Confirmation Service at St. Mary's Church Stockport
Musical Director playing the organ. The Service was conducted by The Right Reverend Robert Atwell, Bishop of Stockport. The service was extremely moving, and the church was full with members from churches in the Stockport area supporting the Confirmation Candidates.
It was a very special service for the Choir as Elspeth Wallace, Choral Scholar of St. George's Church Choir, was being confirmed and all the members of the choir and Elspeth's friends and family proudly stood up when her turn came to be confirmed.
God bless you Elspeth and all who got confirmed.
Choral Scholars last service
At a recent Choral Evensong Elspeth and Hannah were presented by Rev. Canon Alan Bell with leaving presents from the choir. Unfortunately, John Horton was unable to be with us due to illness, but he asked for the following message to be read out in the service:-
“What a regret it is that I am not able to be at church today, I have been looking forward to all the services. I am especially disappointed that I will not be able to make the presentation to the Choral Scholars tonight. They have been exceptional young people that have been a pleasure and a privilege to work with. Thank you for all your hard work and I wish you all the very best for the future, I know that someone’s gain will be our loss. Please come back to St. George’s anytime to sing with us”.
We will all miss you both so much!
Elspeth and Hannah
It was nice for the choir to have a special involvement at a recent Baptism in Church. Kate (a choir chorister) and Sean's son Ole was Baptised. The choir were all invited to celebrate this special day. Ole certainly took the service very seriously, helping Rev. Canon Bell to pour the water into the Font, then taking it upon himself to go and share The Peace with people all down the centre aisle right to the back of church. Welcome to God's Special Family Ole.
Welcome to singers from St. Thomas Becket Church
It was fantastic for St. George’s Choir to welcome singers tonight from St. Thomas Becket Church, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Matthew and Assistant Organist James Hibbert. A special thank you to Roy Buxton, Director of Music of St. Thomas Becket Church, who kindly stepped in at the last minute to conducted Choral Evensong. We hope you will all come and sing with us again, and hopefully Roy next time you can have a good sing!
Concert ‘Songs from the Shows’
A very successful concert was held in St. George’s Church on Friday 31st August 2012. The concert was inspired and arranged by Choral Scholar Elspeth Wallace who wanted to raise money for the Church Organ Fund. Elspeth with Choral Scholars Hannah Goldsby, Eddie Greaves (who are all leaving St. George’s to go to University), new Scholars Jamie Rahman, Kate Webster, together with friends of the senior scholars Christina Wallace (Elspeth’s sister), Ollie mills, Colin Greaves and James Hibbert, put on a show with the most amazing talent! To have so many young performers on stage was magnificent. You cannot single out any of the performances, as all sang to a terrific standard. They sang numbers from Phantom, Wicked, Les Misérables, A Little Night Music, Love Never Dies, West Side Story, Chess and Carousel. Members of the Choir Kate
The evening was added to by Musical Performances by local renowned Harpist Anna Christensen, Kate Webster on violin, and Penelope Bisby on Clarinet. Accompanists for the evening were St. George’s Musical Director John Horton, Assistant Musical Director David Carlston Williams and Penelope Bisby.
The Concert was a huge success, thanks to everyone who played a part in the show and all the arrangements. A particular thank you to the audience, who as you can see in the photo, had a brilliant evening. A grand total of £655.00 was raised. WELL DONE EVERYONE!
Voice for Life Award - Congratulations Nathan!
On Sunday morning 22rd July, 2012, during the morning Eucharist, John Horton, Musical Director presented Nathan with his RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) Voice for Life Light Blue Medal. Nathan has attended St. George’s after school Music Club since its inception. He is the first Junior Chorister to receive an award at St. George’s for over 15 years. Nathan has been working extremely hard on his vocal training and also on music theory. The Voice for Life Scheme enables both Junior and Adult Choristers to progress towards formal
John Horton with Nathan
For further details about St. George's Music Club please go to the Church Website and click on the link Education
St. George’s Choir are pleased to welcome singers from other churches to join us for Evensong and Choral Evensong please contact our Musical Director, John Horton for further details. Music Staff
St. George's Church Choir sing for the Olympic Flame!
