Churches to bless ChoralEvensong.org
17 November 2015
will be blessed by the Churches of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on 22 November.
The blessing will involve the Deans of Westminster Abbey (England), Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Ireland), St. David’s Cathedral (Wales), St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh (Scotland), and the Canon of Westminster Cathedral (since the website also includes Roman Catholic Vespers services).
Many other churches and cathedrals will also be taking part; some will light a candle in front of a laptop with the new website running, while others will say a specially written prayer.
Created by Dr Guy Hayward (a former choral scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge), the website will offer a location search to Choral Evensong services across Britain and Ireland.
Choral Evensong takes place in more than 350 churches and cathedrals across Britain each Sunday, but the numbers attending these services have been in decline over the past 50 years.
The blessing is intended to show that anybody is welcome to the services.
Hayward hopes that the website will encourage more people to attend services. 'Choral Evensong offers everyone a free moment of inspiration, a chance to reflect on beauty in the gap between a day’s work and dinner. It is the most accessible service, because the music is so uplifting and there is little liturgy. In London alone, every day of the week at 5pm, one can enter Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral free of charge and listen to world-class music for 45 minutes.
'We really hope this website will make Choral Evensong accessible for more people.'
The Very Rev Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln Cathedral, said: 'I am delighted that the "gift" of Choral Evensong is now to be made more widely known. For it is also a gift freely offered to all who care to join in that worship and find inspiration in the great tradition of English Church Music which continues to flourish from generation to generation.'
ChoralEvensong.org is supported by Hampstead Church Music Trust and endorsed by the Royal School of Church Music.
Sansara give the premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hoad's Christmas carol
16 November 2015
Vocal ensemble Sansara has given the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hoad's 'Good Day, Sir Christemas!', a Christmas carol commissioned by BBC Music Magazine.
The magazine is inviting choirs to share their own performances
of the carol. The sheet music is included in the Christmas issue (out 18 November).
Cheryl Frances-Hoad is a former Choir & Organ New Music composer, while Sansara will appear in the Mar/Apr 2016 issue of the magazine.
'Good Day, Sir Christemas!' by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, performed by Sansara
RCM to digitise UK’s music instrument collections
12 November 2015, Coriander Stuttard
When the doors to the Royal College of Music’s Museum temporarily close to the public for the building developments announced earlier this year, its curators will begin a project to digitise the entire musical instrument collection held in the UK, bringing the accessibility of the collections up to date with a more technology-focused audience.
Thanks to a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council’s Catalyst Fund, the Royal College of Music in partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, the Horniman Museum and University of Edinburgh will deliver a cutting edge, multi media platform to explore the 40,000 fine and rare instruments housed in over 100 collections in the UK which otherwise stay tucked away, many out of public sight.
An important collaboration with Google Cultural Institute
will ensure the virtual collection is set to reach the widest public audience. Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, curator of the RCM’s Museum of Music explains, ‘it is tremendously exciting to work with Google to enable so many people to connect with these beautiful and fascinating objects in a myriad of new ways.’ He elaborates, ‘to give an example – you could be walking in Hyde Park and through your phone you could discover that you can see the earliest surviving string keyboard instrument nearby. You could listen to it, read about it – and then go and see it!’
(Musical Instrument Interface for Museums and collections) is the first complete UK digitised database and Rossi Rognoni explains that it is an important way of preserving the wonderful treasures which are ‘part of our national heritage.’ The collections across the UK span every type of instrument – from the ‘Viotti ex-Bruce’ violin, made by Stradivarius in 1709, to a pair of bone clappers in the form of human hands made in Egypt around 3,500 years ago or the world’s only octave contrabass serpent – and users will be able to listen to samples of many as well as seeing a visual image with information to read.
MINIM-UK will share data with a European commission funded project MIMO and with Europeana, joining the UK’s collection to the wealth of cultural exhibits across Europe and providing a strong multi-media platform to engage, educate these special collections. It is expected to be completed in Autumn 2017.
In early December, the Royal College of Music Museum, in partnership with Google Cultural Institute, launches a virtual exhibition of some of the non-instrument aspects of its collection such as its sculptures, photos, prints and paintings, including a famous portrait of Joseph Haydn painted by Thomas Hardy
in London in 1791.
Putting these exhibits in the public eye while the museum is closed for development, curator Rossi Rognoni explains: ‘thanks to the wonders of modern technology we have so many ways to allow people to explore all of our treasures before we re-open at the heart of a transformed Royal College of Music in 2018.’
Royal College of Music Museum
Hereford Cathedral Choir to receive £40k grant
11 November 2015
Hereford Cathedral ChoirDominic Harbour
Hereford Cathedral Choir is to receive a grant of £40,000 from the Friends of Cathedral Music. The money will used to build funds, enabling the choir to secure its future and maintain its musical heritage.
Roger Bishton, the FCM's national secretary, will present the cheque after the choir's advent carol service on 29 November.
Canon Andrew Piper, precentor at Hereford Cathedral, said: ‘The Chapter is very grateful for the financial support, the goodwill, and the keen interest shown in the work of the music department by the Friends of Cathedral Music. The cheque presentation on Advent Sunday afternoon will be a wonderful postscript to what is always a moving and beautiful service’.
The organisation has awarded almost £3 million since its foundation in 1956; this year it has donated almost £300,000.
Friends of Cathedral Music
RSCM appoints Adrian Lucas as head of choral studies
10 November 2015
The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) has appointed Adrian Lucas as its head of choral studies.
His responsibilities will include training choir leaders at parish level, overseeing RSCM choral courses and events, and directing the Millennium Youth Choir.
Lucas was master of choristers at Worcester Cathedral for 15 years, during which time he directed the five editions of the Three Choirs' Festivals which took place in Worcester. Four years ago he left the position pursue freelance work as a conductor, organist and examiner, and also set up his own record company, Acclaim Productions.
He said of the appointment: 'Having grown up as a parish church chorister, I have a background with the RSCM going back many years. It is a great pleasure to be stepping into this role and I hope to bring in some of the skills and expertise I have gained in choral work over the last 30 years to the job.'
RSCM deputy director Rosemary Field said: 'I am excited to have a musician of Adrian’s calibre join the RSCM’s education department; his vision and energy are exactly what we need to support choral singing in our modern church.'
The head of choral studies post is the latest in a number of appointments made by the RSCM to develop its training programmes for choirs, congregations, instrumentalists and worship leaders.
Royal School of Church Music
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