DIRECTOR OF MUSIC'S REPORT TO APCM
The choir continues to lead worship to the very best of its abilities, and strives to achieve a good standard throughout the year. The choral repertoire comprises communion motets and anthems sung in the Lady Chapel, as well as hymns and responsorial psalms.
Although it is pleasing to report that we have gained three new members, a number of members find it difficult to attend practices and services regularly due to work, family and other commitments, so that actual numbers at services can be low. So we urgently need more adult and junior choir members, both men and women, to join our enthusiastic and welcoming band of singers. I would ask every church member to help in this quest for new choir members, without which the repertoire will continue to shrink and musical standards decline.
Monthly Choral Evensong is sung by the Abbey Consort, a group of experienced singers of which the Abbey choir forms the nucleus. This has enabled us to maintain the skills of Anglican chanting of the psalms, lost in so many churches, and extend the range of our musical offering. It continues to be very disappointing such a splendid service is generally attended by only a tiny congregation.
Many congratulations to Stanley Godfrey, our Assistant Organist who has been offered an organ scholarship at St. Peter’s College Oxford for next September. Stanley has been a great asset to music at the Abbey since he joined the choir at the age of 8, and he will be greatly missed.
We are still trying to appoint an Organ Scholar, without success so far.
Thanks are also due to Peter Page, our Deputy Organist, who skills, valuable experience and advice have been very much appreciated.
The current organ tuner, appointed last year has proved a disappointment, and the search is on for a replacement. This is not easy as good tuners are in very short supply.
The lack of progress on the new choir vestry is very frustrating, and it is to be hoped that this will be shortly resolved.
My grateful thanks are due to Choir Administrator Jonathan Smith,
whose tireless work behind the scenes is invaluable, and of course
the members of the choir, both junior and senior, who have always
given of their best, and whose loyalty and hard work is much
JOHN SAUNDERS Director of Music