One of our largest audiences enjoyed two very different Glorias - one by Randol Bass, the other by Vivaldi - as well as a selection of carols. And at the beginning and end of the second half, the choir processed surrounding the audience as they sang which everyone found effective. The carols included Chilcott's Midwinter, Gardener's Tomorrow shall be my Dancing Day as well as traditional ones that the audience also sang. There were many favourable comments from both choir and audience and everyone seems to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
The choir looks forward to welcoming James, our new Music Director, when the autumn term starts on 4 September 2018.
James moved to the UK in June 2017 after three years working and conducting in New York City. During his distinguished career, his choirs have performed invitational concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and Washington National Cathedral. He has taught undergraduate and graduate conducting, vocal studies, and chaired a university department of music. He facilitates and serves on the faculty of Distinguished Concerts International New York's annual Conductors' Mentoring Workshop, held each January in New York City. He was a practising church musician for more than 25 years before moving to New York and has conducted choral societies, numerous honor choirs, and many festivals. Dr Meaders, in partnership with several US choral colleagues, created The International Partnership for Choral Music Education, an annual service learning based conducting symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa, that is dedicated to promoting the development of the choral arts of South Africa.
Jamie's interests include exploring the English countryside, red wine, Labrador Retrievers, and learning English as a second language!
In front of a very large audience, Michael Barlow conducted his final concert with Hurst Green Singers. The programme included Spirituals from a Child of our Time, the Haydn Mass in Time of War as well as two Shakespeare songs which had been composed by Michael. Four very talented young soloists joined the choir who were accompanied by Alec Crowe and the Hurst Green Sinfonia.
Michael has directed Hurst Green Singers for 33 years and in the closing speeches, the Reverend Anna Eltringham commented particularly on Michael's musicianship, his ability to put together a wonderful music programme, his unending patience and for being such a good person with whom to work. At the end of the concert, the choir sprung a musical surprise on Michael by singing The Music's Always There by Rutter which he very much appreciated.
The choir presented Michael with a CD collection of vocal music and a cheque as a token of their appreciation. He will be very much missed and the choir wish him all the best in his future endeavours.