I once asked an old Irish Roman Catholic Priest how he kept his mission fresh and kept his flock coming. His reply was…’Surprise the punters!’
It has become a habit that on the last Sunday in June, when St Mary’s Cathedral Choir stops for their Summer break, they do some spectacular music.
This year was no different…. 10.30 am saw us gathering at the Cathedral to join in a Jazz Mass by Bob Chilcott.
‘Bob who?’ some of you might ask.
There you are!
He was born in 1955 and proved to be a choral man through and through. He was a Choral Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and in 1985 became a member of the Kings’s Singers, an a cappella group, for some 12 years. In 1997 he took up composing and conducting full-time and has produced an extensive list of music, much of which is suitable for young singers. We have already had some of his music within the Cathedral.
The music for the Liturgy was supplied by a number of relatively-young musicians (well, at my age, most musicians are relatively-young!), including a flautist and clarinetist drawn from the choir. Even the very-young junior members of the treble line sang their hearts out! The enjoyment in the choir and congregation was evident as the usual high quality was maintained, and with that happiness which jazz can provide…despite the references to ‘blues’.
It was a wonderful morning, in a well-filled church, and I’m sure that my friendly Irish priest would have been pleased with ‘the surprise’!