Choir on song for anniversary celebrations
THE choir of St Michael and All Angels brought to a close the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Amersham church with a free concert of music and poetry.
On Sunday, October 23, St Michael's choir and its organists performed music composed by choir leaders past and present, as well as Thomas Tallis and Benjamin Britten, to celebrate 50 years of music making in the church building that was dedicated in September 1966.
Poems written by choir member Joy Tobler, from her collection Orchestration, were read by Joy Johns and a 20-strong choir of faces old and new performed 15 pieces, including Tallis' O Nata Lux and Hear The Voice And Prayer, as well as music written especially for the church by former organist and choir master Richard Benger.
Current joint choir leader Rachel Hewitt conducted and sang her own compositions for the church. These included Veni Sancte Spiritus, written for the installation in 2005 of St Michael's previous priest Revd. Diana Glover – as well as Psalm 121, written for the 2009 wedding of Andrew and Sarah Leslie, who met as teenagers in the choir and sang the piece in the concert.
Chris Leslie, joint choir leader, member of the BBC Symphony Chorus and the mother of organist Andrew, said: “Everything – singers, players, anthems and poems – came together and created an amazing program of wonderful music and poetry. It was a hugely enjoyable, special and memorable occasion – a fitting end to our 50th anniversary celebrations at St Michael's.”
Rachel Hewitt, a former chorister at Queen's College, Oxford, who started composing music while in Sixth Form, said: “St Michael's is a very nurturing place for creativity. It can be very nerveracking showing your music to other people, but the church and congregation are so encouraging and supportive, it's a lovely place to work with them and within.”
If you're interested in joining the choir of St Michael's and All Angels, contact Chris or Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.