Rochester News - RSCM Rochester

Rochester News
Registered Charity No. 312828
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October 2014
Promoting excellence in church music in the Rochester & West Kent Area
This is the email newsletter from RSCM Rochester. The RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) works
internationally but much of the important work of training and encouraging takes place regionally,
organised by teams of local volunteers.
Congratulations to the following choristers who have passed their
RSCM Bronze Awards at the October exams session:
Rachael Hynard: St James the Great, East Malling (Commended)
David Smith: St John the Baptist, Erith
Helen Smith: St John the Baptist, Erith (Highly Commended)
Our RSCM Regional Music Adviser is
Frances Novillo.
Megan Biggerstaff: St Paul, Rusthall (Highly Commended)
Don’t forget that Frances offers
individual visits to affiliated churches
and schools to suit your particular
needs, address any issues and affirm
what’s going well.
Cecily Graham: St Paul, Rusthall (Highly Commended)
If you would like to book Frances for
a church visit, to lead a workshop, or
simply to meet for a chat, please
contact her direct:
[email protected]
07714 204201
Miranda Buser: St Paul, Rusthall (Highly Commended)
We also warmly congratulate our only Silver Award entrant this year:
Lizzie Cook: St Peter & St Paul, Aylesford (Highly Commended)
Rachael and Lizzie were presented with their certificates and medals
by the Chairman of our Area Committee, Alan Mitchell, at the Choirs’
Festival on 11th October.
For those considering entry for Bronze and Silver Awards in 2015,
please note that there have been some further small changes to the
syllabus. Please contact our Awards Administrator, Tina Bastow, on
01622 843725 / email [email protected] for the most
up-to-date information. Closing date for applications is 31st January for
the exams to be held on Saturday 14th March 2015.
The Revd Lindsay Llewellyn-MacDuff has just arrived in our Area as Chaplain to the Bishop of
Rochester. She comes to us from prison ministry in the Ely Diocese, but before that she’s had a
wide variety of parish experience. Lindsay will spend a lot of her time accompanying Bishop
James around the diocese and is looking forward to meeting lots of musicians on her travels. In
particular she will take responsibility for planning confirmation and licensing services and liaising
with the liturgical and spirituality networks in the diocese. She is also taking on the role of
Worship Development Adviser for the diocese within the ministry and formation team. Part of
this role is to foster good practice and creativity in worship of all kinds, and we are thrilled that
she has already agreed to join us on the Area Committee where no doubt she will bring great
wisdom and fresh ideas.
Lindsay is married with two children. She says that she has a little musical skill, but arthritis and
RSI have provided a tempting excuse to stop practising! Lindsay has written for the Church Times
from time to time, and has written a couple of novels to while away the hours. She enjoys most
forms of story-telling, from novels and theatre through to film and computer games, but the
greatest drama, for her, is the one that unfolds in our worship. Lindsay is delighted to have the
opportunity to work with the people of this Area to do all we can to proclaim the glory of God
with all the art and skill we have available.
Background image: Rochester Cathedral. We would like to include pictures of different member churches,
so please email good quality jpeg images of the inside or outside of your church—or of your choir or music group—to Sue Moore at [email protected]
There have been a number of recent events organised by, or involving, members of the RSCM Area Committee.
Choral conducting workshop
Five conductors were put through their paces in a workshop led by Frances Novillo, our Regional Music Adviser, on 27
September. The choir from St Mary’s Hadlow had generously agreed to be guinea pigs and as one singer commented, “I
might go a bit easier on conductors now—it’s not as easy as it looks!” A wide variety of issues was covered such as
communication with the choir and accompanist verbally, visually and physically; how to introduce new repertoire; and
how to refine well-known pieces. The music studied ranged from Stanford in C to Rachmaninov’s “To thee, O Lord” and
Christmas rounds from Carols for Life.
RSCM Celebration Day—The Chairman was there!
Every year the RSCM holds a Celebration Day Service in a cathedral—to give thanks to God for the gift of music, to affirm
the work of the volunteers, affiliate churches and members of the local area, and to honour those who have made a
contribution to church music. This year the Celebration was held in Hereford Cathedral on 4 October. Along with people
like Stephen Darlington from Christ Church, Oxford and Harry Christophers of The Sixteen, there was even some local
Rochester interest. Geoff Hempstead, Secretary of the previous area committee, received a Certificate of Special Service
“in recognition of his unstinting service to the RSCM and to choral music in the Rochester and West Kent area for almost
30 years” and Alan Mitchell, current chair of the Rochester Area committee, was given Honorary Membership of the
RSCM for his “passionate enthusiasm for developing the work and reach of the RSCM”. (Who wrote this??—Ed.)
Area Choirs’ Festival
This year’s Area Festival on 11 October saw 173 singers gathered in the nave to sing canticles by Walmisley and anthems by
Ireland and Ouseley. Attendance is ‘on the up’—indeed some 20% up on last year, and the sound was very exciting.
Although the change of location was due to ongoing works in the cathedral, a good number of people commented how
nice it was to be back in the larger space as it allows the sound to really ring out. Two of this year’s eleven Awards
candidates were presented with their certificates during the service, and Geoff Hempstead’s well-deserved Certificate of
Special Service was given a round of applause in his absence.
