There are probably not too many choral societies in the land that have a canon of the Church of England as their chairman. There must be very few indeed that can boast an archdeacon in that role. Well, on Sunday November 16, in a special and memorable Evensong at Worcester Cathedral, our Chairman, Canon Rob Jones, was installed as Archdeacon of Worcester, and we are delighted that he has been chosen for that role. We hope that he will still find time, amidst his many other duties, to continue to lend his voice to the second basses.
The Cathedral was almost full for Rob's installation - testimony, as the Bishop observed, to his popularity in the Diocese. Kidderminster Choral Society played its part, too: as well as a number of members being present in the congregation, Mike, our accompanist, read one of the lessons; Dominic Lee, grandson of our President, John Gaston, and a former member of Wyre Forest Young Voices, is a member of the Cathedral choir; and John Everest, another of our members, was there as one of the Canons of the Cathedral.
We wish Rob well as he embarks on this new phase of his ministry in the Church.
PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT CONCERT TICKETS: We have made new arrangements for purchasing tickets for our concerts; tickets can be purchased on-line from WeGotTickets.com at less than the price charged on the door (there will be very limited availability at the door). Please see the details of each concert (on the "Programme" page) for more information, or simply click here to go to the WeGotTickets.com website. If you experience any difficulty please send us a message on the "Contact Us" page and we'll be glad to help.
The season's rehearsals commence on Thursday September 4.
The AGM will take place before rehearsal on October 16
Saturday November 21 - Concert by Wyre Forest Young Voices and Primary Chords at Kidderminster Town Hall, at 7.00 pm.
Saturday, November 29 - Opera Gala Concert at Kidderminster Town Hall, at 7.30 pm.
Saturday December 20 - Gala Christmas Concert, with Wyre Forest Young Voices and Primary Chords, at Kidderminster Town Hall, at 7.00 pm.
Saturday January 3 - WFYV Graduates' Concert at Holy Innocents' Church, at 5.00 pm.
Tuesday, February 3 - Talk by Geoff Weaver on Bach's St. John Passion, at Baxter Church Hall, at 7.30 pm.
Friday, March 20 - Concert by Wyre Forest Young Voices and Primary Chords at Kidderminster Town Hall, at 7.00 pm.
Saturday, March 28 - Bach's St. John Passion at Kidderminster Town Hall at 7.30 pm.
Sunday, May 3 - Wyre Forest Young Voices sing in Worcester Youth Music Gala Concert at Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Wednesday, May 6 - Sunday, May 10 - Visit of Theodor Storms Chor, Husum
Saturday, May 9 - Concert: Vivaldi: Gloria and Haydn: St. Cecilia Mass at St. Mary's Parish Church
Saturday, June 20 - Choir Away Day
Sunday, June 28 - Primary Chords concert: Lionel Bart's Oliver at Baxter College
Saturday, July 4 - Wyre Forest Young Voices Concert at St. Anne's Church, Bewdley, at 7.00 pm.
Saturday, July 11 - Summer Singers Concert at Belbroughton Church, at 7.30 pm.
to Suzzie Vango, Vocal Coach with Wyre Forest Young Voices, who has recently been appointed Voice Coach with Worcester Cathedral Choir,
... and to Clover Willis, a member of Wyre Forest Young Voices, who has been awarded a Choral Scholarship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
We wish them both great success.
Christopher Morley, of the Birmingham Post, reviewed the November concert, and his review can be found here.
At the AGM, held in October, the Society enthusiastically agreed to invite Marcus Huxley to join its select band of Life Vice-Presidents. Those already thus designated are: Harry Bramma, Philip Head, Andrew Millington, Kit Mockett aqnd Jonathan Price. Marcus has been a regular organist for Society concerts for over twenty years, and when Geoff Weaver announced his appointment at the concert in November, the audience received the news with acclaim.
Marcus read Modern Languages at Oxford University and studied the organ in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain. On his return to Oxford he was elected Organ Scholar of Worcester College, where he directed the Chapel Choir and read for a degree in Music. He went directly from Oxford to be Assistant Organist of Ripon Cathedral, where he also lectured at the University College of Ripon and York St John. While in Yorkshire he founded the York Early Music Choir and was Conductor of both the Ilkley and Otley Choral Societies. He is a joint 2nd prize winner for Interpretation in the 1977 St Albans International Organ Competition, where he also won the Audience Prize.
In 1986 he was appointed to his present position as Director of Music at Birmingham Cathedral. Under his direction the Cathedral Choir has given first performances of works by John Joubert, Alan Ridout, Andrew Downes, Andrew Carter and John Sanders, most of which were specially commissioned. He also oversaw, in 1992, the setting up of the Cathedral Girls’ Choir, one of the first in the country. Over the last few years the Cathedral Choir has collaborated with the CBSO, Emma Kirkby, the Choir of King’s College Cambridge, St Paul’s Cathedral Choir, the Richard Hickox Singers, the San Francisco Boys’ Chorus and many other distinguished musicians.
He has regularly given organ recitals in Thomas Trotter’s 'Birmingham Town Hall' series, including at Symphony Hall, and concerts and recitals with Birmingham Cathedral Choir in UK and abroad, as well as recitals in cathedrals and concert halls around the world – including many at Kidderminster Town Hall. He has broadcast many times for BBC Radio (Radio 3, Radio 4 and WM) and Television, and has recorded for Regent Records.
