A celebration of love through music – 30th June 2016

– Accompanied by Richard Allum

– Directed by Andrew Naylor

– Proceeds to St Wilfrid’s Hospice

The lion is king of the jungle, the organ is the king of instruments, but the human voice is the oldest of instruments and the one which makes dreams come true. Having a father who was a church organist and whose conversation was laced with Biblical quotes, it’s no wonder that the anthems sung at The Chichester Voices concert spoke to me.

At each concert there seems to be a hidden gem of surprise. This time it was the pleasure of the humming voice. So soothing and pleasing, probably the first musical sound we ever heard in the womb. The loud passages raised the roof, the soft ones were quieter than the smallest church mouse and a pin dropping could have been heard easily during them.

Greater Love Hath No Man John Ireland ‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it. Love is strong as death. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Bible words from Song of Solomon viii,7 & 6, John xv, 13 and before the end of this inspired work, words from 1 Peter ii, 24, 1 Corinthians vi, 11 and Romans xii,1 – a loving skip through the Bible!

When Andrew asked the audience if their Latin stretched to translating Ubi Caritas et Amor, M. Lauridsen, the silent embarrassment was saved when he noticed friends in the front row whom he hadn’t seen for a long time! BUT, anyone attending the monthly Taize Services at St Thomas à Becket’s would have the words on their heart – ‘Where love and charity are, God is also.’

After the interval, Dr Sandra Sedgwick, a founder of the St Wilfrid’s Hospice, spoke of the amazing, varied and largely unknown care and kindnesses shown to the sick and dying. This calmed our fears and encouraged us to be generous on our way out of Church.

In the lighter, second half, one of the basses, Michael Walsh, had written a medley The Way of Love to five poems by Rupert Brooke, again sung perfectly, with interesting and tricky harmonies.

This was followed by well-loved and well-known songs – ‘My Love is like a Red, Red, Rose’, Loch Lomond, The Lark in the clear air, My true-love hath my heart. Riches indeed.

The following morning, all the budding choristers of Pagham turned up at the Village Hall to sing with the newly-formed Community Choir, where we can dream that we are singing with Chichester Voices!