Adult 3-day Evensong Course
Twenty-seven singers signed up for this year’s Adult course, ranging in age from late teens to mid-eighties. James
Wilkinson (St John’s, Sidcup and Committee member) directed for the second year, and Jonathan Lilley (Waltham Abbey)
once again provided superb accompaniment. Our Canticles included Stanford in C, Harwood in A flat and Dyson in D, with
the Smith five-part responses each day, together with the daily psalm and hymn. Monday’s anthem was Bullock’s “Give us
the wings of faith”, with Harwood’s “O how glorious is the kingdom” on Tuesday and Haydn’s “Insanae et Vanae Curae”
to finish us off (almost literally!) on Wednesday. We also sang Martin How’s “Day by Day” as an introit on Wednesday.
A more in-depth introduction to two of next year’s events:
Orchestral Praise
Sunday 1 February 2015, 4.00 pm: St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks, TN13 1JA
A warm invitation to all classical instrumentalists to join with the St Nicholas All Grades All Ages Orchestra
(which has been running for the last 10 years). Join the afternoon workshop and rehearsal from 4–5.30pm
followed by tea in the Undercroft and then the evening service at 6.30 pm.
Please let us know at least two weeks in advance if you are coming, so that we can have the right sets of instrumental
parts ready. Music can be sent out in advance if you’d like to do some practice before the day.
Cost: FREE—even the highly recommended tea! Contact Alan Mitchell: [email protected] / 07985 070734.
Psalm Workshop
Saturday 23 May 2015, 10am-1pm: St Bartholomew, Otford, TN14 5PD
Come to explore the psalms in all their richness, beauty and challenge. Andrew Reid, the Director of the
RSCM, who was a chorister in Otford “comes home” to lead a workshop on how and why we should sing the
psalms, looking at many different ways in which they can be sung and used in different contexts of worship.
An ideal event for clergy, lay ministers and musicians to come together.
Cost £5 per person. Contact Alan Mitchell: [email protected] / 07985 070734.
FOR YOUR DIARY: Please make a note of the following dates for your diary:
Saturday 17 January 2015 11am-4pm: Rochester Cathedral
Chorister Day for teen sopranos aged 14-18
led by Claire Innes-Hopkins (Assistant Director of Music, Rochester Cathedral).
Cost £5 per singer. Contact Sue Moore: [email protected] / 020 8859 6997
Sunday 1 February 2015 4pm onwards: St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks TN13 1 JA
Orchestral Workshop
See page 2 for further details.
Cost: FREE. Contact Alan Mitchell: [email protected] / 07985 070734
Saturday 14 March 2015: Rochester Cathedral
RSCM Bronze and Silver Awards—spring exams
Contact Tina Bastow: [email protected] / 01622 843725
for full details of costs, application deadline and current syllabus.
Saturday 18 April 2015: St Stephen’s Church, Tonbridge TN9 2SW
Worship Bands Day
With Musicademy and Sue Rinaldi.
Contact Alan Mitchell: [email protected] / 07985 070734 for details.
Saturday 16 May 2015 11am-4pm: Rochester Cathedral
Chorister Day for boys and girls aged 7-13
led by Scott Farrell (Director of Music, Rochester Cathedral).
Cost £5 per singer. Contact Sue Moore: [email protected] / 020 8859 6997
Saturday 23 May 2015 10am-1pm: St Bartholomew, Otford TN14 5PD
Psalm Workshop
Led by Andrew Reid (Director of the RSCM). See page 2 for further details.
Cost £5. Contact Alan Mitchell: [email protected] / 07985 070734.
Saturday 10 October 2015 2.15-6.15pm: Rochester Cathedral
Area Choirs’ Festival
directed by Scott Farrell (Director of Music, Rochester Cathedral).
Contact Sue Moore: [email protected] / 020 8859 6997 for further details.
We are currently working on dates for the following events in 2015, so watch this space for more details …
March or April: Young voices workshop
Late September or early October: Autumn session of Awards exams
Saturday 8 November 2014 at 4.30 pm. Croydon Minster: Première of ‘Requiem Cantata—The Hope of Splendour’ by Martin
How. Admission £10 (concessions £5). Tickets at the Door or in advance from the Minster Office:
[email protected] / 020 8688 8104.
Monday 17 November 2014 7.30-9.30pm, Great Burstead Parish Church: Music for the Eucharist—An evening exploring new
settings for the Eucharist and other music. RSCM Essex & East London event.
Thursday 29 January 2015 Rochester Cathedral: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610—The Sixteen choir and orchestra return to
Rochester Cathedral with a performance of Monteverdi’s magnificent Vespers of 1610. Tickets: £15 - 30 from Medway Visitor
Information Centre on 01634 338141. Further Information:
Saturday 31 January 2015 2.15pm, King Charles the Martyr Church, London Road, Tunbridge Wells: The 2015 King Charles
Lecture—Professor John Harper (Honorary Professor, Liturgy and Music, University of Birmingham, and Emeritus Professor,
Bangor University) will give a lecture considering the people, buildings, liturgy and repertories of the Chapels Royal. Entrance
We are continually updating our calendar of RSCM events so if you have any special requests or ideas for
events, workshops or training opportunities, please do get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to meet
your needs. We are also happy to receive feedback on those events we have so far organized.