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February/March 2014

posted 10 Mar 2014, 00:20 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 10 Mar 2014, 00:20 ]

The St Thomas’s Choir has had a great time over Advent and Christmas.

On Advent Sunday, the Christingle was held in the morning, lively as usual, and there was a more solemn but beautiful candle-lit Communion Service in the evening, well attended. The church was a mass of candle-light, and even the path up to it was specially lit for the occasion. We had lovely Advent hymns, and the choir sang Crotch’s ‘Be peace on earth’, with a few extra people joining us, to our great pleasure. It made for a better sound with more singers.

Two weeks later was the Carol Service, when the Augmented Choir turned out in full force, having been drilled beforehand by Marcus Marsh, as usual. Tom Crow has written his own version of the event elsewhere, I would just say here how much the regular choir welcomed all the good people who joined us, including some very fine singers; there were about twenty in the choir, which made it all very special. And on a personal note, two of the Choir anthems were unaccompanied, which helped a lot!

The numbers dropped after that, but not the enthusiasm, as we had the Midnight Communion to prepare for. This is always an awkward sort of event for the choir, because the numbers are small, and it is different every time, depending on who is going away for Christmas. However, we had most of the regular choir and one or two extras, which was a great help. We sang a few carols before the Service started, then a few more during Communion, including our favourite, Berlioz’s ‘Shepherd’s Farewell.’ Some of us were back for the Christmas Day service, again well-attended, and presided over by Bishop Bob, in his own inimitable style - more has been written about this elsewhere in the Tattler. The music was simpler, but it was lovely to be singing all the old Carols.

We have now moved into a quieter phase, we did not have choir practice over the New Year, but have just started again, planning anthems to sing during Communion for the next weeks.

However, this will not last, as there is Vittoria’s Induction to prepare for, and this will be a very special occasion. We have invited as many people as possible who might be interested in singing with us, including choir members from Banchory, Kincardine O’Neil and Ballater, as well as our own choir, and one or two from the Church of Scotland. If they all come, it will be a tremendous sound! We plan to sing the magnificent anthem by SS Wesley, ‘Blessed be the God and Father’, an Introit, and a few descants to the hymns. We have Owen Jenkins back with us as guest conductor, as Marcus unfortunately cannot be there on the day.

After that, we will no doubt have another Augmented Choir event around Easter time, yet to be decided. And we will have a new Rector, and will be getting to know her and her ways, in what we hope will be an exciting future for St Thomas’s.

Sheila Maxwell