Right … that’s the Wedding done. FA Cup to follow. Then … zip over to the “Pork Pie” Church for Carmina Burana at 7:30! We’re almost set up, and are ready to rehearse.
The Wellingborough Singers are delighted to return to the United Reformed Church (commonly known as the Pork Pie church, due to its distinctive shape) to perform one of the classics of choral music – Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Seating for this concert is entirely unreserved (doors open at 7:00pm), but all seats have a good view, the acoustics are excellent, and all the pews have excellent cushions!
If you’re a child of the 1970s, it may well have been the Old Spice advert. If you hail from a younger generation, it will almost certainly be The X Factor. Or maybe you remember its regular comical use in Only Fools and Horses. Perhaps you even know it as the accompaniment to which Gillingham Football club players run onto the pitch at home games at the Priestfield stadium. One thing’s for sure, though: the vast majority of people who know and love the famous “O Fortuna” that opens Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana have first come across it not through a performance of the work, but via its use in countless television shows, commercials and films.
At less than three minutes, “O Fortuna” is only one very small part of this mammoth cantata. Orff was at pains to point out the non-religious nature of the work in its title: Carmina Burana is subtitled “Cantiones profanæ cantoribus et choris cantandæ comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis”, translating as “secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magic images”.
Composed in the 1930s and inspired by a set of medieval poems, Carmina Burana was first performed in Frankfurt in June 1937, to great acclaim. Orff knew he had a hit on his hands, and he was fortunate enough to see the work’s rapid rise in popularity during the course of his own lifetime. Whilst it is often performed with large orchestra, Orff recognised the potential of an accompaniment of two pianos and no fewer than six percussionists, and it is in this version we perform the work.
We are delighted to welcome back former Musical Director Ian Runnells alongside our own répétiteur Steve Garfirth as our two pianists, and indeed to the Keith Crompton Percussion Ensemble. Local soloists Jessica Smith (an aluma of The Sixteen’s Genesis project), Robert Tilson (graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), and Reuben Willcox (graduate of the Julliard School in New York) complete the line up.
CAR PARKING and ACCESSIBILITY
Just opposite the church is Jackson’s Lane Car Park which is free of charge and has over 150 parking spaces. If you have mobility needs please get in touch with us and we will endeavour to organise parking right by the church on either Queen Street or Salem Lane. The church is fully wheelchair accessible, and the church was designed with excellent sight lines in mind.
We now know what we’ll be singing this Christmas, and for our Spring Concert in 2019 and details are on the “Future Concerts” page.
Looks like a great combination of choral pieces, and everyone’s favourite Vaughan Williams orchestral work, “The Lark Ascending”.
We’ll be looking at the Forrest “Jubilate” on Youtube, as it’s not a work that will be familiar to many in the choir. It’s always great to sing something new!
We have been hard at work on Mahler’s “Resurrection Symphony”and Orff’s “Carmina Burana” in our rehearsals this January. For those who have sung neither before it’s been great fun learning new works, and if one’s a second bass a whole new voice range has been opened up by the Mahler! With Russian-style low notes and almost top tenor highs we have been working our vocal chords in a whole new way.
So, all is going well and we are looking forward to singing in St Mathew’s Church on 10 March, with the Northampton Bach Choir, Daventry Choral Society and the Chapel Choir of the Malcolm Arnold Academy where we will be joined by virtuoso organist David Briggs to perform his transcription of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony, together with soloists Jeanette Ager and Alison Roddy. Don’t miss it!
First rehearsal of 2018 tonight – and we’re ready to get stuck into two masterpieces – Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony and Orff’s “Carmina Burana”.
St Mary’s Church, Wellingborough was packed for Saturday night’s concert – a wonderful site for the choir! While we all enjoy singing for singing’s sake, it’s great to be able to share our enjoyment with others.
The audience participation was brilliant – probably the best of any of our Christmas Concerts over the years, and the church’s acoustics certainly helped, too.
Judging from post concert comments the evening’s efforts were well received and with 260 in the audience, 65 in the choir, 12 in the orchestra, 3 soloists, and 1 conductor we certainly raised the roof!
Just one more rehearsal this afternoon, this time with the orchestra, and then the Concert this evening in St Mary’s, Wellingborough
We now know the complete order of music as follows: –
FIRST HALF : MESSIAH
Tenor – Comfort ye
Tenor solo – Ev’ry valley
CHOIR : And the glory of the Lord
Alto solo – Behold a virgin shall conceive
Alto solo – O thou that tellest
CHOIR : O thou that tellest
CHOIR : For unto us a child is born
Soprano solo – There were shepherds
CHOIR : Glory to God
Soprano solo – He shall feed His flock
CHOIR : Hallelujah
SECOND HALF : CAROLS
CHOIR : Angels’ Carol – Rutter
AUDIENCE : O come, all ye faithful
CHOIR : Love came down at Christmas – Rutter
CHOIR : Shepherd’s Pipe Carol – Rutter
AUDIENCE : God rest you merry gentlemen
CHOIR : Nativity Carol – Rutter
CHOIR : What sweeter music – Rutter
AUDIENCE : Hark! the herald angels sing
CHOIR : Star Carol – Rutter
AUDIENCE : The Twelve Days of Christmas
Another great choir practice yesterday evening. We ran through all the Rutter carols we’ll be singing on 9 December in St Mary’s, Wellingborough, and they’re beginning to sound OK.
Programme – 9 December 2017
Handel – Messiah (part one) and Hallelujah Chorus
Rutter – Angels’ Carol, Love came down at Christmas, Nativity Carol, Shepherd’s Pipe Carol, Star Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, What sweeter music, and arrangements of popular carols for choir, audience, organ, and orchestra.
The Wellingborough Singers are joined by soloists, organist, and orchestra, under the baton of their new Musical Director, Lee Dunleavy, to present their Christmas offering this year.
The concert begins with the first part of Handel’s ‘Messiah’, concluding with the rousing ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus. For this the choir will be joined by four young soloists currently singing with the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.
The second half of the concert presents carols for choir, and carols for choir and audience together, composed or arranged by the ever-popular John Rutter. There will be something for everyone.
The whole concert is accompanied by orchestra, and for the carols with audience the great organ of St Mary’s Church will be added to great effect.