Music at St Edward's

Shaftesbury has a small congregation but nonetheless enjoys great music! Singing accompanies the 11.00 Sunday Mass, as well as major services such as Christmas and the Easter Triduum. We generally provide an organist and choir for funerals, and for weddings on request.

The Organ

Clare Corry is our principal organist and we are keenly looking for a new organist to join her so that playing can be rotated among a greater number. If you are an organist and would like to play, then please contact Clare who would be happy to discuss details with you. Marie Cradock and Robin Highcock also play occasionally.

The organ itself is a single manual organ with 8 stops. It was not originally built for St Edward's and is a much later addition, arriving in the 1970s. It was built in about 1920 and carries a small plaque which reads: ‘Robert Spurden Rutt, Organ Builder, Leyton, London, E.’

It was extensively rebuilt in 1996 under the guidance of Bramwell Bourne who was the organist at the time. The rebuilding involved adding several new pipes in the bass which involved blocking off the north window , adding a two-and-a-half octave pedal board, converting the controls from being purely mechanical to being partially electronic and painting the display pipes at the front of the organ gold. We are currently researching the archives to try and find out more about its history and would welcome any input you may be able to make. It is situated in a loft above the entrance hall at the back of the nave which is where the choir sings from as well.

The Choir

Our choir is led by Marie Cradock. We have several sopranos, 2 altos, a bass, and a number of others who join us on an occasional basis. We currently lack a regular tenor. We are keen to recruit new members and you do not have to audition to join. Only about half of the choir can read music and the others learn their parts by ear.

The Repertoire

We have a repertoire of four Masses and about 30 or so motets which we tend to sing during communion. We rotate them and try and add new material throughout the year. We generally sing the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei with the congregation, mostly in English but once a month we sing the Latin Missa De Angelis. We also sing the psalm between the readings and the Alleluia before the Gospel. We use The New Church Anthem book extensively but we have many other sources as well. Some of our current motets are listed at the bottom of this page. The congregation uses the Liturgical Hymns Old and New book.

Choir Practices

At present the choir practices once a month, on Friday evenings, 7.30pm in the choir loft. Before Christmas and Easter we practice more frequently, sometimes supplementing the Friday practices with sessions on Tuesday mornings at 10.30am.

Joining the Choir

The only real qualification for joining the choir is that you have to be able to climb the steep and narrow spiral stone staircase to the organ loft! If you can read music then that is a bonus but don’t worry if you can’t, we will happily help you through.

To find out more, please feel contact Marie Cradock either by email or by phone. Her phone number is 01747 852313.

Our Communion Motets include:

A Gaelic Blessing – Rutter

Adoro Te – Moreno

Adoramus Te, Domine - Jacques Berthier

Adoramus Te, Domine Deus - Margaret Rizza

Agnus Dei – Byrd

Agnus Dei – Faure

Agnus Dei – Terry

The Alleluyas of St James – French carol melody

Ave Verum – Elgar

Ave Verum – Mozart

Ave Verum – Plainchant

Awake thou wintry earth – JS Bach

Bless the Lord, my soul - Jacques Berthier

Blessed are the pure in heart - Walford Davies

Bread of life from heaven - Argentinian, arr. Marty Haugen

Call to remembrance – Farrant

Cantique de Jean Racine – Faure

Calm me Lord - Margaret Rizza

Carol of the Atonement – English trad.

Cantate Domino – Pitoni

Come, Holy Ghost – Attwood

Christus Factus Est - Anerio

Dona Nobis Pacem – unk.

Eat this bread - Jacques Berthier

Exultate Justi – da Verdana

Fairest Lord Jesus – Silesian, arr. M How

God be in my head – Walford Davies

God so loved the world – Stainer

Holy, Holy, Holy – Schubert

Holy, Holy, Holy – Tchaikovsky

If ye love me – Tallis

Jesu, Joy of man's desiring – JS Bach

Jesus, you are the bread - Bernadette Farrell

La Sagesse - Pere Andre Gouzes, O.P.

Laudate Dominum - Mozart

Laudate Dominum - Jacques Berthier

Lead me Lord – SS Wesley

Locus Iste – Bruckner

Not on bread alone - Stephen Dean

One Bread, one Body - John Foley S.J.

O taste and see – Vaughan Williams

Panis Angelicus – Franck

Panis Angelicus – Moreno

Taste and see - Anne Ward

The Lord Bless you and keep you - Rutter

The strife is o'er – Ley

Turn thy face from my sins – Attwood

Virgin born, we bow before you - Bourgeois

Organists, Choirmasters & Musical Directors

Some of our principle organists over the years have been:

Paddy Russill (responsible for the installation of the organ)

Alison Johnstone

Theo Hetherington

Sister Anna (responsible for building up the repertoire)

Bramwell Bourne (responsible for overseeing the rebuilding of the organ)

Clare Corry