The Olympic Torch went past St. George's Church on the morning of 24th June, 2012. It was a very early start for the choir, who had to be robed up by 7.30am. Even the rain didn't dampen the spirits and of course many of the choir had umbrellas matching their robes!
The Bells of St. George's could be heard far away, announcing to Stockport that the Olympic Flame was on it's way, well done our fantastic team of ringers. The Robed Clergy waited with members of the public on the pavement opposite to the choir, all excited to be witnessing this special event.
As the Torch went past the Church, the choir burst into song singing words written especially for the occasion by senior chorister Kate Passant to the tune of Torches!
For more photos of the event please click on the link: Olympic Torch Photographs
Members of the choir hoping to see the first glimpse of the torch
MacLeod, Senior Chorister and Debra Heaton for the photographs of the Olympic Torch
Many thanks to Phoebe
Members of St. George's Church Choir take their roles very seriously, but sometimes it is time to have fun! A recent Choir Social, hosted by Penny and her family, gave us all time to get to know one another, (we have had so many new members recently) have a good chat, and a laugh. The social started at 12.30pm and went on until late!
Thanks to our very talented Choral Scholar Kate Webster, we have a logo for for St. George's Choir. The logo will be used in the Church Magazine 'The Grapevine.' Any articles submitted by the choir will now have the title 'Notes from the Choir Stalls'. The logo will also be used in correspondence from the choir.
Penny Bisby had worked her magic again with her brilliant organisational skills.
Nathan wins Award!
Congratulations to Junior Chorister Nathan after winning an award towards the cost of clarinet lessons.
Summer Serenade and Brass Bands' Concert
What a happy time was had by singers, musicians and audience.
There is nothing like a good sing to lift the spirits and heal the soul.
Our Director of Music, John Horton, experienced something new. He had to get the choir to sing 'american' and to slide the notes. Not something that sits comfortably with the strict discipline of church choir music. The choir enjoyed its foray into music from Oklahoma, Chess, My Fair Lady and Carousel.
We believe the audience enjoyed singing along too.
In addition to the choir's contribution, we were privileged to listen to a virtuoso performance of clarinet playing by Penny Bisby. Penny's musical skill is breathtaking. Gerald accompanied by Glenys sang a medley of songs from spirituals to songs from the shows. What a beautiful voice and again what a privilege to listen to. Kate Webster, our young soprano in the choir, sang a haunting song from Ragtime - Your Daddy's Son. It is not well known and we would like to hear Kate sing it again sometime.
After hearing her sublime rendition of the theme from Schindler's List, we waited eagerly to hear Kate play a violin piece by Massenet. Once again, she made her violin sing and we felt humbled by her artistry.
Both organists John Horton and David Carston-Williams, entertained us with a varied programme on the organ. After all, the organ restoration is what all this activity is about.
On Friday, we were lucky enough to host the brass band concert by Bramhall High School, Priestnall High School and SSBB. The music was loud, exuberant, some of it familiar but most of all fun to listen to. Well done those young band performers.
Neither of these concerts would have happened without the initiative and drive of Penny Bisby and her team of supporters in the choir and the church. The money raised makes a significant contribution to our target for the organ restoration and we are grateful for the work put in to achieve this.
The steering group responsible for these events has decided to produce a concert every month in order to establish a rhythm of musical productions. The Cafe Concerts will be between 10am and 12pm on 20th July, 24th August and 21st September. Members of the public are invited to join us on free entry. Money will be raised from the refreshments, second hand books and dvds/cds we sell.
On the 12th October at 7.30pm, we will be hosting Roger Bisby and friends in the form of the Telemann Baroque Ensemble. Another date for your diaries.
Thank you to all the wonderful supporters who turn out, whatever the weather. It would be good if you could each bring a guest along with you to double the size of the audience!
Celebrity Organ Concert with Ian Tracey Organist Titulaire of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
As Saturday drew on, the weather became colder and wetter. Our hearts sank as we wondered how many would attend the concert. Happily, we should not have worried because over one hundred and fifty stalwarts turned up from near and far!