His commissions include the Mass of St Henry & St Philip for the Centenary of the Diocese of Birmingham (2005) and an Evensong (Common Worship) for the Parish of St James Shirley (2002).
Marcus has appeared as Guest Conductor with Kidderminster Choral Society and as organist with the CBSO, Es Cathedra, the Tallis Scholars, the Dresden Kreuzchor and the Swingle Singers. He is also an examiner for the Associated Board.
After consulting members of the Society, the Committee have agreed upon an "up-dating" of choir dress at concerts. The ladies will wear scarves, and the gents bow ties, in cerise/fuchsia/pink (call it what you will!), at the November 2013 concert and from then on.
The ladies have in the past been able to bring a more modern form of dress to the stage, but the men have stuck steadfastly to the Victorian costume adopted in 1899, so perhaps it's time for a change!
Brief notes of the Young Voices programme for the season are given below; for further details, please see the choir's website, at www.wfyvchoir.co.uk
Friday, November 22, at 7.00 pm.: Concert (with Primary Chords) - "Songs for Life"
Saturday, January4, at 5.00 pm.: Graduates' Weekend concert at Holy Innocents' Church
Friday February 14: Concert (details to be announced)
Friday, March 21, at 7.00 pm.: Concert (with Primary Chords and singers from local schools) - "We will remember them", including The Armed Man - a Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins.
Sunday, May 18, at 6.00 pm: Worcestershire Youth Music Gala, at Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Saturday, July 5, at 7.30 pm.: Concert at Great Witley Church - "The Rhythm of Life".
The programme for the 2013-14 Season is as follows:
September 5 - first rehearsal for November concert.
October 17 - Annual General Meeting.
November 22 - Concert by Wyre Forest Young Voices and Primary Chords - Kidderminster Town Hall, 7.00 pm.
November 30 - KCS Concert - Town Hall, 7.30 pm. Programme: Mozart: Great C minor Mass; Schubert: Mass in G.
December 5 - first rehearsal for Christmas concert.
December 21 - Gala Christmas Concert - Kidderminster Town Hall, 7.00 pm.
January 9, 2014 - first rehearsal for March concert.
February 9 - "Singalong with the CBSO" - Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" in Birmingham Symphony Hall.
March 14 - Annual Dinner (date and venue to be confirmed)
March 21 - Concert by Wyre Forest Young Voices and Primary Chords - Kidderminster Town Hall, 7.00 pm.
March 29 - KCS Concert - Town Hall, 7.30 pm. Programme: Elgar: "For the Fallen"; Stanford: "Elegiac Ode"; Vaughan Williams: "Dona Nobis Pacem".
May 1 - first reheasal for Summer Singers.
June 21 - Choir Away Day (details to follow).
June 28 - Primary Chords Summer Concert (venue to be confirmed).
July 5 - Wyre Forest Young Voices Concert in Great Witley Church.
July 12 - Summer Singers Concert in St. Anne's Church, Bewdley.
Further details of programmes and ticket prices will be published as they become available.
During the week beginning May 20, 2013, 15 KCS members, eight partners and Geoff Weaver our conductor travelled by various means from Kidderminster to Husum, to join our Twin Town's choir, the Theodor Storms Chor, in a concert on Sunday May 26 in the St. Marienkirche in Husum. This time we sang Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle.
Seven KCS members stayed in the Hotel am Schlosspark, which they were very happy with. The other KCS members stayed with TSC members, some for the first time, others revisiting old friends. We had three rehearsals on consecutive days, one with Christoph Jensen, the TSC conductor, and two with Geoff Weaver, plus the pre-concert rehearsal, when we were joined by Christoph Jensen on the harmonium, Adam Szvoren on the piano and the four soloists, Julia Henning (soprano), Ulrike Andersen (alto), Martin Hundelt (tenor) and Hans Christian Hinz (bass). The soloists, the organist and the pianist were excellent and the combined choirs’ performance that evening was very well received by an enthusiastic audience in the Marienkirche.
Afterwards we had an excellent supper in the Handwerkerhaus just up the road. KCS members sang two madrigals which everyone enjoyed. Finally we all joined hands to sing Auld Lang Syne together.
In addition to the singing, we were formally welcomed one morning at the town hall by the Bürgermeister. We also had two outings. The first was to the Hamburger Hallig, one of the many small islands west of the mainland not far from Husum, where we enjoyed afternoon tea together. Unfortunately the weather was poor so we had no views across the Hallig. The second outing was all day on the Monday after the concert. The weather was poor then too. We drove to the tiny harbour of Schluttsiel where we boarded a vessel to take us to the Hallig of Langeness. As it was low tide we had to make a long detour to this, one of the longest Halligen, but we arrived safely. There we were taken by tractor-driven carriage to the far end of the Hallig, where we had an excellent buffet meal. Then we were able to visit a house which is now a tiny museum, and the ancient church which is still active. En route by the boat we were able to see some seals not far away.
Most people from Kidderminster then returned home by various means. Those who were flying from Hamburg had to leave Husum at 5.00 am. by train in order to catch their 9.40 am. flight. Luckily they all made it on time. Other members travelled to Denmark or to France, or elsewhere in Germany, for a holiday.
Everyone enjoyed the “Husum Experience” and singing together. Our grateful thanks go to Heinrich Linkogel for organising such an enjoyable stay. In two years' time TSC members are due to join us in a concert here in Kidderminster, so hopefully more KCS members will be able to participate in Twinning.
You can read older news in our archives.