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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Sister Anna (responsible for building up the repertoire)
Bramwell Bourne (responsible for overseeing the rebuilding of the organ)
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