Professor Ian Tracy played wonderful music which transported us to the heights of our imagination. He worked the organ brilliantly and made it produce music in a way we never realised was possible.
Thanks to John Hayden and his expertise in “techno wizardry”, Ian’s playing was projected onto a huge screen in the front of the High Altar, it brought him closer to us and made the whole experience much more real.
At one point, there was sticky moment when two keys fused together, but Ian was not fazed and with a quick flick the keys were fixed!
I was moved afterwards when I saw him speaking to Nathan, one of our young choristers, imparting words of wisdom which I hope he will always remember.
The evening netted the Organ Fund £864.01. Thanks go to all the people who worked so hard - too many to name! It is so good to see the church community pull together on these occasions.
We hope that even more people will attend events programmed for later this year in aid of the “Organ Restoration Fund."
The next Director of Music?
At St. George's Choir there is always something different going on. At Choir Practice - this week we had a new conductor - watch our Mr. Horton, Ole is after your job!!!!
The St George's 12 Hour Sponsored Music Marathon
by Penelope Bisby
Thank you to all who worked to make this day such a success, who supported my vision
and helped me to realise it for St George's Church. The sheer goodwill and enthusiasm shown by the church wardens, clergy, musicians and congregation have been tremendous, matched only by the generosity of so many people inside and outside the church family. I can only think that the Holy Spirit has found an opportunity to work amongst us.
Over a hundred performers took part, with singers from St George's Primary School, hand bell and church bell ringers, choir, and a vio
lin group, as well as solo and duet performances on the organ and piano, violins, clarinets, a cello, recorder, harp, saxophone and drums. There were also several memorable solo singers, including Jane Walton, the daughter of our former music director, the late and much revered Michael English, who had travelled from her home in Bristol to take part in the marathon.
The day itself ran without a hitch; despite the time of year and the dreaded norovirus, every performer turned up, and fifty separate performances followed each other seamlessly. The standard of many of these items was quite stunning, and all of them were entertaining and expressive, communicating the joy of making music for others to hear.
In the nave a festive atmosphere prevailed as an appreciative audience enjoyed the varied programme, and children queued to spend their parents' and grandparents' hard earned cash on the chocolate tombola. Later in the evening the choir sang anthems, and the audience was treated to a most moving première of Andrew Mayes's settings of the Mass and the 23rd Psalm. The day closed with a prayer from Rev Glenys, whose piano playing had earlier delighted listeners.
Several weeks later the total amount raised by sponsorship, donations and sales of cakes, tombola tickets etc has grown to around £5,000, including Gift Aid. Phase One of the Organ Restoration is scheduled to begin in January 2014, and will cost around £80,000. So we need to keep up the momentum!
Penny pictured above worked so hard to organize the Music Marathon - I am sure you will agree she did an amazing job? Thank you Penny.
Nathan Wins a place in the National Children's Orchestra
We are very pleased to report that one of our Junior Choristers, Nathan Kenworthy, has recently auditioned and been successful in winning a place in the "National Children's Orchestra." Nathan, who is nine, plays the Clarinet and is taught by, Jane Green of Cheadle Hulme. Nathan will be playing in the under 11’s Orchestra, which is for children who are aged 7-11 years old, and offers the unique opportunity to play in a full symphony orchestra at such a young age! There were additions for four orchestras and there are only six clarinet places in each orchestra!
There were a record number of auditions held last year, 1100 junior musicians applied for places in four age banded orchestras. The main orchestra played for her Majesty The Queen at her Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and this has raised the profile of the orchestra considerably.
Nathan will be taking part in his first regional rehearsal in Leeds this month, and he will be attending an eight day residential course in August, ending with a concert. The orchestra will be playing at Birmingham Symphony Hall for a 35th Anniversary Gala Performance.
Well done Nathan!
This is a fantastic picture of St. George's Organ
by Choral Scholar Kate Webster
Voice for Life Award
Well done to Macy-Bo who received her Light Blue Ribbon recently - which was presented during a recent service morning service by John Horton.