Keeping you updated with the latest news


13 June 2024
2023/24 season finishes at Christ Church


28 June 2023
A Rousing end to the 2022/23 Season with Viva Italia!
9 June 2023
Cathedral Visits - Summer 2023
12 May 2023
Simon Toyne appointed as our new Musical Director
20 March 2023
Dame Ethel Smyth Mass in D - A resounding success!
13 February 2023
The Ethel Smyth full score has arrived











Christmas Singing and Quiz

17 December 2020

Our term of Home Choir has come to an end, and a fortnight ago in our final Zoom rehearsal we “performed” our three pieces - music from an Angel, Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Cantata, music from a Nun, Isabella Leonarda’s Magnificat, and music from a Red Priest, Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria.

An Angel, a Nun, and a Red Priest
Our Repertoire

Last week we held our Zoom Christmas Quiz, with Messrs Bennett and Linford scoring especially highly, closely followed by the teams from the Craig, Gibson, and Harpham households. We had visual and audio rounds, including a remarkable rendition of the song Walking in the Air, performed on a bassoon reed. There were questions about King’s College, Cambridge, about the Carols for Choirs series of books, and rather a lot of pop music questions - Christmas number ones and the like. Something, we thought, for everyone, and perhaps it was a little easier than the Summer Quiz?!?

Our Christmas Quiz
What were the Quiz Questions?
Another Quiz Question

This week we had two evenings dedicated to Christmas choral music which is special to each of Lee’s four choirs. We began by singing Stanley Vann’s sprightly arrangement of the carol Come, listen to my story. Vann was the founding conductor of Lee’s Wednesday choir, the Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir, and it was a delight to sing along to a recording made by Vann himself. We moved on to one of the many carols written for us, Malcolm Tyler’s gælic melody arrangement of Away in a Manger. We recorded this on our album Congaudeat! and - since that recording - have learned that the melody wasn’t an old gælic melody, but dates from no earlier than 1950! Malcolm was our longest-serving Musical Director, working with us from 1979 to 1994 (though we’ve realised that it won’t be long before Lee has overtaken him!). We moved on to another arrangement, this time by Christopher Brown - founder of the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic, and the melody was the ever-popular The Angel Gabriel. Again, we were able to sing along to a performance directed by the arranger himself, with both the choir and orchestra of the Hunts Phil. The Wellingborough Singers haven’t (yet) had any carols arranged or written for them, but their present Chairman, Gesa Beales, wrote a wonderful set of alternative words to Sir Malcolm Sargent’s arrangement of the Zither Carol - now called The Zoom Carol!

The Big Christmas Sing

We’re annoyed, there’s no joy, but a void, just where our Christmas ought to be.
We’ve been wise, sanitised, said goodbyes to all our joys.
It’s Corona, the newscasts say, it’s Corona that’s in our way,
It’s Corona that’s here to stay; that’s what we fear.

Wise men too, bring to you theories new, driving us further round the bend.
Here’s our fate: sleep in late, put on weight; when will this end?
It’s Corona, the newscasts say, it’s Corona that’s in our way,
It’s Corona that’s here to stay; please don’t come near.

Broadcasts came, all the same, which would claim soon we would beat the dreadful beast.
Go on Zoom: talents bloom? No, it’s doom; we’re all square-eyed.
It’s Corona, the newscasts say, it’s Corona that’s in our way,
It’s Corona that’s here to stay; let’s all stay mute.

Let’s be brave, have a rave, we’ll be saved, some time salvation will arrive.
In the spring, we shall sing, voices ring, Hallelujah!
"Hallelujah", our hope shall spring, "Hallelujah" the halls shall ring,
"Hallelujah" from everything, Hallelujah!

Christmas Reading

We then had two more evenings dedicated to sing-along Christmas carols - the familiar versions from Carols for Choirs 1, and sung along to full orchestral accompaniment, with fanfares, cymbals, and descants flying! Members dressed up - some in evening dress, others in (Christmas) fancy dress - and we welcome members of the Friends as well as guests from our own, and other, households. A wonderful way to end our Christmas musical festivities in what has been a very, very, very, unusual year.