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The Choir of St Peter's continues to sing at least five services a month at St Peter's and one at All Saints' in a range of liturgies that includes Matins, Eucharist, Evensong and Compline. Alongside this principal commitment to the opus Dei of the parish, regular visits and concert work continue to form an integral part of the choir's schedule. 2013 began, as has become the custom in recent years, with a cathedral visit, this time to sing Evensong at Coventry Cathedral on the Feast of the Baptism of Christ - it was a thrill indeed to sing Howells and Elgar in such a sumptuous acoustic. Back at home, and during the temporary closure of St Mary's, the St Peter's Choir sang for the High Sheriff's Legal Service. During Lent, a concert performance of Stainer's Crucifixion was very well received, with particular thanks due to Alastair MacIntosh and Richard Ward for their solo roles. The choir was once again privileged to be invited to sing for the Diocesan Chrism Eucharist during Holy Week, and after the usual round of Easter services, the Spring Term ended with a joyous trip to Lincoln Cathedral on Easter Monday. During the first weekend of July, we were delighted to welcome back a number of choir alumni to participate in a celebratory Coffee Break Concert (marking twenty-five years of this ever-popular series) as well as a suitably festal service of Matins the next morning. The choir enjoyed a visit to sing Evensong at St Mary's Church in Plumtree, as well as a collaboration with the Choir of St Wulfram's Church in Grantham. In August, a splendid weekend was had singing at Ripon Cathedral where the choir's singing was greatly appreciated by both congregation and clergy, who made us feel most welcome.
The year started with a memorable visit to Durham Cathedral, where the choir was in residence Friday 6th – Sunday 8th January. So soon after Christmas, rehearsal time was very limited, but the choir (along with a number of former choristers, always welcome back for such visits) rose to the occasion most admirably. Compliments on the quality of singing and organ playing abounded from the cathedral's clergy and laity, and the whole visit had an absolutely delightful sense of camaraderie, epitomised by a splendid dinner at St Chad's College (where former chorister James Randle was then Director of Music). It was also excellent for a number of us to catch up with former Rector of St Peter's, Canon Leslie Morley.
The choir of St Peter’s enjoyed another successful residency at the beginning of January, this time at the magnificent Durham Cathedral. The visit started with a bang on Friday 6th with a Festal Evensong for the Feast of the Epiphany. Blair in b minor turned out to be the Dean’s favourite setting of the canticles, and hearing Rutter’s stirring 'Arise, shine' was a new experience for many. The weekend continued with Evensong on Saturday, followed by an excellent meal at St Chad’s College (where a number of our party were staying). We were joined by James Randle, Director of Music at St Chad’s, and former St Peter’s chorister; along with his wife Katie, the cathedral’s music administrator. As always, the support of our friends and families was greatly appreciated during this trip, and it was particularly good to see the Reverend Leslie Morley (Rector at St Peter’s, 1985-99) at several of the services. The choir also greatly enjoyed being verged into Evensong each day by our very own Michael Scott! An exhausting yet hugely fulfilling Sunday singing Matins, Eucharist and Evensong completed our stay. The Dean of Durham, the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove was most complimentary about the choir’s singing, and it was a great privilege to be able to contribute to the worship at this greatest of Norman cathedrals.
David Ray was a Professor of Neurotoxicology at the University of Nottingham Medical School and a member of the Choir of St Peter's Church, Nottingham. He died on Remembrance Sunday 2010 after a long and courageous fight with lung cancer. Following his funeral, the idea emerged of commissioning a piece of choral music in his memory. In a unique and fruitful collaboration between the Medical School and St Peter's, and following discussions led by David's widow, the Reverend Joanna Ray, Rob Edlin-White and Peter Siepmann of St Peter's Choir, and Dr Lopa Leach of the university's School of Biomedical Sciences, we are delighted to announce that the British composer Howard Skempton has now been commissioned to write a piece of choral music in memory of David. Howard Skempton is a well-known composer of both choral and instrumental works. His style is accessible, appealing and effective, often characterized by a concentration on the quality of sound and an economy of compositional means, and with a strong emphasis on melody. BBC Music Magazine has said:
Born a Nottinghamian, I've been living in Norwich for the last eight years or so. I had come up to Nottingham after hearing the sad news of Mary Partington's passing: the Partingtons were such an influence on my childhood that it was important to me to be at the funeral. After the service, I had the chance to speak with a few members of the choir, many of whom I'd not seen for many years. By coincidence, I found the choir were due to sing the weekend services at Norwich cathedral on the weekend of 18th-21st August. Peter said they were short of a first bass, and would I like to join them. Having not sung with the choir for almost 15 years, this was an opportunity I could not turn down. Even more so as in all the years I'd lived in Norwich, I'd never sung in the cathedral. With fond memories of Kendrick Partington's famously wonky typewritten choir notices, I did notice that times had changed: Peter emailed me the music and details, and apparently all the timetables and music lists are now circulated on Google calendar. (I couldn't help but notice a flourish of iPhones and Blackberries from choir members at the merest mention of a new date or event.) The weekend started with rehearsal on Friday afternoon in the recently built Song School: a fantastic modern structure of oak columns and glass walls, perfectly complementing the Norman cathedral and early 14th century cloisters. A wonderful facility, even if the automatic window controllers did seem to have a life of their own. Evensong on Friday, Saturday and sung Eucharist and evensong on Sunday were very well received by the congregation and clergy. Filling Norwich cathedral with the serene tones of Bruckner's 'Os Justi' was certainly a highlight for me, the peak leaving a three second echo ringing into every corner and crevice of the building. Memories of how to interpret the pointing of psalms soon returned to me, which was just as well as we didn't leave Norwich short of them that weekend. Under Peter's training and direction, we made the poems a joy to sing and hear- a fact that did not go unnoticed by the Dean! It was truly a joy to be singing with a choir that was such an important part of my childhood, and in a cathedral and city that now means so much to me today. Even though I left the choir 15 years ago, it felt like only yesterday and I felt very welcome back into the family that is St Peter's Choir.
From one city of antiquity to another - Nottingham to Winchester was the route taken by members of St Peter's Church choir and their friends and supporters over the weekend of the August bank holiday as we journeyed south to this charming city in Hampshire to take up our residency in the Cathedral there for the whole of the following week.
The choir of St Peter's, along with many supporters, enjoyed a fantastic couple of days in York on 31st May and 1st June. York Minster which was last visited by the St Peter's Choir in 1991, provided a warm welcome, and an opportunity to sing some wonderful music in a beautiful building. Repertoire included Howells "St Paul's" Service, Leighton Responses, and Morley's First Service.
Monday 9am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 4.30pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Monday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Monday - Saturday, 10am - 3pm
For information on service times at All Saints', St Mary's & St Peter's, visit the services page
All Saints' Church - Raleigh Street, NG7 4DP
St Mary's Church - High Pavement, NG1 1HN
St Peter's Church - St Peter's Gate, NG1 2NW
Please contact the Parish Office for details of any events or to get in touch with a member of staff.
The office is situated on the upper floor of the St Peter's Centre, on the south side of St Peter's Church and adjacent to Marks & Spencer.
0115 948 3658 (+44 115 948 3658 outside the UK)
If you wish to trace a former resident or member of the parish, please address your requests to the Nottinghamshire Archives.