Thursday 25 February 2010

OGCS granted the right to use the Unversity name

The Oxford Gregorian Chant Society can now style itself the

Oxford University Gregorian Chant Society

by kind permission of the Vice Chancellor of the University.

It is a bit of a mouthful but reflects the place of the Schol as a student society of the University, with a degree of longevity and stability.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Gregorian Chant Network launched

A new organisation has been launched to promote Gregorian Chant: the Gregorian Chant Network. It will link Chant Scholas together for mutual support and organise training events: the first of these will be a three-day course, April 9-11th, with Nick Gale.

It was launched with the involvement of more than 20 scholas around England, Wales, and Scotland, including the Schola Abelis, and is supported by the Latin Mass Society, Una Voce Scotland, the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge, and the Association for Latin Liturgy. This is a major development in the world of Chant, in which many feel isolated in trying to promote the Chant and bereft of the necessary resources and training opportunities.

The GCN website already gathers together an impressive array of on-line materials, recommended books and useful links.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Long Crendon and Ash Wednesday

We had a splendid Mass with polyphony today in the church of Our Lady of Light, Long Crendon, in honour of Bl Thomas Belson and his companions. These men were executed for the Catholic faith in 1589 in Oxford; Thomas Belson was a resident of Brill, which is in the modern Catholic parish of Long Crendon.

The chants are of particular interest, if not merit, since they are unique to the Mass, and the Mass is unique to England and Wales. They were put together for the feast of SS Thomas More and John Fisher, and like most 'late' chant they use bits and pieces (texts and melodies) from elsewhere.

The Introit, Deus venerunt, followed by a polyphonic Kyrie: Cristobal de Morales, Missa Benedicta es caelorum

The Gradual, Effunderunt

Morales' Sanctus and Benedictus.

Offertory Noli meminisse

Communion, Sub altare Dei, followed by a polyphonic motet, the first part of Josquin's Tu solus qui facis mirabilia.

After Mass we had a very good meal at The Angel Restaurant, a gastro-pub down the road from the church.

Lent is now upon us, however. The Schola sang at the first Sung Ash Wednesday service for a number of years, in the Church of SS Gregory & Augustine, with the blessing and distribution of ashes.