Southwell Minster Choir Association
2019 marks thirty years of this active and important association. At 11.00am on Saturday 24 June 1989 a meeting was held in the Great Hall "to establish a Southwell Minster Choir Association" which would "act as a support group to the Choir". Mr Andrew Johnston, Lawyer, agreed to draft a constitution, and "a practicable income would be an annual subscription, initially, of £8 for individual membership, or alternatively, of £12 for family membership".
Over thirty years the association has grown and has indeed supported the Cathedral Choir in many and varied ways: annual social and leisure visits for the choristers; singing lessons; tours abroad; presented the annual showcase for the choir, the St Cecilia Concert; the annual concert series of ‘Music in the Great Hall’; the annual Christmas card; and the ‘Messe Solennelle’ CD project at Sées Cathedral. For the girl choristers, the SMCA has supported their first CD release ‘Christus Rex; their latest CD 'Sing we of that Mother Blest' released in 2016; and tours to Italy and France. It often funds the commissioning of new music for the Minster's choirs, including the St Mark Passion by Guy Turner, and an Easter anthem by Robert Busiakiewicz.
The SMCA regularly hosts 'Come and Sing' events, the most recent involving sessions on Haydn's Creation with guest conductor Neil Page.
St Cecilia Concert
Each year the SMCA hosts a concert to showcase the Cathedral Choir. These vary in nature, from full orchestral concerts with the City of London Sinfonia through to smaller-scale repertoire for unaccompanied choir. In 2019, the Cathedral Choir performed music by Byrd and Tallis and in the second half sang arrangements of spirituals by Michael Tippett and Moses Hogan.
To celebrate SMCA's 30th anniversary in July 2019, this special concert featured the Cathedral Choir, the Minster Chorale and musicians from the Minster School, and linked with the relaunch of the Old Choristers Association. The programme included large-scale works by Parry, Finzi and Britten, as well as some Southwell commissions, and was a great success.
SMCA presents Handel's Messiah
On Thursday 12th December at 7.30pm, the Minster Chorale - in its 25th anniversary year - is joined by Lincoln Cathedral Consort for its annual performance of Handel's much-loved Messiah, with professional soloists and the Minster Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Jonathan Allsopp.
Tickets available from the Cathedral Shop (01636 812933).
Carols in the Great Hall
On Sunday 15th December at 7.30pm, join the Girl Choristers, directed by Paul Provost, with Thea Butterworth (harp) and Jonathan Allsopp (piano), for an evening of carols in the atmospheric setting of the State Chamber. Music will be accompanied by drinks and nibbles for the festive season, and everyone will have the chance to sing some Christmas favourites!
Reserve tickets (£12, U18s free) by contacting Erik Sharman (email@example.com; 01636 817280).
Join the SMCA
Why not become a member of SMCA and give further support to this unique Choral Foundation which is at the heart of the Minster’s worship? Subscription is just £15 a year, and your contribution will significantly help towards helping to maintain a living tradition, described by George Herbert as his 'heaven on earth'.
Details from: Michael Davidson (Secretary, SMCA)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01636 813840.