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12th September 2015
This year's choir medallists

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13th April 2015
Former chorister returns for concert with her brilliant new choir! Sat 23rd May 2015

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31st October 2014
An English Autumn Concert : 21st November 2014

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3rd September 2014
A New Year and a New Music Department

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5th May 2014
David Arcus begins as Interim Director of Music!

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11th April 2014
New Music Staff

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31st March 2014
Clare Competition Winner

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17th February 2014
Mozart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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16th February 2014
Choral Evensong in Cambridge

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7th February 2014
Rage and Romance : Part 1 Done!

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2nd February 2014
Be a Chorister at Candlemas!

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1st February 2014
Our New Archdeacon Arrives

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31st January 2014
ASS needs you!!!

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25th January 2014
The Men in Southwell

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5th January 2014
A New Year’s Tour in Vienna

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26th December 2013
Christmas has just Begun!

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19th December 2013
Mandela Memorial Service

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5th December 2013
Our New Boy Bishop

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22nd November 2013
The Dove is Launched!

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22nd November 2013
Composition Competition

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We filled York Minster with Song
9th - 10th June 2012
 

   

For the final weekend of the summer half-term, 18 boy choristers, 18 girl choristers and 18 men travelled to York Minster to sing the weekend services whilst the renowned Minster Choir was away on its own half-term break. For several, this was essentially a return home – our own Director of Music, Lee Dunleavy, was Organ Scholar at York Minster in 2004-2006, and he was then succeeded at York Minster by Richard McVeigh (Organ Scholar 2006-2008) who joined us as Organist on this occasion.

The first service of the Residency was Evensong on Saturday, performed by the Boys and Men. In homage to the renowned history of organist-composers at York Minster, the canticles were sung to the setting written for the Cathedral of St. Woolos by Philip Moore (Organist and Director of Music at the Minster 1983-2008),

whilst the anthem was the fabulous ‘Sing Praise to God who reigns above’ by Mr Moore’s predecessor as Organist and Director of Music, Dr Francis Jackson (Director 1946-1982).
 

   

For the Eucharist Service, sung in the Nave, we combined all three choirs to ensure maximum impact in the vast gothic space. Returning to repertoire familiar from our tour of Paris in 2011, the setting of the Eucharist was the Keble Missa Brevis by Philip Stopford, but here combined with the touchingly beautiful ‘A Child’s Prayer’ by Dr James MacMillan, written to commemorate the children who lost their lives in the massacre in the Dunblane primary school in 1996 . With the girls’ choir providing the haunting solo lines, this enabled us to make the most of our combined forces, utilising the space and the acoustic to maximum effect.

Following the Eucharist, the choirs separated once again. The girls went off to explore York and the Yorvik Viking Centre, whilst the boys and men rushed swiftly into Matins. A service relatively

unfamiliar the All Saints Choristers, here the music returned to the ever-popular Victorian stalwart of the British choral scene, John Ireland (Morning Canticles in F) and Charles Wood (‘Expectans Expectavi’). Although perhaps unused to the stamina demanded in performing two choral services directly one after the after (and particularly when late-night excitement and midnight feasts had perhaps kept some of the younger members up later than perhaps it should!), the boys and men put on a good show, and were soon tucking into well-deserved packed lunches, as the rain which had dogged every swift walk from coach park to Minster held off for long enough to enable us all to picnic in Dean’s Park, in the shadows of the fabulous Minster.
 

   

For the boys, the hard-work was now done, and as soon as lunch was over they headed off to the Yorvik Viking Centre to experience the sights, sounds (and smells!) of York past and present. It was now the turn of the girls, who joined the men (who really hadn’t had a break at all, but were still irrepressibly cheery!) to prepare for Sunday Evensong, and the final service of our residency. Here the relatively unknown canticles in G of Henry Smart were combined with the uplifting ‘Laudate Dominum’ of Aaron David Miller, another American composer whose work is unjustifiably overlooked over here in the UK.

Shortly after our return to Northampton, we received a number of complimentary emails and messages on both our website and our Facebook page. Congregation stalwarts sent congratulations on

‘joy-filled services’, ‘the tremendous sound’ and ‘interesting and unusual music,’ and others described the choirs’ performances over the weekend as ‘some of the best singing we’ve heard from a visiting choir for years’.

The next Cathedral visits for the choirs are Ely Cathedral, on 7 July, where the boys’ choir will be joining massed Cambridgeshire choirs for a concert performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum, and then in September and October they can be heard performing at King’s College, Cambridge, and at Peterborough Cathedral.

 



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