First published in the Romsey Advertiser on 17 September 2004
The Choir of Romsey Abbey has returned from its annual singing holiday, which this year was based at Durham. The Abbey choir – fourteen boy choristers and twelve gentlemen, together with their Organist and Master of the choristers, Robert Fielding, and Assistant Organist, Timothy Rogerson – provided the music for the daily office of Evensong for one week, including the August bank holiday Sunday services, at Durham Cathedral.
This year’s music was centred around the Abbey Choir’s late nineteenth and twentieth century repertoire which provided plenty of scope and opportunity to present choral settings for the two evensong canticles – Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis – as well as versicles and responses, anthems and settings for Sunday’s Sung Eucharist and Matins. The Anglican Church tradition during this period inspired such prolific church music composers as Charles Stanford, John Ireland, Herbert Howells, Herbert Sumsion, Harold Darke, Edward Bairstow and Thomas Noble, and examples of their music were sung during the week’s services. The gentlemen of The Abbey Choir sang Friday evensong. The Vicar of Romsey, The Reverend Canon Neil Crawford-Jones, joined the Choir for the week, along with a number of supporters and Friends of Romsey Abbey Choir.
The group stayed at Durham School and took the opportunity to visit local attractions which included Hartlepool Historic Quay, Hadrian’s Wall, Beamish Open Air Museum and a ride on the Weardale steam railway. The Choir was also given the opportunity to climb the tower of Durham’s impressive Norman Cathedral and explore the attractions of the Historic City.
The Choir has now resumed its regular duties at Romsey Abbey.