During Lockdown #1 some of the choir took up some new interests and once restrictions eased a few of us met up for musical and non-musical activities. Here are a few of our stories.
As soon as we were allowed to meet up outside, three altos, Jo M, Sue and Liz met up three times for some socially distanced trio singing: on Bodmin Moor twice and once in the woods around Treffry Viaduct
Our Chairman, Ian wrote:
During the lockdown period both our sons were with us, and following on from the initial flurry of ZOOM quizzes, we all became engaged in the Twitter World Cup of Evensong Canticles. It was great to listen to many recordings of familiar and less familiar settings of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, but hugely difficult to vote between Victorian and Edwardian settings and those of Tudor composers such as Byrd.
It was a memorable reminder of endlessly absorbing music, but, I suppose it was no surprise that it ended up with an all Howells final between his ‘Coll Reg’ and ‘Gloucester’ settings. The latter won narrowly.
I was thrilled that Andrew Wyatt chose the winner for our first evensong in the Cathedral after the resumption of our rehearsals.
This world cup was subsequently followed by an enormous competition between evensong anthems which finally ended in July with an extraordinary dead heat between ‘Faire is the Heaven’ by Harris and ‘And I saw a new Heaven’ by Bainton. ‘Hear my Prayer’ by Purcell was 3rd and ‘Ave Maria’ by Parsons was 4th.
All this kept our enthusiasm for the music we love very much in mind.
Katie Ellis wrote: I was delighted to receive an email in the middle of lockdown 1 inviting me to play croquet outside on Liz Saudek’s lovely lawn. The plan was that Liz would kindly host us and we would play a COVID-safe game of croquet and enjoy a BBQ with Sue B, Jo M and me (Katie). I was also sent some quartet music which we sang on the evening outside.
We were extremely lucky with the weather. We had a nice sunny evening and discovered Jo M was actually the queen of croquet despite having never played before. We sang some lovely quartets and enjoyed a tasty BBQ.
While at Liz’s house we discussed our next meet up which was to be a more adventurous kayaking excursion with a picnic at Lerryn. Sue B had a friend who kindly lent us their garden to picnic in next to the river after our outing. We launched next to the car park in Lerryn and paddled our way down to near Fowey, enjoying the sunny weather. The wildlife treated us as we saw many compass jellyfish and even a kingfisher. We’re enjoyed a feast of home grown cucumbers and tomatoes, home made elderflower cordial and tasty bread, cheese and olives with a delicious cake for pudding. The altos certainly know how to picnic!
Since the beginning of lockdown the Lewis family have been listening to a Bach cantata a day, starting in late March with BWV 1 and then in sequence, departing from the order to play an appropriate cantata on Sundays and other feasts, the St Matthew Passion on Good Friday etc. They have now reached BWV 208 and by including the Lutheran Masses and Motets they should make it to the end of November before they have to think of something else. Even knowing many of them well it has been an astonishing experience of variety.
Sue B and her husband own a vineyard and they spent lockdown making their first ever batch of sparkling wine, just in time for Christmas.