Friday 21 November 2008

Magdalen College Mass

It was a great honour for the Schola to sing at this important Mass, which was widely anticipated and reported in the blogs and the press (see The Times). Magdalen College's own tradition of choral excellence was something to live up to!

The Mass went extremely well, under the direction of our professional coach, Mr Adrian Taylor. I managed to capture only part of the singing, but here is the 'Libera nos', sung before the blessing of the cataphalque, sung by a small part of the schola. The cantor in this instance was the excellent Mr John Simmonds, who joined us for the occasion.

Monday 3 November 2008

All Souls at the Oxford Oratory

Last week we benefited from one of the regular visits of our professional coach, Mr Adrian Taylor, who is based in London. Here is a picture of him with the schola at our regular practice session.
This was in preparation for the feast of All Souls, celebrated with a traditional Missa Cantata at the Oxford Oratory. We had a large schola for the occasion, which is helpful in such a reletively large church, especially since we sing from the choir loft at the back.
Fr Anton Webb, who has himself sung with us in the past, was the celebrant at the Mass. Other former singers were among the servers; we had the full ceremonies, with incense. About sixty people were present for the Mass.
The Oxford Oratory, like Westminster Cathedral, is full of scaffolding at the moment. The purpose, however, is not structural repair but the long-awaited restoration of the internal decoration, which was painted over in a fit of enthusiasm for 'noble simplicity' by the Jesuit guardians of the church in the 1950s.