Choir Newsletter, 17 January 2018

Dear All,

Christmas now seems but a distant memory and 2018 has definitely become the norm! However it is worth saying that Christmas 2017 was, by general consensus, one of the best in recent memory. Every service had its own special feel and our dedicated team produced first rate music appropriate for each. It was particularly moving to have had 100 of our Muslim Friends attend midnight Eucharist and to bring with them buckets of Peace Roses for our Christmas congregations. Humbling and inspirational.

Well, January is already half over and I haven’t put digital pen to digital paper yet so here goes.

We have some new members of our team who hopefully will be joining us in the next few weeks. One who has already started on the Treble line is Cathal Drew, whose dad, Nick, helps us out on the Tenor line from time to time (and is also Vice Chair of our PCC). Welcome Cal—we all hope you will enjoy your time with us.

Last Sunday the Trebles had their Christmas treat: a visit to the Hippodrome Pantomime! A great time was had by all—not least by the accompanying parents who fully embraced the range of fun on offer! Thanks so much to Jenny Daniels who navigated the torturous booking procedures for us and to the Friends of the Choirs and Music who generously subsidised the youngsters for the occasion.

Note that this Sunday 21 January is the joint service for Christian Unity which this year will take place at St Agnes’ Church in Oxford Road. There will, therefore, be no 10:00am service at St Mary’s. Evensong will be on as usual (Singers). The next morning service for Robed Choir (including Trebles) will be on Sunday February 4th at 10:00 am.

Saturday 27 January sees the first of our 2018 Morning Coffee Concerts. This one is rather special as Michael Jones (concert pianist and former Director of Music at St Anne’s) presents a programme of music connected with the centenary of the cessation of hostilities on 1918. It is Michael’s first visit to our platform and it would be lovely to welcome him warmly to our midst. Why not pop in while shopping at the Farmers’ Market and encourage your friends to do likewise?

On Sunday 28 January we have our special service for Candlemas at 6:30pm (rehearse at 5:30pm). There are special invitation cards for everyone to give to a friend or neighbour to invite them along for this. If you haven’t had some yet please ask Mark—there’s still time!

Saturday 3 February sees a very special occasion: Mark’s official Licensing as Reader in the Diocese. He has worked hard over the past two years and we have been privileged to benefit from his sermons and ministry during this time. Now we can further support him on the day of his licensing at the cathedral. He needs to know numbers of those who would like to attend the cathedral service at 11:00am. If you are intending to be there please would you email Mark as soon as possible so he can collate the numbers.

Sunday 4 February, 10:00am, our young Trebles will be in action rehearsing at 9:30am. Please arrive by 9:20 to facilitate this.

On the evening of Monday 12 February, the RSCM is holding a special workshop exploring and demystifying Plainsong music. It is held at St Hilda’s Church, Warley Woods which has a very sympathetic acoustic. It will be run by Rosemary Field, former Birmingham Diocesan Music Adviser and Deputy Director of the RSCM. It would be very advantageous for members of our team to attend. Do seriously consider this invitation—it’ll be an inspirational evening. Read more at

Wednesday 14 February is Ash Wednesday and we have our usual Robed Choir ATB Eucharist at 8:00pm (rehearse 7:15pm). Sorry to curtail Valentine Day celebrations!!

Further ahead we have several events to put in diaries:

  • March Coffee Concert on the morning of Saturday 24 March (NOTE: This is NOT Farmers’ Market Saturday).
  • Our Young Person’s Guide to the Organ to be held on the afternoon Saturday 24 March.
  • The Palm Sunday Workshop on the afternoon of Sunday 25 March: Vivaldi “Gloria” ( start inviting friends!).
  • June concert at St Chad’s Cathedral as part of their Flower Festival.
  • Summer Concert for Moseley Festival—date tbc.
  • Summer residential at Christchurch Priory: Wednesday 8 – Sunday 12 August. If you haven’t let me know yes or no for your interest in this please do so ASAP as planning needs to be done.
  • A certain 40th Anniversary celebration on the afternoon of Saturday 8 September. If you are in touch with previous Choir / Singers members you may like to issue an invitation to them to come along. It’d be lovely to have a big reunion!

There’ll be more information about these events anon but this probably enough to digest for now!

Many thanks for your help and support—it really is appreciated. Now we are building up our Treble line again our thoughts also need to be with the Singers. If you have friends / colleagues you can invite please do so. If you have ideas and thoughts on strategies please pass them on—we’re all in listening mode!

All the best,