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This Week at St Mary’s

Reflections of a Former Treble

Tony Mitchell writes:

Every time I hear a solo treble voice, uttering the sounds and words of a well-known hymn or great liturgical anthem, it reminds me of the pleasure I had from being a chorister from a young age until my voice broke. It was therefore a joy for me when my son sang in our church choir and went on to continue singing in greater choral  pieces.

It is of no surprise to me that many, if not all, of the current choral scholars and other members of our excellent adult choir, started out in the same way. Happily boys and girls now sing together in most church and cathedral choirs. .
So it was of particular pleasure to me when the attempts we had been making for several years to start a children’s choir at St Mary’s finally came to fruition thanks to the considerable support of some of the older choir members, particularly Jon Stork, Ed Mills and Will Burn.

Finding Lucy Haigh who, happily for us, was looking for pastures new, was a real   blessing. What she has achieved since July 2022 is astonishing. This was recently remarked upon in an article in the latest edition of the Cathedral Music magazine.

With others, I am one of the children’s choir chaperones. Every Tuesday in term time I watch the boys come with considerable enthusiasm (and pent up energy) to their practice. Controlling their energy and directing their enthusiasm into their singing is something Lucy has a particular skill for. She has ways that engage the boys’ attention and in which they join in as she re-focuses them on the job in hand, learning new music and ensuring they remember that which they have learnt before. She has brought music to many children at many schools since she joined us, but the purpose for which we have a children’s choir is principally to lead us in our worship at certain services, including the Eucharist. Hopefully this will make the children want to continue as they grow older as many of our current adult choral scholars have done.

In the meantime, we can share in their pleasure as they lead us in worship, for they not only learn the tunes and how to pronounce the words – many in Latin – but they are also taught the meaning and importance of those words.

It is not only the regular congregation but also the siblings, parents, and grandparents of the members of the children’s choir who share in this journey through participating in the worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. After all isn’t this why we are all here in person – or listening in online?

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