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Open rehearsal

We’re delighted to announce our Open Rehearsal on Sunday 13 October 7.30pm at Leeds Minster LS2 7DJ, when we look to welcome enthusiastic singers along who might be interested in joining.

If you enjoy singing in choirs or are looking to join a good choir where your skills can flourish and develop, St Peter’s Singers could be just the choir for you and our open rehearsal on 13 October would be a great opportunity to find out!

Registration is from 7.15pm, and the rehearsal starts at 7.30pm, lasting till 9.15 pm. Just come to the choir vestry door (the one nearest to the Palace Hotel on the Kirkgate side of the Minster).

We will be rehearsing some of the music for our upcoming Remembrance Day concert. Copies will be provided for you on arrival, and if you feel afterwards that this is your thing, there will be the opportunity to take part in that concert.

Our normal process if you want to join is for you to attend for a number of weeks, singing at rehearsals and concerts, and then there is a simple audition to confirm your membership. So if you can’t be with us on 13 October, just email our choir secretary and make arrangements to start another week.

The Dream of Gerontius

We were hugely privileged to take part in the most moving performance of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius on 1 June. Huge thanks to Simon Wright for the invitation, and for directing the performance with such assurance, finesse and feel for the music. Thanks also to the Leeds Festival Chorus, the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus , the Hallé Orchestra and the stellar soloists Barry Banks, Dame Sarah Connolly and David Soar for making it an evening to remember. We had a ball ! Wonderful that this amazing work can still fill Leeds Town Hall in 2019!

Reflections on Bach Cantata 82 ‘Ich habe genug’.

Edward Thornton

Wonderful as the whole of this beautiful bass solo cantata is, I find the first aria exceptionally moving. I love the gentle lilting movemen … surely a dance form. The opening phrase for both voice and oboe, recalls ‘Erbarme dich’ from the St Matthew passion, though here the text takes Simeon’s ‘Nunc Dimittis’ as its inspiration, rather than the abject remorse of Peter’s betrayal of Jesus. The cantata expresses the mystical longing to escape this earthly life and for the soul to be united with Jesus, which seems one of the chief characteristics of Lutheran mysticism in the 18th century.

I have always loved this cantata, perhaps partly because, in my youth, I was an oboist, though I never played the wonderful obbligato. I have sung it several times, and the upcoming St Peter’s Singers concert will be my sixth visit. The first time was in Cambridge, when I was at the Royal College of Music. Later a friend from the RCM, Valerie Darke, granddaughter of the composer, Harold Darke, was the very fine oboist, in a performance I organised. I also sang it in Southampton, when the oboist, Geoffrey Bridge, had been my teacher whilst I was principal oboe in Southampton Youth Orchestra.

Edward Thornton is a member of St Peter’s Singers and will be singing Ich habe genug at our concert at Fulneck Moravian Chapel on Bank Holiday Monday 26 August