DIRECTOR OF MUSIC'S REPORT TO APCM
The choir continues to lead the worship to the very best of its abilities, and has achieved a good standard much of the time. 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 choir numbers have remained steady this year, a number 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 achieved a Distinction at grade 8 on the organ and continues to be a great asset to music at the Abbey.
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 this 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.
In particular 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 appreciated.
JOHN SAUNDERS Director of Music