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Evening of Choral Music – Sunday 3 May, St Thomas’s Church

posted 9 Aug 2015, 00:05 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 9 Aug 2015, 00:15 ]

Excitement with tranquillity
Feast for eyes and ears
A celebration of the senses

There were two Magnificats at the heart of the evening of choral music on Sunday 3 May. Vivaldi’s Magnificat is quite a familiar work and was beautifully rendered by the augmented St Thomas’ choir under the baton of Marcus Marsh. We are lucky to enjoy regular solos from Lucy Bailey, and on this occasion she was joined in the solo parts of this work by a number of other choir members, who rose to the occasion with confidence and apparent ease.

We had begun the concert with the choir singing Stanford’s Te Deum in B Flat ; then a powerful reading of the Genesis creation story – “and there was light” – was given a deep polished gravitas by Geoff Cormack. Next we had a beautiful choral performance of Haydn’s The Heavens are Telling with both Sheila Maxwell and the talented Lucy Bailey playing the organ accompaniment together. This was followed by the flowing serenity of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus. Lucy then sang Bist Du bei Mir, a favourite from the Bach repertoire, and a particular favourite of mine.

The second Magnificat was a poem written and recited by Vittoria Hancock. In the Vivaldi, we had had a feast for the ears – Vittoria’s poem gave us a feast for the eyes, ears and all the senses with its beautifully realised imagery of sea, waves and light. In fact, the lines I quoted from the poem at the beginning of this piece seemed to unify and accurately sum up the evening for me.

The performance ended with Samuel Sebastian Wesley’s anthem Thou wilt keep Him in Perfect Peace sung movingly by the augmented choir. Sunday 3 May 2015 may be remembered by some as a day of constant drizzling rain. Those of us fortunate enough to be in St Thomas’s Church that evening found our spirits raised and lightened by the words and music we had heard, and enhanced, too, by the refreshments and socialising which followed. A sincere thank you to all involved.

Eric Sinclair


The tide had swept in
Across the salt marsh
In between the dunes

The edges of the waves freezing
On that cold day
A band of light stretched across the sky
Reflected in the water
Bright blue coalesced into molten silver

I stood and watched the changing mood
Closed my eyes
Listened to the wind
The waves
The birds
The sound of high tide
A swirl of sea-birds take off
Wave after wave
Rising then falling
Wings beating in unison
With every down stroke comes a flash
A dazzle of white
In the evening light

A duck sits placidly in the deep channel
Reflected in the pooling water
At my approach it takes flight
Beating down steadily
Retreating to place of safety

This is not the expected
But more
Excitement with tranquillity
Feast for eyes and ears
A celebration of the senses

A pausing point
When I am aware
That all is beyond mere knowledge
That deep within
New life has sprung into being
A seed is planted
To be nurtured into growth
Future promises lie cradled
In my heart and soul
Hope wings through the air
And joy transcends all.

Vittoria Hancock