September concert – ‘Faire is the Heaven’

We’ve a concert coming up in Lewes, at St Michael’s Church, on Saturday 26th September at 6pm.

We’re calling it ‘Faire is the Heaven’ after the anthem of that name by English composer William Harris. It’s one of two Harris anthems on the programme, which also includes two of J S Bach’s mighty motets, Komm, Jesu, Komm and Lobet den Herrn, motets by Charles Villiers Stanford and the Requiem by Herbert Howells.

We sang Faire is the Heaven at Westminster Abbey last month when we sang five services over three days. Tiring, but wonderful. They can seat up to a thousand people for services, and that’s just in the Quire and transept, not the main nave (which only gets used on special occasions). The atmosphere in the Quire is always magical, but there’s something a little disconcerting to know you’re being watched round the corner on screens by who knows how many hundreds of people.

The transept at Westminster Abbey before a service

Westminster Abbey is the final resting place of many fine musicians, writers & artists. Polly took a pic of Nick and I by the monument to Henry Purcell.

Nick & Robin Houghton at Purcell's grave, Westminster Abbey

Purcell was the organist at the Abbey from 1679 to 1695 and he’s buried a few feet away from where we’re standing. We always try to sing something by Purcell at Westminster Abbey and this time is was ‘O God, Thou art my God’ at Sunday Evensong.

The music for the September concert is on order and we’ll soon be sending it out to singers prior to our first rehearsal on September 12th. Incidentally, if you’re in Lewes do drop by St Michael’s during the day – not only will you hear us in rehearsal, but it’s Heritage Open Day at the church and it’s a good chance to have a nose around and hear more about this fascinating building. There are many other historic properties open in Lewes on that day – full details here.

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