Chant and Afternoon Tea at Minster Abbey

Sunday 27th July 2pm – 6.30pm with Thomas Neal and Mother Nikola
The Council of Trent’s chant reforms, afternoon tea and then Vespers with the Community

This will be an afternoon of two parts. From 2pm to 4pm we hear from Thomas Neal about the reforms of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and how this affected music in the Roman Catholic Church, particularly Gregorian Chant. Thomas Neal has recently completed a M.Phil at Cambridge and has carried out extremely interesting research in this area. His talk will refer particularly to Vespers Hymns and look at the alternatim settings written by Palestrina in response to the reforms. We will listen to his talk and then do some singing. If we can muster the forces we might have a go a some of Palestrina’s ‘set’ verses as well as singing through the chant. Then follows our great afternoon tea, a chance to enjoy the lovely setting of Minster Abbey and each-other’s company. After this Mother Nikola coaches us for Vespers. Following a short break, we will join the Community to sing Vespers at 6pm which should finish around 6.30.
This event is suitable for beginners as well as more experienced singers. We can run a parallel Vespers coaching session for beginners. Those with experience of singing in choirs are welcome, as their presence can help us to sing more of Thomas’s examples.
Arrive 1.30 for 2
Costs: Members £5, non-members £10
Includes afternoon tea, music and hand-outs.
Contact: Jonathan Butchers:

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Compline for Candlemas

800px-Menologion_of_Basil_037We will sing Compline twice around Candlemas.
On 1st February 2014, at 7pm (after 6pm Mass) we sing Compline at St. Thomas’s Catholic Church, Burgate, Canterbury. Practice 6pm in the room above the sacristy in St. Thomas’s Church.
On 2nd February 2014 at 8pm (after Evensong) we sing Compline at St. Mildred’s Church, Church Street, Canterbury. Practice 7.30pm in St. Mildred’s Church.
On these occasions we will sing mostly using English to traditional Gregorian Chant tones. Admission free. If you would like to join us come along to the practice. Otherwise join the congregation and participate in the general singing.

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Singing Leonin and Perotin

viderunt-exWhat a fantastic day we had yesterday with Antony Pitts ( Antony gave two erudite talks about this early epoch of musical development. We heard about the evidence for singing in parts and saw the music manuscripts. In the afternoon we heard about music in mediaeval Paris and the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral; contemporaneous with the lives of these two composers. As we started to sing this music in the morning, who would have believed that 6 hours later we would sing Perotin’s ‘Viderunt’ in 8 parts? Who would have believed that we would sing a piece in four parts from the manuscript image above? We did it and it was thrilling. THANK YOU ANTONY!

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Gregorian Chant and the dawn of Polyphony

Saturday 18th January 2014 10.00-17.30
St Gregory’s Centre, North Holmes Road,
Canterbury CT1 1QU
Workshop day with Antony Pitts
(Director of vocal group ‘Tonus Peregrinus’)
This is a day of talks and singing looking at the very earliest examples of writing for more than one voice. We will look at some gregorian chant melodies, the evidence for the earliest melodic embroidery and have a go at singing some of this repertoire under the expert guidance of Antony Pitts. This music, which is very approachable, will excite us with some of the glorious sounds it creates. The two talks will be given during the day. The first will examine the background to this experimental part-writing, and the second will look at Paris in the 12th and 13th centuries to find the context for the writers and where their music was sung. Two singing sessions will give us the chance to perform it ourselves. The day will conclude with a final sing through of some work we have studied at 5.30pm in
St. Thomas’s Church, Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HJ.
Cost: CGMS Members £5, Non-members £20
Students free (but you need to apply so we know you are coming)
Includes tea & coffee, music and lecture handouts
(Lunch not included)
Free car parking all day at St Gregorys Centre
More details and application form:
Jonathan Butchers:

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Solemn Vespers and Benediction for the Feast of Christ the King

Sunday 24th November 2013 at 3.30pm
Church of St. Austin and St Gregory
Victoria Road, Margate CT9 1LP

We are invited to join the nuns of Minster Abbey to lead a service of Solemn Vespers and Benediction in Margate. Those who would like to sing all the antiphons, hymns and so on are asked to come to a rehearsal for this Service at 10.15 for 10.30 on Saturday 23rd November at St. Thomas’s Church, Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HJ. Mother Nikola from Minster Abbey will lead our rehearsal in the ‘Upper Room’ above the Sacristy. The Service includes the magnificent Office Hymn for Christ the King ‘Te saeculorum principem’ which we have practiced in some of our recent visits to Minster Abbey. If you cannot make the rehearsal, just come along on Sunday at 3.30 to join in singing with the congregation.

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CANTERBURY FESTIVAL 2013 – ‘The Angelus, the Ave and the Salve’


Come and join us for a lunchtime fix of Gregorian Chant during Canterbury Festival. On each of the Saturdays we sing ‘The Angelus, the Ave and the Salve’ at the traditional midday hour of 12.00. If you would like to sing with us come along half an hour earlier at 11.30 to practice. The short service we sing lasts about 15 minutes. There is no charge.

Saturday 19th October at 12.00: St. Peter’s Church
St. Peter’s Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BP

Saturday 26th October at 12.00: St. John’s Hospital
Northgate, Canterbury CT1 1BG

Saturday 2nd November at 12.00: St. Martin’s Church
North Holmes Road, Canterbury CT1 3AR

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Sequence for St. Mildred, Tea and Vespers

Sunday 28th July 2013 at Minster Abbey
Minster near Ramsgate
Arrive 1.30 for a 2pm start, finish about 6.30

We spend an afternoon with the Benedictine Community at Minster Abbey. We will hear about the recent transcription of the Sequence for St Mildred, and then we will sing it. We will look at some other sequences for comparison. We will revise some music we learned previously, having in mind our invitation to sing Vespers in November (more of that in the autumn). We will have a nice afternoon tea with time to look round the Abbey and its grounds. We finish the afternoon rehearsing the music for Vespers and then joining the Community at 6pm to sing the Office of Vespers. We hope to sing the Sequence for St. Mildred close to their relic of St. Mildred at the end of Vespers.
Costs: Members £5, non-members £10
to include music, handouts and afternoon tea.

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