Over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, Romsey Abbey Choir went West to sing in two very different churches. On Sunday 3 May, it paid its annual visit to Sherborne Abbey, where, with Sherborne Abbey’s choir, it sang Choral Evensong. The music comprised Charles Villiers Stanford’s popular Evening Service in C and Edgar Bainton’s sublime setting of verses from the Book of Revealations, And I saw a new Heaven.
On Bank Holiday Monday, it made its first appearance at St. Stephen’s Church, Bournemouth, as part of the church’s festival. St Stephens once employed the composer Percy Whitlock as organist and the Abbey Choir sang his Evening Service in D as the centrepiece of their offering. They also sang Ernest Bullock’s setting of Isaac Watt’s hymn Give us the wings of faith. James Eaton concluded the service with a bravura performance of the finale from Louis Vierne’s First Symphony for Organ.
Over tea, kindly laid on after each service, the choir were pleased to receive appreciative comments from members of the congregation about their singing. Later this month, the choir crosses the Channel to sing in two concerts in Belgium.