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Could you be our new Director of Music?

Romsey Abbey is looking for an inspirational and skilled musician to enhance and develop the musical life of the Abbey.

The position is offered on a part-time, .67 full-time equivalent basis.

The Abbey has a boys and men’s choir and a girls choir, comprehensive details about both of which you find on this website, and a fine Walker organ.

Salary: £12,000 pa (plus approx. an additional £10,000 in fees).

To discuss the position, please contact Canon Tim Sledge, Vicar of Romsey on 01794 513125 or vicarofromsay@gmail.com.

Please send a letter of application outlining why you would like to be considered for the post and your relevant experiences, together with your CV and the names and contact details of two referees.

Closing date for applications: midday on Friday 12 June.

Auditions will take place on Saturday 20 June.

Lenten mourning turns to joy

March begins with a Sung Eucharist for Mothering Sunday, when the girls, boys and men will be joining forces to sing George Malcolm’s Missa ad Præsepe, given its first outing so successfully at the Midnight Eucharist. The evening takes an Orthodox turn as we sing Bogoroditse Dyevo, or Ave Maria, from Rachmaninov’s Vespers; we’ll be joined by the Girl Choristers of Portsmouth Cathedral.

On Passion Sunday, the following week, Byrd’s Second Service gets an airing. A musical barometer of the Tudor era, Byrd set English texts when Protestants were in the ascendent and reverted to Latin when the political weather changed or when writing for private devotion. This piece is in English, yet shares many of the syncopations and other musical we enjoy in his Mass for four voices.

The Sung Eucharist on Maundy Thursday is French in character; we’re pairing Duruflé’s Messe ‘Cum Jubilo’ with Lugebat David Amsalon (David mourned for Absalom), an impassioned eight-part motet from the early Sixteenth Century by Nicolas Gombert. The next morning on Good Friday, the emotion deepens with The Reproaches by John Sanders, which alternates anguished eight-part harmonies with haunting antiphons by the men. For this service, the girls and men are also learning a motet by Alan Ridout, I turn the corner of prayer and burn.

The Gloucester Service by Herbert Howells is the centrepiece of the Choral Evensong on Easter Sunday. The amthem will be It is a thing most wonderful – a very mellifluous piece by former York Minster organist Philip Moore. Having sung Jonathan Dove’s hypnotic anthem Seek him that maketh the seven stars at Candlemas, we’re about to start learning his Missa Brevis for Easter Sunday morning, We’ll also be joined by the congregation in Handel’s Hallelujah chorus. It should prove to be an impressive finale to a very busy term.

Be a chorister for an afternoon

Over the last couple of months, George Richford, our Director of Music, has heard over 2500 boys and girls sing to him in assemblies, held over 48 auditions with hopeful boys and girls, and offered positions to several new boys (we have a waiting list for girl choristers). George says, ‘The talent I have heard exceeds that of two cathedrals that I have worked in and is of a standard I have not seen before. The potential is enormous.’

As our final recruitment event this term, between 1:30 and 3:30pm this Sunday (13 March), we are inviting local boys and girls to Be a chorister for an afternoon.

Boys and girls will do some vocal exercises with local singing coach Alice Wratten, then learn an easy song with George. During this time, parents will get the chance to learn about the opportunity for their child from George and then chat to parents of existing choristers to find out what it’s like from their point of view.

At just after 3pm, the boys and girls will take part in a very short service, when they’ll sing the song they’ve learned.

If you’d like your child to benefit from this opportunity, which will build their self-confidence, help their reading skills and be part of something big and exciting, please text choir to 80818 or contact us online.