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Listen Again!

Here is the entire Covenant Concert!!! Thank you WDAV

http://www.classicalpublicradio.org/specials/christ-church-cathedral-choir

[audio:201103_wdav_chchchoir.mp3]

This includes an excellent interview with Stephen Darlington and with a chorister Nicholas Savage

Here is a link to WDAV’s page for us that has a wide range of material.

The “Inside Track” Covenant

(Photo Credits – Wiley Stewart for WDAV)

“Having already run through a number of the pieces yesterday, today gave us the opportunity to fine-tune a few things. The afternoon rehearsal went well and we all felt good going into the evening concert at the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

The sell-out crowd definitely gave everyone a lift and we got underway with Taverner’s Christe Jesu. This was followed by Salvator mundi by Tallis and then Gibbons’ wonderful eight-part anthem, O clap your hands together. Michael Heighway then played some Buxtehude before we sang Jehova quam multi sunt hostes. This gave an opportunity for Tim and Tom to sing some solos before the choir was joined by St Peter’s choir for the two Handel pieces in the programme: Lord I trust thee and Zadok the Priest.

(Wiley Stewart for WDAV)

It was great to see the audience’s growing anticipation during the long organ introduction and then the release of the majestic opening to Zadok. After the interval we picked up where we left off, singing the rousing Te lucis ante terminum by Balfour Gardiner before contrasting that with the simple but beautiful Ave verum by Elgar (which he wrote for a little choir at St George’s Roman Catholic Church in Worcester after he took over the post of organist in 1885). Howells’ fine setting of the Te Deum was enjoyed by all who sung it, especially Tom.

Our final bracket of Justorum animae by Stanford, Set me as a seal by Walton and I was glad by Parry, went down extremely well, so much so that we were given a standing ovation by the 700 people who had come along to hear some English Choral music. It was a wonderful feeling being received so positively and the encore of Robert Parson’s Ave Maria was a fitting way to end our first concert on the tour.

It was nice to have a cold drink afterwards and chat to audience members. It also gave us the chance to thank our extraordinarily generous hosts for having us and making us feel so welcome. Thanks Charlotte!”

Chris Bruerton

Post Covenant Feelings

HT Chris Bruerton

Pictures of Performance At Covenant

The over view

Joint Choirs

SD full on

Thanks to Lisa Gray at WDAV

Behind the scenes at Covenant

Last night’s performance was a triumph. I am told 700 people were there and I heard the last half on my iPhone. At the end the audience lept to its feet and whistled, cheered and stamped their feet.

The podcast will be available soon – so you too will be able to hear them. But what was it like getting ready? Let’s see the feet of the swan paddling away.

It was a lovely day as you can see.

The boys had an outing before they got down to work. (Sophie Biddell)

On parade!

It all looks so easy on the night but of course it is not…..

This kind of work brings you together

Like this

But it is also just hard!

Schedule leading up to the performance at Covenant Presbyterian

The Choir arrive in Charlotte on Sunday March 27 after a day of travelling from Oxford to New York – to Charlotte.

On Monday March 28th it will be a warm up and adjust day with an Open Rehearsal at Covenant at 2pm.

On Tuesday March 29th there is another Open Rehearsal 1t 2pm and the performance – which will be recorded by WDAV will be at 7pm

Ticketing information is here

Venues – Covenant Presbyterian NC

Covenant Presbyterian Church – 1,000 East Morehead Street, Charlotte NC 28204

Tel: 704 333 9071

Email: libby.bierbaum@covenantpresby.org

Performance – Tuesday 29th March at 7pm

For Tickets: – email director Stephen.Talley (STEPHEN.TALLEY@COVENANTPRESBY.ORG or 704.804.7581) for information on music at Covenant.

Tonight’s programme consists of some of the gems from the vast repertoire of English sacred music. In the first half, the choir performs music from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, starting with a motet by the first director of music at Christ Church, John Taverner and ending with one of Handel’s famous coronation anthems. The second half explores some of the most glorious cathedral music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, opening with Balfour Gardiner’s sumptuous Evening Hymn and finishing with Parry’s iconic coronation anthem, I was glad. It also seems fitting to include music by one of the college’s most famous alumni, William Walton.We hope you enjoy this lightning survey of the best of the English choral tradition.

Christe Jesu – John Taverner (1490 – 1545)

Salvator Mundi – Thomas Tallis (1505 – 1585)

O Clap your Hands Together – Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625)

Organ Solo

Jehova quam multi sunt hostes – Henry Purcell

Lord I trust thee – George Frederick Handel (1685 -1759)

Zadok the Priest – George Frederick Handel

Interval

Te lucis ante terminum – Balfour Gardiner (1877 – 1950)

Ave Verum – Elgar (1857 – 1934)

Te Deum (Collegium Regale) – Herbert Howells (1892 – 1983)

Organ Solo

Justorum animae – C V Stanford

Set me as a seal – William Walton (1902 – 1983)

I was glad – C H Parry (1848 – 1918)

This video has a moment from Set Me as a Seal by Walton in it – what a joy this will be!

Bringing Christ Church – Oxford and Musical Magic to You!

If you live in America or Canada, and you are like me an Alumnus of Christ Church or of any college at Oxford, you can’t easily take a day trip down to Oxford to see the place or spend and evening with old friends. You can’t take your spouse or children there easily either. Oxford fades away. As I get older, I feel more cut off from this special time in my life. I feel sad that I have not been able to share this place and experience with those closest to me. As I get older I want to get that feeling again and I want to share it with people that are important to me.

If you are one of the 65 million people in America that either sing in a choir today, or have sung in a choir, you can’t easily get personal exposure to one of the great English Male Choirs. Yes of course you can hear their music or see them on video but how often can you hear them in person? Or even better, how often can you go behind the scenes and be with them as they practice? Or even better how often can you meet them and talk with them about what it is like to be a professional musician aged 9? What would it be like for you to be part of such a musical experience not only to be present for a performance but to get involved directly?

This then is the context for our tour.

We will do our best to bring your experience of Christ Church, or Oxford itself, to you so that you can  have a moment when you are taken back there. When you might be able to offer a glimpse to those you love and care for of the essence of the spirit of that place.

We will do our best to bring a full choral and musical experience to those of you that love choral music. In each place we perform, we will have an open rehearsal designed to enable you to have the maximum exposure and contact behind the scenes. And of course we bring one of the world’s great choirs who will be singing some of the finest choral music ever written. Here are a few of our programs – Here HereHere

If you live in North Carolina, Washington DC, New York, Boston or Toronto – we are going to bring all of this to you in late March and early April.

Before we arrive Tom King, our brilliant web master, videographer and I will do our best to introduce the choir to you. We will post videos of all the participants – the boys, the men singers, organists, the place, the music, the history – we plan to bring as much of the humanity of this great body to you. As I write these words the irony of what I say leaps out. For here is a choir that is 500 years old, formed at the time of Henry VIII, using Social Media to help you find out more about us.

I have myself many stories about my own love of this kind of music. I too was a Boy Chorister – not at Christ Church I regret. But Tom was a chorister. There is something about singing in a choir that is life enhancing. So that we can tell these stories to each other and learn more about how to attend and how to help persuade your friends to join you – Tom and I have set up a FaceBook Group here as well.

Welcome to this special world that is the Christ Church Choir. Tom and I look forward to getting to know you.