a choral evensong, which gives us a chance for some psalm singing. Finally, we sing at certain Festival days throughout the year, notably Carols by Candlelight at Christmas, and special services to mark Ascension Day and All Saints Day - the patronal festival of the church. The choir is always keen to welcome new singers.
If you are interested then please contact Stephen Preece by phone in the evenings or weekends on 01256 893320.
Reflections on the year
We were able to come together and sing for the first time in 2021 on Easter Sunday, which fell on the 4th April last year.
With the slightly later Easter this year, we have completed almost exactly the full church year, and have been able to meet
up and sing together in choir practice and worship, though many of the regular singers have not felt able to do so at all times.
With usually smaller numbers we have kept things simpler for the most part for the last 12 months, with only a few new pieces
introduced and drawing from the library and repertoire of music that will work with limited numbers.
The congregation were allowed to sing on the 25th July for the first time, and this was marked by “Let the people sing!” Sunday
including 6 of the greatest and most well known hymns in a single service. We also finally returned to the Joanna Forbe's Le-
Strange setting for the communion after nearly two years on simpler arrangements, bringing it back with the Gloria at the end of August for a joint Benefice service.
By Advent, things were starting to feel more normal and we marked Christ the King Sunday with the’ Crown of Roses’ by
Tchaikovsky, followed on the first Sunday of advent by ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ (Mozart) – two pieces that I have included in the
repertoire almost every year that I can.
Christmas and especially the Carol Service on the 19th December were magnificent. We did not quite have the record numbers
of singers from three years ago, but the choir stalls were filled and the choir had learned a new Christmas Gloria which we were
then able to use through until Candlemas. We also sang Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock and David Willcocks' wonderful
arrangement of ‘Of the Father's Heart Begotten’.
In 2022, our numbers are slowly returning to where they were, despite some continued absences in the last few weeks. We are
planning a concert for the summer which will be a celebration of sacred choral music through the last 500 years and I am so
excited to have started learning new pieces with the choir every week, including some that I have never had the opportunity to
teach this group.
I close with my continued thanks for the faithful support of Andrew Smith, my most patient and tolerant accompanist, who
routinely has to sight-read music for us every week and does so with great skill and good cheer. And also to all the singers for
their time, commitment and friendship, and finally to those of the congregation who frequently take a moment to seek me out
and thank me for the music when it touched them and helped in some way to make the connection or enhance their worship. It
is always much appreciated and we are delighted to serve.