Choir member Paul Skelton writes
On August 3rd a group of Bingham members had the privilege of singing evensong in Southwell Minster.
A small group of 25 of us appropriately attired and led by Guy began in the crossing with an unaccompanied rendering of Tallis’s beautiful motet – ‘If ye love me keep my commandments’ – before processing to the choir stalls for the regular service.
Many are well acquainted with singing response and psalms but for others it was a challenging yet worthwhile experience. Our organist [former Southwell organ scholar Ben Mills] and Guy himself guided us expertly through these.
These were followed by settings in C by Stanford of the canticles – Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis whose ‘Glorias’ gave us a real chance to shine. The anthem ‘O Thou the Central Orb’ by Charles Wood offered another opportunity for us to sing out in the wonderful acoustic the Minster possesses and we made full use of it.
Our Chairman Richard Joyner summed up how we all felt:-
‘On behalf of everyone who took part, I would like to say a huge thank you to all involved in bringing about yesterday‘s successful Choral Evensong. It was an inspiring and inspirational event, one which I very much hope we will be able to repeat,
Special thanks go to to Bradley Poulson, Beryl Cottrill and our indefatigable MD, Guy Turner. Brad and Guy spotted the opportunity, and Brad and Beryl undertook the not inconsiderable organisational task of making it all happen. Guy chose music which was a joy to sing, but which it was possible to learn in a relatively short time. With typical commitment, he fitted it all around his short summer holiday.
We are also very grateful to Saint Peter’s Church, East Bridgford, for the loan of cassocks and surplices. (with the kind permission of Robert Taylor (Director of Music) and the churchwardens)’
Quite a number of us then finished off the day with a splendid Italian meal at the Piano restaurant.
A rewarding occasion enjoyed alike by all whether they sing regularly in church choir robes or not. It was good to experience and feel part of Cathedral worship.
Thanks again to Guy, Brad, Beryl and Ben.
Our summer concert marked the final appearance of Ed Turner as BDCS’ accompanist and associate conductor after a wonderful four years Richard Joyner, Chair of BDCS, made a presentation to Ed on behalf of the choir after the concert and his remarks drew attention to Ed’s huge musical talent, his modest and unassuming demeanour and his wicked sense of humour. Everyone in BDCS wishes Ed the very best and we look forward to seeing his career develop over the coming years.
Our lunch-time summer concert in Newark has become a delightful tradition for the choir over the past few years. St Mary’s Church has enabled us to become part of their concert programme, designed to have a broad appeal to local audiences, including visitors and shoppers. The beautiful weather we had enjoyed in previous years deserted us this time but there was plenty of sunshine in our programme, with the infectious African melodies and rhythms of Alexander L’Estrange’s Zimbe, traditional English folk songs arranged by John Rutter and perennial favourites like Danny Boy and Waly Waly.
Following auditions held during a choir rehearsal last night (3rd July, 2019), BDCS is delighted that Michael Overbury has agreed to accept the position of accompanist to the choir, starting in September 2019. Michael played continuo in our performance of Haydn’s Creation with Mansfield Choral Society in November 2017. A brief biography, published elsewhere on this website, gives some details of his impressive career.
Organist and harpsichordist Michael Overbury’s early musical influences centred on Farnham and London, where he was introduced to the glories of the English liturgical tradition, and it was here also that his organ teacher Stephen Thomson inspired in him a love of the harpsichord.
Horizons broadened with an Organ Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. After graduating he held a number of posts including deputy organist and choir master at the Cathedral and Abbey Church at St Alban’s. After winning First Prize in the 1982 Manchester International Organ Competition, he appeared twice as soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and has continued to play with many choirs and orchestras.
At the choir’s concert on May 11th at St Mary Radcliffe, we gave the world premiere of a recently discovered piece by Eric Thiman (1900 – 1975), a setting of Psalm 23. The concert was attended by Frances Thiman, niece of the composer, who has been instrumental in building up the collection of over 1300 of Thiman’s work, which is held at Southwell Minster. This archive is managed by our conductor, Guy Turner. https://thimancollection.org/
Frances wrote to Guy:
‘Thank you for a marvellous and very unusual and quite outstanding concert last night. There was real depth and interest in the whole programme and the ideas running throughout, and the performances were brilliant. I very much enjoyed your work, Guy, and I know the whole audience did, and I also appreciated having all the Stevenson poems in the programme – which incidentally I thought was beautifully produced, with a lovely cover. It was very exciting to see Eric’s name on the notice outside the church. On hearing his piece….. it seemed to me that the piece was quite different to his other works – more serious perhaps, dramatic and challenging, even in a more modern idiom. Maybe he felt it was not typical of his other work, even experimental?
- Anyway – thank you both so much for a very fine and moving experience.’
Choir members and friends, did you know that you can help the choir at no cost to yourselves by registering free of charge with Easyfundraising? Thousand of online retailers are signed up to the scheme, including very well-known names like John Lewis, M&S, Argos and Boden. Once you have registered on the website (www.easyfundraising.org.uk), you can trigger a small donation to the choir from a retailer every time you shop. It’s a painless and effective way to add to choir funds.
Sylvia and Robin Aldworth have played an enormous part in the life of BDCS over the past twenty years. Choir members took the opportunity at our last rehearsal to acknowledge Robin’s particular contribution as graphic artist, photographer and producer of our concert programmes and publicity. His valuable skills have enabled us to promote the choir and record important moments. He has always approached the assignments with energy, patience and humour, however unreasonable the deadline! We will miss both Sylvia and Robin when they move to Cheshire. We hope they will miss us too and that the case of carefully chosen wine will help them settle into their new life.
Afterwards, Sylvia and Robin wrote:
Please pass on our thanks to the Committee and the BDCS members for their generous gift of wine presented at last Wednesday’s rehearsal. It will play a major part in our house-warming ceremonies at Holmes Chapel! It is also important to include Dave (Morgan) in our appreciation as we gather he was responsible to coming up with a very interesting selection! With all best wishes for the continuing future success of the Society.
Choir members tuning into Anne-Marie Minhall’s afternoon programme on Classic FM last Friday (18th January, 2019) were delighted to hear a request from Brad Poulson being aired on behalf of BDCS. Here is the clip for those who missed it. The Rutter piece chosen for Brad and the choir was the Requiem Aeternam. Well done Brad for putting the choir out there!
Once again this year, members of the choir and the audience at our Christmas Concert were invited to donate to Framework, the charity that tackles homelessness across Nottinghamshire. The appeal raised the splendid sum of £488.45. Here are Guy Turner (l) and Douglas Travers with some of the Framework collecting buckets on the night.