Tuesday, 15 May 2012

St John Passion

The Writtle Singers at St John's, Moulsham

Heralding Holy Week in the most appropriate way possible, the Writtle Singers excelled themselves in this St John at St John's.

The generous Victorian acoustic presented this smallish group, and their soloists, to advantage. The choir filled the space with the impressive opening Chorus, and the closing Chorale "When My Last End Is Come" was sung with heart-rending intensity. They were equally effective as the fickle mob in the dramatic moments of the Passion story ["Let Us Not Divide It"].

Bene't Coldstream was the Evangelist, telling the story with conviction from the pulpit, and other soloists included Kara Florish, whose bright soprano rang true and clear over the softer tones of the flute, Jenny Haxell, who brought impressive depth of feeling to "O Heart Melt In Weeping", and Tom Kennedy, bass, [a lovely "Come Ponder, O My Soul"] who was also a forceful Pilate. Jesus was sung with rich sincerity by Peter Quintrell.

The Passion was accompanied by the Jericho Ensemble, led by Elizabeth Porter, and conducted by Christine Gwynn.
Michael Gray

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Mixed Doubles

We would like to invite you to our enchanting summer concert "Mixed Doubles". This sumptuous and exciting programme features both music for double choir and double hands, piano duets played by Christine Gwynn and Caroline Finlay. There could be no better way to enjoy a glorious summer's evening than to listen to this superb choir in a beautiful setting.
Saturday 16th July, 7.30pm, All Saints' Church, Writtle

Mixed Doubles

Writtle Singers
Music for double choir including
Martin - Mass for double choir
Harris - Faire is the heaven
Stanford - Coelos ascendit hodie
Purcell - Hear my prayer & Chilcott - My prayer
Naylor - Vox dicentis: clama
plus piano duets by Warlock and Ravel
Only £10 if purchased before 16 July (£12 on the door);
Full-time students only £3 if purchased before 16 July (£5 on the door)
free admission for children under 16.
·book online at www.writtlesingers.org
·purchase tickets in person at James Dace in Chelmsford,
·phone the box office on 01277 658183
Support Writtle Singers when purchasing from Amazon. Just click on the link to Amazon on the homepage of www.writtlesingers.org and then make your purchases as usual.

Writtle Singers perform at London's Southbank Centre again

Writtle singers gave a 20 minute recital at the Clore Ballroom this afternoon. The programme included Gustav Holst's beautiful Five Partsongs that appears on their Wroving CD. See the main website for information on how to own this CD.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Writtle Singers in Stondon Massey churchyard

A nice message from two audience members.....
We really enjoyed the Byrd Concert last night - the Writtle Singers were excellent in every way and a delight to listen to.  It showed just how uplifting people in the 17th C found singing in Church.  The reader was also very clear and informative and it was good to connect the events of Byrd's life with the music.

Writtle Singers at Stondon Massey

Writtle Singers were privilged to sing in Stondon Massey church yesterday as part of the Byrd festival.

Here is the final festival press release....

Successful Stondon Byrd Festival Gains International Reputation

Stondon Massey’s tribute to the Elizabethan composer, William Byrd, culminated last weekend with a concert by the Writtle Singers at St Peter and St Paul Church (Saturday) and service of favourite hymns (Sunday).

The William Byrd Festival was organised by members of the congregation in order to raise money in support of the building of a new Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard where Byrd is believed to have been buried in an unmarked grave in 1623.

Last week one of the congregation visited the church in order to set up the space for a choir rehearsal to find affixed to the door a bunch of flowers with a request to place them on the grave of the ‘English composer’.  The flowers were sent by well-wishers from ‘Tom Garrison and the Trinity Choir’ which following a little Internet research turned out to be the Episcopal Cathedral in Kansas City over in the United States of America.

Festival Organiser, Andrew Smith, said, “This was a lovely surprise. We were not able to place the flowers on an unmarked grave so instead decided to arrange them on the Memorial Tablet to the great composer inside the church.  Our Festival website (www.williambyrdfestival.blogspot.com) shows that William Byrd is very popular in America with over a third of the hits coming from that country.  We have received goodwill messages from many and some lovely comments on the singers who appeared at the Festival”.

