What a place!
We are here.
One of those moments
Warming up – see video
St Barts 325 Park Ave (at 51st Street) New York New York 10022
Tel 212 378 0222 – Email email@example.com
Performance: Monday 4th April at 7.30pm
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 opens with an anthem by the present Master of the Queen’s Music, Peter Maxwell-Davies, and after two works from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, the final group includes Britten’s masterly setting of the Te Deum, a contemporary piece by Howard Goodall, and finally, a rousing setting of the Jubilate by William Walton, another famous Christ Church alumnus. We hope you enjoy this lightning survey of the best of the English choral tradition.
Christe Jesu – John Taverner (1490 – 1545)[audio:Christe Jesu – Excerpt.mp3]
Salvator Mundi – Thomas Tallis (1505 – 1585)
O clap your hands together – Orlando Gibbons (1583 – 1625)
Jehova quam multi sunt hostes – Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)
Lord I trust Thee – George Frederick Handel (1685 – 1759)
Zadok the Priest Handel
Jesus autem hodie – Peter Maxwell Davies (b 1934)
Justorum animae – C V Stanford (1852 – 1924)
Te lucis ante yerminum – Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877 – 195o)
Te deum in C – Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976)
Jubilate – William Walton (1902 – 1983)
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 – Here – Here
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.