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 2018 the combined choristers and Lay Clerks of the Cathedral Choir performed all six of Hubert Parry's Songs of Farewell alongside the Fauré Requiem in an arrangement for small ensemble by David Hill. This year's concert is on Friday 11 October, and the programme will be announced nearer the time.
To celebrate thirty years of the Choir Association, we invite you to attend a special concert and refreshments in the Minster, featuring all the choirs and organists of Southwell Minster, alongside musicians from the Minster School. The programme will include large-scale works by Parry, Finzi and Britten, a variety of Southwell commissions, some solo items from the school musicians, and an opportunity for all to join in singing 'O praise ye the Lord!'.
Tickets are available from the Cathedral Shop, priced at £8 (free for under-18s). The concert, on Friday 19th July, starts at 7:30pm and will last around 70 minutes, and will be followed by refreshments for all.
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? Although a subscription costs more than in 1989, it is now even more valuable in helping to maintain a living tradition, described by George Herbert as his "heaven on earth".
Details from: Michael Davidson (Secretary, SMCA) email@example.com or phone 01636 813840