“The William Byrd Festival has been a tremendous success, both in raising Byrd’s profile and financially.  We have raised around £2000 toward the Garden of Remembrance project”.

Friday, 22 April 2011

A letter to Friends of Writtle Singers.

If you are not a member find out what advantages there are to membership here

We've just returned from a short tour to Zurich, and are now busy rehearsing for a our next concert.

Sat 14th May concert: On this occasion we've been invited to take part in the William Byrd Festival at the church of St Peter and St Paul in Stondon Massey, CM15 0LD. The concert is entitled 'William Byrd: Loyal Heart or Traitor?' and it will explore in words and music the composer’s life as a recusant Catholic, at odds with the law of the time proscribed by Queen Elizabeth I yet regarded by her as a master of his craft. Poor Parson Nobbs, the Rector of Stondon Massey, was required to present before the Archdeaconry Court a list of non-attenders. Byrd never crossed the threshold of the parish church and was fined time and again.

The evening will include Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, composed for private and illegal worship for the Petre family and their friends at nearby Ingatestone Hall.

There will be one performance at 7.30pm. http://williambyrdfestival.blogspot.com/

As we're not organising this concert, we are unable to give complimentary tickets to Friends of Writtle Singers. However if you'd like to attend the event and want to buy tickets, again priced £12.50 (or £6 for under 16s), you can get them from the Church Office - Tel: 01277 821464, or email at:blackmorevicarage@btinternet.com

Sun 22nd May lunchtime 'Buffet in the Barn': We'd be delighted if you'd like to join us for our next social and fundraising event. We have been fortunate enough to secure the services of well known, local vegetarian chef Leon Lewis who will provide what we expect to be a wonderful meal for us (and tell us about it), and it's going to be in the lovely setting of the Barn at Elm Farm in West Hanningfield, CM2 8UE. We'd love you to join us, perhaps with family or friends, and for more details please contact Liz at liz.saward@btinternet.com

Donations to Writtle Singers from Amazon: If any of you buy things on line from Amazon from time to time, we've got an arrangement with the company that if people go into their site from the Writtle Singers' website (http://www.writtlesingers.org/), then they will donate a small proportion of the cost to us. This obviously helps with our funds, and all choir members are now trying to get into the habit of going shopping via our website, and it would be great if you could do the same to help swelll the choir's funds.

Donations to Writtle Singers from the Writtle Co-op: For any of you living in and around Writtle, it is possible to have a Community Card which can be used instead of a co-op card, and all purchases made with them lead to quarterly donations to the choir. If you'd like to know more, I can organise one for you, so just let me know.

Early note for the diary - 16th July: We hope that you'll be able to keep this evening clear in your diary, as it will be when we next perform in Writtle in a concert entitled 'Mixed Doubles'.

I hope that we will see you at one of these two events in May,
Nanette Wright
On behalf of Writtle Singers

Monday, 18 April 2011


Music of Light – The Writtle Singers at All Saints' Church12.03.11

This satisfyingly ambitious programme was one of the Singers' best. It began with plainsong Рa form older than the building in which we were listening Рwith the choir processing to the four corners of the nave. Here they gave an impressive performance, from memory, of the challenging twenty-first century motet O lux beata Trinitas, a setting of words by St Ambrose.James McMillan's Missa Brevis was the central work. Again, beautifully delivered, especially in the closing Agnus Dei, with its finely grained Miserere and its movingly humble Dona Nobis Pacem.There was Bach, too, Brewer and Bairstow, whose I Sat Down Under His Shadow had a lovely diminuendo at the end.Simon Harvey was at the organ Рas soloist he gave Fireworks by Handel, and joined the Singers' inspirational director at the piano for a light-hearted duet from Faur̩'s Dolly Suite.Secular music to finish, though in the lovely Saint-Saens Calme des Nuits it was really only the words that were secular. Not so in the delicious luminescent lollipops - On the Sunny Side of the Street and I'm Beginning to See the Light - sung with the same passion, the same precision, as the Holst, the Wood or the Rutter.

Michael Gray