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Music at Services at the Cathedral of St.Machar for March 2021

At the meeting of the Kirk Session in December, a decision was taken to suspend live Services at the Cathedral until further notice, due to the Covid pandemic. However, during the current period, virtual Sunday morning Services are being made available on a weekly basis by audio, accessible through the Cathedral website.

At these recordings, music will be taken from the relevant Service last year, with a mixture of hymns, anthems and organ music. As we move into the heart of Lent, so the music will reflect that season, with appropriate music, sung and played by our congregation, choir and organists.

The Choir, which comprises Choral Scholars amongst its 25 members, continues to meet virtually, on a weekly basis, to sing repertoire and to learn new pieces, so that when we are permitted to return, we hope to be in good voice. In the meantime, we are recording a Hymn of the Month, and the one for March is a setting of Psalm 121 in the traditional metrical version. This has been sung by each of our choir members at home, with the recordings joined together with an audio file recorded on St.Machar Organ. This is available from the Cathedral website.

We are presently receiving specially commissioned compositions to be rehearsed via zoom – a quite different experience from face-to-face rehearsals.  These new pieces, written by a mixture of established and young composers, will be sung at Services when we return to the Cathedral. Early indications suggest that they will be very varied in mood and character. These pieces are additional to the three ‘2020 Commissions’ which have yet to receive their World Premiere – pieces by Sir James MacMillan, Professor Paul Mealor, and Dr. Sarah Rimkus. We hope to have a special occasion at which these pieces will be performed under the newly restored ceiling.

Incidentally if you, as a reader of this, are an experienced singer who might be interested in joining the choir, please do contact the Music Director – I will be delighted to hear from you. (rogerbevanwilliams@g.mail.com)

Director of Music and Organist - Dr. Roger B.Williams, M.B.E.

(March 2021)