Music Matters

It’s been a busy term so far for music in the parish. Choir rehearsals recommenced on Wednesday 15 January after a well-deserved post-Christmas break, and we were straight into rehearsals for our Candlemas service on Sunday 29 January. 

Lenten Concerts

We have organised a series of Lenten Concerts to be held on Saturdays 25 February, 4 and 11 March at 12.30pm in Sandford Church.  Admission is free, and donations are welcome on the day in aid of the Church Organ Fund

The dates and performances are as follows:

25 February:  Peregryne Vocal Ensemble (Stuart Kinsella, Director).  Music by Josquin and Isaac, and works from the Eton Choir Book

4 March:  Theresa Burton (Recorder), David O’Shea (Organ).   Chamber music from 16th- and 17th-century Italy

11 March:  David O’Shea (Organ).  ‘Wir glauben all an einen Gott’: Musical reflections on the Trinity

‘Seven Last Words’

The Choral Union (the combined choirs) is currently preparing for a performance of The Seven Last Words of Christ by French Romantic composer Theodore Dubois (1837–1924), which will take place on Wednesday 5 April in Sandford Church at 7.30pm. This dramatic work is a meditation on the Passion, with each movement reflecting on one of the sayings uttered by Jesus on the Cross as recounted in the gospels. David Leigh of St Patrick’s Cathedral will once again preside at the organ for this Holy Week performance.

New departures: Junior Choir

In an exciting new development, we have a new Junior Choir in the grouped parishes, which began rehearsing on Wednesday 1 February (an auspicious date for new beginnings). The Junior Choir so far has ten members, both boys and girls aged from seven up to twelve. The choir was formed after a ‘Come and Sing’ afternoon on Saturday 28 January, attended by twenty local children, ten of whom have so far made the commitment to attend rehearsals and services. The choir, which is directed jointly by Judith Lyons and myself, will sing alternately in Sandford and St Philip’s. I am very grateful to the Select Vestries of both parishes for their enthusiastic support of this new venture, and I look forward very much to an exciting future for this new group. If you know of any children who might enjoy being part of the Junior Choir (which is an ideal complement to instrumental lessons), please contact me at

We also have a new group (drawn from members of the Choral Scholars and Choral Union) to lead the singing in St Philip’s on Sunday mornings, who sang there for the first time on Sunday 5 February. I am looking forward to the contribution this group will make to the liturgy in St Philip’s.

Choral Scholars

I am always interested in hearing from potential new Choral Scholars, who are entitled to receive regular lessons with our excellent vocal tutor Judith Lyons while singing with the Choral Union and parish choirs. At the moment there are lots of vacancies for Junior Choral Scholars (secondary-school age), arising from the fact that almost all of the members have grown up and thus graduated to being Senior Choral Scholars! Opportunities for Senior Choral Scholars (who are in third-level education) are also available. If you might be interested in these opportunities, please get in touch with me:

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