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.

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

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

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 (, 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