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Music at St Laurence

St Laurence has a long established musical tradition, which dates back to the late 19th century. In addition to the weekly pattern of services, at which the choir plays a significant role, concerts and recitals take place regularly throughout the year. These include a popular Thursday lunchtime series of organ and chamber recitals, and other seasonal concerts. Further information about the musical life of St Laurence Parish Church can be found in the following paragraphs.

 

Choir

The St Laurence Choir, which is an affiliated member of the Royal School of Church Music, consists of around 17 boys, girls, men and woman of all ages and abilities. They have an extensive repertoire, covering renaissance through to contemporary. The choir regularly sings in Cathedrals around the UK, and also recently undertook a tour to Germany. They are led by the Director of Music, Richard Brasier, and are accompanied on the organ by the Assistant Organist, Nigel Lockwood. In recent years, an organ scholarship has been established.

The choir is always looking to recruit new members. A warm welcome awaits you, and you don't necessarily need to read music! Singing in a choir enables you to develop your musical skills, and be part of a friendly and supportive social network. In addition to preparation for the RSCM Voice for Life awards, junior choristers recieve generous quartely payments based on attendance, and free regular singing tuition. If you are interested in joining the choir, or applying for the organ scholarship, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Choir rehearsal and service times (term time)

Thursdays: 7.45-9.00pm (full choir practice)

Sunday: 9.30am (Parish Eucharist)

1st Sunday of the month: Choral Evensong 6.30pm (5.30pm rehearsal)

Other occasional festivals at which the choir is required.

 

The Organ

The Kenneth Tickell organ was installed in the spring of 2003, as part of a re-ordering of the church. It is a very fine instrument, with a variety of colours which allows the organist to play repertoire from all periods. The organ stands on the south side of the long chancel, with its front case rising in front of the chancel wall. The Great organ soundboard and pipes stand within the arch, while the Swell stands behind, with the Pedal organ below. The organ is fully encased, so that all divisions speak through the front of the case. The casework is of oak, with polished tin front pipes. The pipe shades were carved by Keith German. The gilded cross and crown within the flames symbolize the martrydom of St Laurence, who according to legend went to his death whilst being roasted over a gridiron. The balanced key action is tracker, with electric stop and combination action.

On Wednesday 16th June 2004, John Scott (Organist and Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral, London) formally opened the organ by performing the following programme:

 

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan - Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)

Concerto Op.4 no.3 in G minor - George Friderich Handel (1685-1759)

Prelude and Fugue in G major - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Andante in C KV.356, Fantasia in F minor KV.608 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Interval

Variations de Concert - Joseph Bonnet (1884-1944)

Chanson de Matin - Edward Elgar (1857-1934) arr. Hebert Brewer (1865-1928)

Impromptu, Etoile du Soir, Carillon de Westminster - Louis Vierne (1870-1937)

 

Organ specification

Great

1. Open Diapason 8

2. Stopped Diapason 8

3. Principal 4

4. Spitzflute 4

5. Nazard 2 2/3

6. Fifteenth 2

7. Open Flute 2

8. Tierce 1 3/5

9. Mixture IV

10. Trumpet 8

i. Tremulant

ii. Swell to Great

Swell   

11. Chimney Flute 8

12. Viola 8

13. Voix Celeste 8

14. Principal 4

15. Nason Flute 4

16. Gemshorn 2

17. Sesquialtera II

18. Sharp Mixture III

19. Cremona 16

20. Hautboy 8

iii. Tremulant

Pedal  

21. Sub Bass 16

22. Principal 8

23. Octave 4

24. Posaune 16

iv. Swell to Pedal

v. Great to Pedal

 

Manuals: C-g 56 notes, coverings of Bone with Blackwood sharps

Pedalboard: C-f 30 notes, radiating and concave

6 thumb pistons each to Great and Swell, and 4 pedal toe pistons

6 general thumb and toe pistons, and capture system with twin memory levels

 st laurence organ

 

Concerts

Regular lunchtime concerts take place at St Laurence on Thursday between 1.05-1.50pm. Admission is free with a retiring collection, and you are welcome to bring your lunch! Occasional seasonal concerts are held in church, details of which will be made available. If you are interested in performance a lunchtime recital, or would like to hire the church for an

evening performance, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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