Choir on song for an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

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 of­fice@stmichael­samer­sham.org.uk.

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