Julie Heptinstall has written this appreciation of the concert at
Aston, gleaned from all the comments received afterwards. Pictures are
below the report.
‘THROUGH ALL THE CHANGING SCENES OF LIFE’
Immanuel’s Ground Quire concert at Aston Subedge, Glos, 4th
another serendipitous concert arising from a quire member leaving a
visiting card, this time at St. Andrew’s, a tiny 18C rural village
church in Glos., complete with west gallery. The village population was
around 26, but we managed to get about 30 in the congregation in
addition to around the same number of quire members.
programme consisted of about 21 sung items interspersed with readings,
beginning with the old favourite Psalm 34 sung to Stephenson’s
England composers were also represented, including Elisha West, Daniel
Read & William Billings. The programme was varied by including a round,
She Who Lies Here, by Calcott, a glee (‘Avon’ by
C.W.Bannister), and a folk song, The Ox Plough song, when the
audience were invited to join in the chorus.
early seasons of the year were acknowledged in song in the Seasons
Anthem, Candlemas Eve, Hymn for Good Friday by James Evison
and Billings’ EasterAnthem. We then had an interval with
drinks and nibbles outside in the setting spring sun, with feedback
being very encouraging..
beginning of August was marked as Lammas-tide with Isaac Watt’s Psalm
92, to Thomas Clark’s tune ‘Cedar’, then including a summer
time Wedding Anthem Psalm 128 from East’s book.
agricultural season was celebrated with a Farmer’s Toast (also
with audience participation) and Harvest Home from a John Sugden
was marked by the words ‘On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry announces
that the Lord is nigh’ to the tune Gibraltar. For Christmas
carols we had the BlackDecree, collected in the Forest of
Dean, Glos. and the Song of the Angels by Nahum Tate, tune by
encore was another While Shepherds Watched to Thomas Jarman’s
tune ‘Lyngham’, with which a number of the audience joined in, lustily!
wished them a very early Happy Christmas, and received much positive
feedback, including comments such as “It was as though the church was
giving you all a big hug!” As it was by now dark, and there being no
‘facilities’ at the church, the majority of us retired to the Village
Club where we took refreshment and continued fielding interested
questions from the locals. It was one of our most successful and
uplifting concerts in recent times.