A nice afternoon out

If you’re thinking about coming to Evensong tomorrow (St Mary’s Rotherhithe, SE16 4JE at 6pm on Sunday) why not stop by the Brunel Museum first? They open until 5pm, leaving just enough time for a quick half pint at The Mayflower before the service starts.

I certainly fancy a wander around the museum. I wonder if I can convince someone to carry the serpent so I’m not too knackered to play it later!


London Gallery Quire Evensong

London Gallery Quire will be singing an Evensong at St Mary’s Rotherhithe this Sunday, 8th May, at 6pm. I’m really looking forward to it!

Here’s a very rough sample of one of the pieces. This is just me singing the parts, one take each, so the tuning isn’t amazing, the timing is ragged and some of the words aren’t very clear. But it’s such a wonderful little piece I wanted people to be able to hear it!

http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F14681862 Blest who with generous pity glows by artsyhonker

EDIT: The embed thing doesn’t seem to be working but here is a link to the file at Soundcloud.

You can download a PDF of the music from the LGQ website if you want to follow along. The more observant may notice that I’ve put the whole thing down a tone and then transposed the bassline up, in order to accommodate my vocal range.

If you want to hear it done right you’ll have to come to Evensong!

FairTrade Fortnight and Metrical Psalmody in Stoke Newington

It’s FairTrade Fortnight, which means lots of tasty, guilt-free chocolate floating around, among other things. Others have laid out, far better than I can, the reasons for buying FairTrade when possible, so I won’t add much to that except to say that I don’t buy tea, coffee or chocolate at all if they aren’t FairTrade and I try to avoid non-FT sugar, cotton and bananas.

On Sunday, 13th March the London Gallery Quire will be leading music in a service at Manor Road United Reformed Church, 102 Manor Road, N16 5NU (map). The music is that which would have been sung, played, and heard in nonconformist chapels in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and it’s well worth coming along to hear. I’ll be playing the serpent and even singing a bit. There’ll be a retiring collection in aid of the FairTrade Foundation and the Quire, and the service will be followed by a tasty “Fairtrade Supper”. Visions of chocolate-dipped bananas are floating in my head, but I bet they can come up with some pretty good main courses too.
I still haven’t constructed my new, improved serpent case so I think I might be stuck with buses, trains and the like for this one, rather than the snake on a bike method of instrument transport, but I’ll see how I’m feeling on the day.


In the final year of my degree I decided I needed to do more singing, and one thing led to another…

I am delighted that we’ll be singing and playing Evensong at a church not too far from where I live! It makes carrying the serpent much easier. Playing from the gallery is a treat, too; many galleries have had so many bits of pipe organ added that we can’t get into them.


A special service of Evensong with the

London Gallery Quire

Hear the leading exponents of West Gallery music, the psalmody heard in parish churches and non-conformist chapels during the Georgian period, sung from the West Gallery of one of the finest, most unspoilt Georgian churches in England – St Mary’s Wanstead.

Sunday 6th February 2011 at 6.30pm


Overton Drive, Wanstead E11 2LW

All welcome

The Week Ahead

This week is looking pretty typical in terms of what I need to do, at least musically.
I’m teaching tonight and tomorrow night. I’ve done most of the preparation for that, but need to remember to bring music with me for my students. I’ll be leaving home at 2pm each day and spending a lot of time on public transport… I usually use this time to read. Right now the important reading is all to do with psalmody and church music. I had rather hoped to have finished my psalmody-related reading by now and be well into writing workshop outlines, but the last few weeks I’ve been flagging.
Wednesday night there will be a London Gallery Quire rehearsal. Some of the music is a bit technically challenging on the serpent so I need to take some time to look at it.
Thursday night Brigantia are rehearsing at my place, and I need to practise that music beforehand, too. I also need to spend a significant amount of time on programme notes and organisational aspects of our concert on 11th July. It would be nice to get a gallery up on the website, too, but I don’t think that’s going to be realistic this week.
Friday night I am taking the choir rehearsal at St Andrew’s, and I will need to learn the hymns well enough to accompany. I also want to find recordings of some of the pieces for a joint Evensong on 27th June at which we’ve been invited sing. We’re a small choir and don’t usually have all four parts at rehearsals, and it can be disorienting to suddenly have whole sections of tenor and alto rather than one each, and any bass part at all. Since I haven’t been taking the choir rehearsals for very long, I don’t even know what the facilities are like for listening to a CD. This could be a challenge.
I’ve been working on a piece for a competition which has a deadline of 30th June. Late last week it became clear that I’d managed to go onto the wrong track and was writing something that wouldn’t really be suitable for the terms of the competition, so I went right back to the drawing board, decided to ditch the organ for now and stick to SATB a capella… I found a new text, but alas no English translation that is in the public domain in this country, so ended up commissioning someone else to make a new one for me. I ought to try and have at least a rough draft by the end of this week.
In addition to that, there is a final recital at Trinity College of Music that I’d like to attend, I need to reschedule a dentist appointment (cancelled this morning due to transport difficulties), I have two peer support meetings and one project planning meeting, perhaps some other meetings getting in there as well and a physiotherapy appointment on Friday afternoon. Errands need to get a look-in, too.
I’ll try and report back later in the week with how I’m getting on…

Concert diary

Some more performances coming up!

Tomorrow lunchtime I’ll be singing at Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, London W1K 2PA.

Friday 8th May, 1pm
King William Singers
directed by Hilary Campbell
present a lunchtime concert of contemporary choral music.


Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium
Brown o sapientia
Whitacre Water Night
Campbell the isle is full of noises
Whitacre Lux Aurumque
Weir Vertue
Campbell the hand that made us is divine

There will be a retiring collection for the CYM Library and for the Grosvenor Chapel Foundation.


On Sunday morning the London Gallery Quire will be singing Mattins at St Mary the Virgin Church in East Barnet. The service begins bright and early at 10am. I will be playing the serpent. I’m quite enjoying playing the serpent.

I haven’t thought further ahead than that just now. I think there are Wind Orchestra things coming up at some point.