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Chant notation

YCA at Douai Abbey, September 2018

 

John Curran writes:

Change can bring growth.  We’ll get to that…

For some years the Schola has provided a team to support the Young Catholics Association (YCA) annual autumn weekend retreat, lately at Douai Abbey.  This event has become a minor gem in the Schola’s year. 

Some of our regulars were unavailable, but back came one who was away in 2017; we provided seven – just enough.  This was one of the first assignments of Iain Simcock, the Schola’s new director.  Previously organist at Westminster Abbey and Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, more recently he was organist at the Abbey of Saint Pierre in Solesmes. Iain’s style grew on us, interspersed with his reminiscences and pithy summary of how Solesmes came to the rescue of the chant.

We missed Julia and Jeremy White, the latter rehearsing in Holland, but it is not easy to get rid of opera singers.  One YCA member, Matúš Tomko is a Slovak opera singer whose bass voice lent a firm foundation during our psalms.  From the Church Conservatory in Bratislava, his repertoire includes Mozart, Verdi, Bizet and Smetana.   

The Schola’s first rehearsal left your correspondent wondering if we had enough in the team.  But far more YCA members than in previous years came to the second rehearsal; our combined contingent suddenly became a strong force and so it remained with the Schola outnumbered by eight YCA members who kept their toes still stuck into the water until the very end.  

During the weekend we sang Compline, Vespers and for two Masses.  The first Mass for Our Lady’s Nativity was ‘High’ in the Extraordinary Form; Canon Poucin ICSK celebrated with Brother Deacon Greener OSB and Fr Lawrence Lew OP acting as subdeacon.   Canon Poucin sang the rarely used Tonus Solemnior for the Preface.  

Another old friend, Fr Lawrence Lew OP, celebrated our Sunday Mass in the Dominican Rite;  During communion Iain accompanied Matúš singing the melody line of Mozart’s Ave Verum.   Our YCA friends showed us the silence, discussed by Fr Lawrence in a retreat conference, in periods of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.  Reverence was followed by later social evenings which went on after your respondent went to bed.   Some still turned up at 06:20 for Morning Prayer in English with the monks, 

Growth?  During this weekend we had both change and growth.  Join us next year?  The limit is how we can arrange overnight accommodation, but even that can be solved – given notice… If you want to be invited contact John Curran, JPCSedate@aol.com  or 01509 852259 (calls welcome until 8pm- grumpily after then). 

Our Autumn Newsletter

If you click the link below, you’ll have a pdf copy of our new Autumn newsletter…

2018 Autumn Schola Gregoriana Newsletter

 

2018 Workshop in Askrigg, Upper Wensleydale

The seventh annual Gregorian Chant Workshop will be held on 15 September 2018 in St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg, North Yorkshire.

Askrigg is a small village in Upper Wensleydale still famous for being the location for the TV programme ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

The day will last from 10.00am and finish with Vespers at 4.00pm. The director is Philip Duffy who is an Associate Director of the Schola Gregoriana and a former choir master of Liverpool RC Cathedral. No previous experience of Gregorian chant is necessary.

The fee for the day is £15 which includes tuition and music (to keep). The day will end with the service of Vespers to which members of the public are welcome. Further details will be available when people sign up. All are welcome including beginners who have never sung the chant but would like to try.

To book, please contact MaryRose Kearney by email at maryrosekearney@hotmail.com, or send a cheque for £15 to “The Gregorian Workshop” c/o Kearney, Summerdown, Silver St Askrigg, Leyburn, N. Yorks. DL8 3HS.

 

Iain Simcock and the Schola Gregoriana

Iain Simcock was organ scholar at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and Christ Church, Oxford, before being appointed Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey and, for seven years, Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral. He was the first British prize-winner in the Chartres International Organ Competition, as well as prizewinner in competitions in St. Omer and Odense in Denmark. He studied with David Sanger in London and Jean Langlais in Paris.

He recorded several CDs for Hyperion Records with the choir of Westminster Cathedral as well as several solo organ recordings, including two Symphonies by Louis Vierne and notably the world première recording of Christus A Passion Symphony for Organ by Francis Pott. During this period, recital tours took him all over Europe as well as to Australia. He also appeared regularly on BBC radio and television and played in two BBC Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. He gave many duo concerts during this time with Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (trumpet), now Principal of the Royal Academy of Music.

In 1994, Iain was appointed professor of choral singing at the Conservatoire National in Angers, France and organist at the Abbey of Saint Pierre in Solesmes, whilst continuing his solo freelance career. He performed the complete organ works of Bach in Angers in 1996, recording a solo CD of highlights from the performances. He also performed all Bach’s major harpsichord works including the Goldberg Variations on the famous Taskin harpsichord in the Russell Collection at the Edinburgh Festival.

From 2001-2014 he was the musical director of the Académie Vocale de Paris, performing weekly concerts with the choir as well as concerts in many major festivals. He was instigator of two major radio France programmes featuring the monks of Solesmes and the Académie Vocale, focusing on the great Solesmes tradition of the restoration of Gregorian chant. He also worked with the opera houses in Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux, preparing young singers for roles in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Turn of the Screw, Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande, Berlioz Damnation of Faust, Mozart Magic Flute and as assistant to Jane Glover and harpsichordist for Handel Jephtha. He continues to perform regularly as both organist and harpsichordist, recently returning from playing in the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, which has the largest organ in the Middle-East.

