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Portsmouth revisited

Deborah Davies <>Sat, 12 Aug, 14:49 (1 day ago)
to Irina, Ann, Jennifer, Tj, Mary, Sarah, Jill, Sally, Jonathan, Mark, Amy, Carole, Brean, Colin, Michael, Pamela, Sara, Rob, Sylvia, Joyce, Judy, Ralph, Carole, David, Colin, Richard, Pam, Alan, Dorothy, Linda, Russ, Liz, Martin, Susie, Catherine, Anne, Andrew, Carol, Viola, Bill, me, Mark,, Diana, Joe, John, Claire, Galina, David, Heather, Clare, Paul, Stuart, Pippa, Vini, Roger, evelyn, Tony, Carolyn, Jill, Ella, bcc: Philip

Dear friends,

Can it really be two weeks since Holy Trinity, or even Holy Spirit, Portsmouth ?

I hinted , in an email immediately following our Portsmouth Cathedral weekend, that I considered it to be one of our best visits in recent years, both musically and socially. It really was a wonderful weekend of singing with the choir in top form, singing brilliantly at all three services and supported so wonderfully by the amazing Rosemary Field. It is a shame that many of us, including Rosemary, ended up with covid, but I think it was worth it. I was extremely pleased with your singing and responsiveness and proud to be directing you.

Both Sumsions at Holy Spirit went so well, Sumsion is such a marvellous composer, I cannot think of anything of his that is not imbued with musicality and craftsmanship. ‘They that go down to the sea in ships’ was wonderful, full of rollicking drama where required and then expressing intense tenderness at other times – well done everyone, and the basses even stayed with me in that particular accelerando passage !

Now to the Cathedral: the Vierne was beautiful and dramatic, as it should be, what a great Mass setting it is and how musically you sang it. Gjeilo ‘Ubi Caritas’ was interesting, interjected as it was by loudly shouted passages from the bible, actually I felt this made it even more special. It reminded me a little of a time in Australia when our performance of J.S.Bach ‘St.Matthew Passion’ at St.Stephen’s, Macquarie Street, just opposite N.S.W. State Parliament House, had as a background track the sound of a fairly angry demonstration over Aboriginal rights. On that occasion it also seemed strangely appropriate. It was a great suggestion of Andrew’s to sing ‘Do not be afraid’ during the Baptism, that went down extremely well and thank you Diana for your solo that was sung so beautifully.

Dyson in F was, of course, lovely with Linda’s solo so beautifully sung, and then that wonderful sound from the men in the Nunc Dimittis, you really do make a rich, warm, musical sound when you put your minds to it men. 

And finally to Dove; it was set free, you covered yourselves with light and walked upon the wings of the wind; a real sense of the drama of the piece was conveyed, it finally came together – ‘Bless the Lord’ indeed, well done everyone !

In addition to the fantastic singing I think everyone enjoyed themselves greatly, socialising and making merry. Thank you Catherine for organising the Sunday lunch. The bring whatever you want to eat evening on the Roof Terrace, together with an impromptu sing-a-long courtesy of Russ and his guitar, was great fun as were the trips to the ice cream parlours, sitting in the old fashioned booths latish at night, stirring the poor young lad serving icecreams by calling him Sprinkles (his surname was Gelato) – it’s true, he had it on his T-shirt !

As Diana rightly said in an email following Portsmouth, there was ‘a terrific corporate spirit in the choir’ – long may that continue.

There are a lot of photos on the CCS website, thanks Russ. They are in a thumbnail form so quite a bit of each photo is missing at present. I understand that Russ is looking into this. Russ, perhaps they could be sent via an email link to everyone ? These photos are only on the ‘Members’ site, they are not on the public section of our website. The close up head shots will not be put on the public site but I’m sure you will be interested in them, there are some great photos there. We also need to get the recordings to you, we’ll try to get this done within the next few days. I shall also attempt to get most of this message onto the website as a ‘blog’. 

With very best wishes to all,

Deborah x

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