We were delighted to be invited back to St John the Evangelist in Langrish, near Petersfield in Hampshire, to assist with their 150th anniversary celebrations this year. We sang a ‘Mixed Bag’ of a concert on the Saturday (featuring our director hurling a banana at a priest who happened to be in the audience), and a celebratory Eucharist on the Sunday. It was a joyous, moving, and profoundly happy weekend, and we are grateful to all who fed and hosted us, and facilitated the logistical arrangements.
In December 2018 we returned to Pembrokeshire to sing services in St Davids Cathedral and to give a special New Year’s Eve concert in our beloved Trefin Chapel. It was a truly magical time and we are hugely grateful to everyone who packed out both the cathedral and the concert.
We made our biennial trip to St Davids in Pembrokeshire in August 2017, where once again we sang services and concerts in the Cathedral and surrounding area. With a programme entitled ‘Music on Themes of Love and Devotion,’ we performed pieces by 20th- and 21st-century composers including Gjeilo, Walton, Poulenc, and MacMillan. We were very pleased to be able to contribute once more to the restoration of Trefin Chapel, with a service of Compline and a Family Concert (including audience participation, animal noises, and a conductor clad in a chicken hat). We also enjoyed time on various beaches, and singing services in St Davids Cathedral.
April Tour 2017
We had a lovely few days away at the end of March/beginning of April 2017, singing at the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge, and giving concerts and singing Evensong in churches in Cambridgeshire villages and St Stephen’s, Rochester Row, London. We were delighted to be joined by our very own Oliver Hancock, who directed the Sunday Sung Eucharist at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich.
The concert programmes consisted of music and readings on themes of Transport and Travel; repertoire ranged from Guerrero and Gibbons through to John Rutter’s Heavenly Aeroplane and Mac Huff’s brilliant arrangement of the Chattanooga Choo Choo, accompanied by Louisa Denby.
Andrew Watts and Charlotte Denby read extracts from the Bible and fictional works such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, David Copperfield, and I am David, as well as poetry by John Heath-Stubbs and Pablo Neruda.
It was very pleasant to receive this excellent review of our Hildersham concert: http://johnbald.typepad.com/language/interludes/
In August 2016 we ventured abroad for the first time, to sing a concert and two services at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork, Ireland.
The concert on the Saturday, based loosely around the theme of ‘prayer,’ featured works by Renaissance composers from England, including Byrd’s Be unto me, O Lord, a tower and Tomkins’ Arise, O Lord, and Europe (Palestrina’s Exultate Deo and Lobo’s Versa est in luctum were particular highlights), as well as a selection of more modern pieces with organ accompaniment, of which Andrew Millington’s joyful setting of Psalm 150 went down especially well with the large audience. Following a short break and rehearsal for the following day’s services, we hit the town (!), spending an enjoyable and slightly surreal evening sampling the local nightlife.
The following day we returned to the Cathedral to sing for the morning Eucharist – Palestrina’s Missa sine nomine – after which we were plied with coffee and biscuits (so many versions of custard creams!) by members of the congregation, before a delicious lunch at the nearby Flying Enterprise.
Evensong consisted of Howells in E, and the Rose responses for men’s voices, followed by Wood’s haunting View me, Lord, rounded off by a fabulous rendition of the Toccata from Duruflé’s Suite V, played by the equally fabulous David Warren.
Vox Cantab’s 2015 summer tour began with a much-anticipated return to the lovely Trefin Chapel, near St Davids in Pembrokeshire, where the Choir were extremely warmly-received in 2013. We also gave a performance in St Mary’s, Haverfordwest, and in St Davids Cathedral, as part of their summer recital series. The week finished with Evensong at the Cathedral, and we were delighted to have Dr Rowan Williams in the congregation.
We were pleased to welcome back prize-winning organist Tim Parsons to play and conduct for us once more, along with our director Louisa Denby. The Choir also undertook visits to local hospices and nursing homes as part of our Summer Outreach Project.
St Davids 2015 Tour Schedule
Sunday 16th August, 7.30pm
Trefin Chapel, Trefin, Pembrokeshire
The programme included a range of music both sacred and secular, from 16th-century polyphony through to our own arrangements of Welsh Folk Songs. The audience joined in enthusiastically when the opportunity arose!
Monday 17th August, 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Haverfordwest
Wednesday 19th August, 7.30pm
St Davids Cathedral, St Davids
Like as the Hart | A Concert of Psalm Settings
The programme included works by Renaissance composers Byrd, Lassus, and Palestrina, and moving through the centuries Purcell, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Vaughan Williams, and others, finishing with a new work, ‘The Lord is King’, but our very own Timothy Parsons, and Parry’s iconic ‘I was Glad’.
Tuesday 18th August, 9.30pm
Trefin Chapel, Trefin, Pembrokeshire
Introit Jesu, the very thought – Bairstow
Anthem My soul, there is a country – Parry
Antiphon Salve Regina – Poulenc
Thursday 20th August, 6pm
St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire
Canticles Tomkins Second
Anthem Locus iste – Bruckner
On Sunday 17th May at 6pm, members of Vox Cantab sang Evensong in the splendidly-refurbished Chapel at Downing College, Cambridge, accompanied by the fabulous new Tickell organ. The music included anthems by Williams Byrd and Mundy, and an organ voluntary by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck.
Services at Portsmouth Cathedral
Director Louisa Denby; Organ Ian Tindale
Victoria – Jesu, dulcis memoria
Haydn – Little Organ Mass (solo Catherine White)
Lassus – Ave verum corpus
Walford Davies – Blessed are the pure in heart
Brewer – Magnificat & Nunc dimittis in D
Bairstow – Lord, I call upon thee
Peter Leonard, Residentiary Canon at Portsmouth Cathedral
— Peter Leonard (@peterpleonard) August 11, 2014
— Lindsay Northover (@LPNorthover) August 10, 2014
@PortsmouthCath “Missa Brevis Loannis” beautifully performed by the visiting Vox Cantab Choir
— Motofe (@Motofe) August 10, 2014
— Jonathan Williams (@JMWilliams62) August 11, 2014
By day two of our 2014 Summer Tour, the number of singers had swelled to eight. We travelled to All Saints’, East Meon, for a service of Choral Evensong. After rehearsal, we congregated in the North Aisle of the church, giving us plenty of time to admire the Millennium Embroidery before the service began, heralded by the bell.
All of the service was sung unaccompanied (music included Give almes of thy goods – Tye, and Arnold’s Evening Service in A), and we particularly enjoyed the anthem, Byrd’s Justorum Animae, which matched the understated grandeur of the church.
Afterwards we were treated to drinks and nibbles with the East Meon congregation.