He continues his connection with the Abbey of Solesmes and also with the Benedictines of S.Madeleine at Le Barroux, having been the advisor for the new organ currently under construction for the Abbey church.

One of Iain’s first assignments for the Schola Gregoriana will be to lead workshops and direct the chant in the liturgy for the Young Catholic Adults retreat at Douai Abbey: 7-9 September 2018.

First Vespers of St Kentigern, or Mungo, 12th Jan 2017

At Glasgow Cathedral, 5:30pm on Thursday 12th January. For further details, please see This PDF.

Solemn Requiem for Richard III – 13th June 2015

Mass will be celebrated in the usus antiquorior, and the celebrant will be Fr Guy Nicholls Cong.Orat. The music will include plainsong, English fifteenth-century polyphony and a new motet in honour of the king.

If you are able to display a printed poster, you can download a PDF to print from:

http://www.scholagregoriana.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/richardIIIpdf.pdf

Young Catholic Adults and Schola Gregoriana Retreat

Douai Abbey Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October 2017

For some years Associates of the Schola have been joining with the YCA on a weekend retreat, usually in the autumn at Douai Abbey. This year is no exception. The YCA is a group which promotes the spirit of orthodoxy with charity; it has a deliberately non-divisive outlook, and uses the Church’s devotional heritage in order to aid souls. At these retreats the Schola leads the singing at Mass and the daily Offices in the old rite, and encourages YCA members to join in rehearsals as part of our mission to pass the heritage of the Chant on to successive generations. The lecture programmes of the YCA and Schola rehearsals are linked and timed to allow members of either organisation to attend both. Each day ends with a social gathering at which old friendships are renewed and new ones made.

If you wish to join, and for all further details, please contact us at admin@scholagregoriana.org or by any of the methods on our contact page.

Workshop in Askrigg, Upper Wensleydale

The fifth Gregorian Chant Workshop will be held on September 9th 2017 in St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg, North Yorkshire. Askrigg is a small village in Upper Wensleydale still famous for being the location for the TV programme ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

The day will last from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The director is Philip Duffy who is the Assoc. Director for the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge and a former choir master of Liverpool RC Cathedral.

The fee for the day is £15 which includes tuition and music (to keep). The day will end with the service of Vespers to which members of the public are welcome. Further details will be available when people sign up. All are welcome including beginners who have never sung the chant but would like to try.

To book, please contact MaryRose Kearney by telephone on 01969 650 880, or by email at maryrosekearney@hotmail.com, or send a cheque for £15 to “The Gregorian Workshop” c/o Kearney, Summerdown, Silver St Askrigg, Leyburn, N. Yorks. DL8 3HS.

Sing Gregorian Chant in the Liturgy

Friday 11th – Sunday 13th August 2017

A weekend of enchanting melody and traditional liturgy in the beautiful surroundings of St.Stephen’s House, Oxford, to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the Founder of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, Dr. Mary Berry (1917-2008), and to explore her legacy

Directors: Christopher Hodkinson, Philip Duffy and Fr. Guy Nicholls

The programme includes:

Study of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary and celebration of all eight hours of the Office
Requiem Mass for Dr. Mary Berry and deceased Associates
Mass for 10th Sunday after Pentecost
Singing of chant transcriptions by Mary Berry
Panel discussion on the legacy of Mary Berry
Sunday visit to St. Birinus, Dorchester on Thames, the burial place of Mary Berry for Solemn Vespers, Benediction and Prayers at the grave

Accommodation, including full board, at St. Stephen’s House, Oxford. Cost: £240
Non-residential: £185 for weekend, or £90 for one day
All fees include Associate membership of the Schola Gregoriana, music and tuition
Reduction of £20 from all charges for Associates of the Schola Gregoriana

Students, clergy, religious or 3 or more members of chant choirs pay 50% of the above charges.Bursaries available on application.

Beginners and experienced singers of the chant are all welcome

See below for further details, or contact:

Mr. Grey Macartney,
Schola Gregoriana

020-8840-5832
26 The Grove, Ealing, London, W5 5LH.

Information and Booking Forms (printable PDF)

Chant Workshops 2017

Directed by John Rowlands-Pritchard

John Rowlands-Pritchard will be teaching several chant workshops in a variety of places over the next few months, and also one residential course in April. Here is a summary; for details and updates, please see the Opus Anglicanum web site.

  • 24th – 27th April, Benslow Music, Hitchin, Herts.
    Residential Gregorian Chant Course 01462 459446
  • 25th July, Worcester Three Choirs Festival
    Chant Workshop 10 am – 4.30 pm 01452 768 928
    Vespers for St Oswald of Worcester 5:30 pm in Worcester Cathedral
  • 30th September, Glastonbury Abbey
    Chant Workshop 10 am – 5 pm 01458 832267
  • 4th November, St Mary’s Church Monmouth
    RSCM South East Wales Chant workshop 01722 424848