A very special evensong

Our own Choristers lining up ahead of evensong with children from Grasby Primary School.

Our own Choristers lining up ahead of evensong with children from Grasby Primary School.

We don’t seem to be very good at keeping this page up to date (for regular updates, follow our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/minsterchoirs).  However, yesterday evening’s evensong was such a wonderful occasion to prompt even our reluctant scribe to put keyboard to screen!

We are getting very used to working with primary schools, now, with several hundred children due to attend the Minster next month for our next Big Hymn Sing events.  However, yesterday represented a new departure when Choral Evensong was sung jointly by our Choristers and by the Choir from Grasby All Saints Church of England Primary School.  The children from Grasby had been taught the music by their Deputy Head Teacher, Mrs Kent, and arrived for an early rehearsal of music, spoken sections, and processions, before rehearsing alongside the Choristers.

The service itself, attended by a large contingent

At the end of evensong, our own Choristers along with children from Grasby Primary School

At the end of evensong, our own Choristers along with children from Grasby Primary School

of parents, staff, and friends of Grasby Primary School, was a very moving occasion with the singing, deportment, and behaviour of all being excellent.  The next stage is an evensong in Grasby church itself, sung entirely by children from Grasby.  At the Minster, we would love to do it again, both with children from Grasby but also with children from other schools.

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September already…..

The Minster, resplendent in the Summer sunshine

The Minster, resplendent in the Summer sunshine

It has been a while since our last post, but a lot has happened:

  • many excellent services;
  • a very special first mass celebrated by the Reverend Katherine Price, featuring much music;
  • a combined choral evensong sung by the Minster Singers and the Minster Choir featuring some very fine music enjoyed by a large congregation, followed by a choir party!
  • farewell to Senior Choral Scholar David Whitworth, who is now undertaking a gap year at Truro Cathedral as a Choral Scholar there;
  • farewell to Head Chorister Millie Brown as she heads to university to study childcare.

As always at this time of the year, we are looking forward to the new term.  We are giving the Choristers this week to get used to being back at school before rehearsals restart on 8 September.

This is the perfect opportunity for new recruits to join us and we are very pleased to welcome two new Choristers although we still have room for new singers:

  • boys and girls aged 7+ (Year 3 and above)
  • teenagers
  • proficient adult singers

Please contact us should you be interested in joining the Choir or know anyone who is!

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Choirs from the East….

The Church of St James', Louth, complete with its famous spire, which is 500 years old this year.

The Church of St James’, Louth, complete with its famous spire, which is 500 years old this year.

Having enjoyed singing as one of three Minster Choirs in March, we go on our travels, again, next week to sing with three of the Eastern-most church choirs in the country!  The Minster Choir will join those from All Saints’, Waltham and St James’, Louth, in order to sing Choral Evensong in the beautiful setting of St James’ Church, Louth.

Music will include Responses by Bernard Rose as well as music by Basil Harwood, including his “glorious” anthem O how glorious is the kingdom.

The combined choirs will be conducted variously by three people: Allan Smith, Louth’s Choral Director; Robert Adams, the Organist and Choirmaster from Waltham, as well as our own Director of Music, Steven Maxson.

The service begins at 6.00pm and all will be welcome to join us to hear wonderful music in a wonderful setting.

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Inclusive choir

The combined Minster Choirs

The combined Minster Choirs

There is a long tradition of high quality choral singing at Grimsby Minster but recent developments have made the opportunity of being a part of this wonderful tradition much more inclusive.

The main Minster Choir is now open to girls, boys, and teenagers from any school in the area, as well as to experienced adult singers.  The Minster’s Director of Music has launched a number of projects working with children both at the Minster and in their schools which has seen the number of children singing at the Minster more than double since Christmas.  Members of the Minster Choir come from eight different local schools, academies, and colleges, including 70% from just one school: Lisle Marsden Primary Academy!

Since September 2014, a second choir has been formed to sing at services in the Minster, now known as the Minster Singers.  This is a group of teenagers and adults, all of whom are highly skilled singers and sight-readers and rehearse briefly before singing one or two monthly services.  This has further broadened the base of singers at the Minster, including opening regular opportunities up to adult singers who had previously been denied the chance to sing here.

In addition to these two Minster choirs, we welcome two children’s choirs to rehearse weekly at the Minster, both organised by the local Music and Performing Arts Service.  These two choirs, Songbirds and Youth Voices, take children from age 5 to late teens and are non-auditioning.

There is truly a choir for everyone at the Minster!

 

 

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Crucifixion!

The Choir and Clergy on Palm Sunday, led by the Bishop of Lincoln

The Choir and Clergy on Palm Sunday, led by the Bishop of Lincoln

Palm Sunday was a busy day in the life of the Minster Choir.  Following our usual Choral Eucharist, at which the Bishop of Lincoln presided and preached, the Choristers and Choral Scholars headed before lunch before loading into a minibus to travel even unto Doncaster….

Once in Doncaster, the Minster Choir combined with choirs from Doncaster Minster and Halifax Minster to rehearse and perform

Excited choristers, about to head to Doncaster Minster

Excited choristers, about to head to Doncaster Minster

Stainer’s Crucifixion.  The performance was conducted by Darren Williams and Chris Brown, the Organists respectively of Doncaster and Halifax Minsters, and our own Organist and Director of Music, Steven Maxson, played the organ for the performance.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to perform in such a large group in a different building.  We are already looking forward to singing a choral evensong in Louth along with the choirs of St James’, Louth, and All Saints’, Waltham, in June as well as to a further, future Three Minsters event!

The combined choirs of Doncaster, Grimsby, and Halifax Minsters at the end of the performance of Stainer's Crucifixion

The combined choirs of Doncaster, Grimsby, and Halifax Minsters at the end of the performance of Stainer’s Crucifixion

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Exciting times

The Choristers and Choral Scholars lining up ahead of Choral Eucharist, along with some of our new recruits.

The Choristers and Choral Scholars lining up ahead of Choral Eucharist, along with some of our new recruits.

There is much excitement around the Minster, at the moment.  In the last two weeks, we have welcomed five new choristers, all from Lisle Marsden Primary Academy, after our Director of Music listened to every child in the top three year groups at the Academy.

Last Sunday saw Amy-Louise, Jessica, and Lilly singing at their first service, and doing so extremely well.  They not only managed to sing all of the music well, but also processed as though they had been doing so all of their lives.  At the same service, Jack was awarded with his surplice, marking his admission as a full chorister within the Choir.

Since then, at our most recent rehearsal, we were delighted to welcome Maurice to the ranks, who did very well, too.

We have also been pleased to have the support of some additional helpers in our rehearsals, to help our new members to settle in.  Thank you to Mrs Maxson, Mrs McNally, and to Choral Scholars Charlie, David, and Lyle.

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Taking up singing for Lent?

Although January and February are often quiet months, they seem to have been busier than ever for the Choir and for the Minster’s Music Team, with much going on!

We welcomed 500 primary school children to the Minster for the Big Hymn Sing day, and our Director of Music has listened individually to almost 250 children sing in a local primary school.

We are hopeful that some of this hard work will pay off, as we are expecting a number of new recruits to join us, this evening, at our rehearsal, thus taking up singing in the Minster for Lent!  We extend the warmest of possible welcomes and hope that you will enjoy singing with us, and will do so for many years to come!

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