Choir visit to Southwark Cathedral
All Saints’ choir were invited by Holy Trinity, Sunningdale choirmaster Paul Jackson to join them to sing Evensong at Southwark Cathedral on October 1st. After several joint choir practices to rehearse the music, 25 of us met on the train to be at Southwark by 11am. I scared everyone initially by falling over on the way to coffee in the Cathedral refectory but survived the tumble to enjoy the coffee break before a rehearsal in the music school.
After rehearsal we had a lunch break taken either in the refectory or local hostelries. The South Bank was very busy with everyone enjoying the unseasonably high temperatures. Some ventured to the delights of Borough Market before we regrouped and robed in our cassocks to rehearse this time in the choir stalls and with the organ. Chris was our organist and Paul our conductor.
We were then shown how to process in by one of the cathedral vergers before donning our whites for Evensong at 4pm. Our introit – “View me, Lord” by Richard Lloyd – echoed round the building very effectively. The setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis was by Henry Smart. We sang a rousing Psalm 24 (Chris enjoyed pulling out the 32-foot pedal rank, more a rumble than a note) and the responses to the prayers were by Ayleward. The anthem was “Benedicite, Omnia Opera” composed by Charles Macpherson – we had struggled with parts of this in rehearsal (it’s very long) but hopefully did a good enough rendition during the service. Two Bible readings and a hymn and it was all over in 45 minutes!
After processing out we were allowed to have a photo call in front of the high altar. It was a wonderful occasion and we would like to thank Paul and Chris for making it possible.
Membership of All Saints Church Choir is open to all. There are currently eighteen members. We would be delighted to welcome new members, especially more children and gentlemen. There are no formal auditions; just come along and join in.
Choir practices are held in the church vestry on Thursdays from 7.30pm to 9pm. We also rehearse 45 minutes before each service. Our regular commitment is to sing at the 10.30am Sunday Communion service (apart from All Saints Together services on the first Sunday of the month). We prepare the hymns, a psalm and an anthem. We also sing Choral Evensongs, generally on the second Sunday of the month at 6.15pm, for which we prepare a full choral setting of the canticles. Other sung services include Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Ascension Day, Corpus Christi and Remembrance Day, plus of course the popular Christmas Carol Service and any weddings. The choir also presents a Lent Concert each year with a charitable collection.
Children can earn pocket money for each service and rehearsal on a sliding scale according to experience and attendance, paid quarterly.
The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music. The RSCM motto is “psallam spiritum et mente”, meaning “I will sing with the spirit and the understanding also”. This is very much what we aim to achieve at All Saints. Young choristers have attended many RSCM courses and worked for their RSCM bronze, silver and gold awards. Some have sung with the RSCM Southern Cathedral Singers and have been invited to cathedral courses at Canterbury, York and Salisbury.
Locally, the choir occasionally sings with All Souls South Ascot, Holy Trinity Sunningdale and St Andrew’s Priestwood. Several are also members of the Sunningdale Savoy Chorus. We have regularly joined forces with St Giles Ickenham to sing services at cathedrals (last year at Norwich and Portsmouth). We sing carols with St Giles choir under the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square each year. The last event before the summer break is usually a meal out together, followed by bowling.
Our organist and choirmaster is Chris Goodwin, MA(Cantab), ARCM, LRAM, ARCO (CHM).. If you would like to have a chat about you or your children joining the choir, you can telephone him on 01344 627697.
The Choir at Salisbury Cathedral
All Saints Junior Choir is for young people in school years 3 - 8 of all singing abilities.
It is a place for young people to learn to sing and begin to explore our rich musical traditions.
We meet in All Saints church vestry from 6.30 to 7.30pm on Thursdays during term time. The choir sings during Saints Together services (first Sunday of the month) and occasionally at weddings and other events.