Great Vespers for Schola Augustini in Ramsgate

Rehearsing on Saturday morning with Thomas Neal at the helmSchola Augustini

The Schola after Vespers and Benediction on Sunday with Rev.Marcus HoldenSchola Augustini 2

An enthusiastic crowd gathered on the morning of Saturday 24th January; the bright sunlight in contrast to the bitter cold. The Schola Augustini practice had attracted people from nearby Ramsgate and as far away as Canterbury and Faversham. Thomas Neal, the Director of Music at St. Augustine’s Abbey, took us through the chant for Vespers and Benediction with good-humoured discipline and plenty of explanation and encouragement. The following afternoon a good proportion of Saturday’s singers reappeared for a final practice and the service itself. Our singing went really well. The monstrance glinting in the darkness and the clouds of incense caught wafting in the candle-light lent a most particular atmosphere to the occasion. This service will occur on the fourth Sunday of the month, rehearse at 4pm for Vespers & Benediction at 5pm at St. Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate.

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Schola Augustini – Monthly Vespers at St.Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate

A Schola is being formed to sing Vespers on the third Sunday of each month at the Shrine of St. Augustine in Ramsgate. CGMS members and others interested are invited to join in a workshop at St. Augustine’s Church, St. Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate CT11 9PA on Saturday 24th January 9.30-11.45 in the church to rehearse psalms, hymn and other chants for Vespers. For the actual Service on Sunday 25th January, meet in the Church at 4pm for Vespers at 5pm. The music for Vespers does not change very much, so once learned there is very little unfamiliar music to add as the year progresses.
For further details or queries please contact the Director of Music at St. Augustine’s, Thomas Neal:
email- Thomas.Neal(AT) replace the (AT) with @ to send an email.

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Saturday 18th October 10.00-11.45
MAGNIFICAT ALTERNATIM – a morning workshop
St Mildred’s Church, Church Lane, Canterbury, CT1 2PP
with Tim Roberts (organ) and Mother Nikola Proksch (chant)
This mini-workshop will prepare a Magnificat in the alternatim style, where the organ plays over some verses and the rest are chanted. We will use a 12th century English Magnificat Antiphon for St. Mildred to introduce the ‘Magnificat on the 1st Tone’ by Jean Titelouze, the 17th century French organist who worked at Rouen. Tim Roberts is a keyboard player with vast experience of performing repertoire of this era. He will begin the workshop with a talk about alternatim settings. Mother Nikola is Prioress of the Benedictine Foundation at Minster Abbey near Ramsgate and a knowledgeable practitioner of Gregorian Chant. She and Helen Nattrass have worked together on the transcription of the Antiphon for St. Mildred from its original source. Mother Nikola will coach us on the chant for the antiphon and the Magnificat verses. We hope to sing this as the central jewel in our 12 o’clock ‘Angelus’ Service.
The music is very approachable and beginners are welcome.
Cost: CGMS Members free
Non-members £5 (on the door).Includes music, hand-outs and refreshments
Refreshments available from 09.45

Saturday 18th October 12.00
St Mildred’s Church, Church Lane, Canterbury, CT1 2PP
Tim Roberts – organ
Mother Nikola Proksch – Chant Director
Includes ‘Magnificat on the 1st Tone’ by Jean Titelouze
Service lasts about 15 minutes – free of charge

Saturday 25th October 12.00
St. Paul’s Church, Church Street (St. Paul’s), Canterbury CT1 1NH
Gerard Ahern – organ
Includes ‘Early English Magnificat’ Anon (16th century)
Come and rehearse with us at 11.00 or just listen at 12.00.
Service lasts about 15 minutes – free of charge for rehearsal and service

Saturday 1st November 12.00
St. Dunstan’s Church, London Road, Canterbury CT2 8LS
Ben Scott – organ
Includes ‘Magnificat on the 1st Tone’ by Antonio Cabezon
Come and rehearse with us at 11.00 or just listen at 12.00.
Service lasts about 15 minutes – free of charge for rehearsal and service

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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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