Aylesbury Grammar School ‘s Cabaret Evening, held at the Waterside Theatre, was a musical knockout. Not only were the technical standards of the singing and instrumental playing amazingly high, but the students were so obviously loving the chance to be onstage and hold a pretty big (500 or so) audience. Simon Cowell eat your heart out!
Archive for the ‘Music’ Category
A spiritual experience at either end of the day. I don’t always get to the monthly communion service at St Margaret’s, the “church of Parliament” next door to Westminster Abbey but I’m always glad when I do. The service is said according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Although the language is old and sometimes sounds dated, it was written to be read alopud. You can hear the music in its cadences and I think that no-one has yet come up with a more beautiful or inspiring liturgy.
Afterwards we have breakfast together in the Speaker’s State Apartments and listen to a speaker for about 10 minutes. It is a cross-party occasion amnd involves both MPs and Peers. Today the speaker was Sir Patrick Cormack MP (South Staffordshire) one of the founders of the Communion/breakfast gathering. Patrick has served in Parliament since 1970 and is retiring at this coming election, so in a kind of farewell address he reflected on the place of Christianity in parliament and on the importance of politicians of differing views respecting each other’s integrity and opinions. His advice to the new MPs who will be elected in May was pretty good: ” Never believe that any single political party has a monopoly of wisdom”.
This evening I took part in the Parliament Choir’s 10th anniversary concert in the splendid surroundings of Westminster Hall. The choir is not just a cross-party institution (I normally find myself in the tenor row next to Alan Beith (Lib Dem) and Alun Michael (Labour)) but brings togther members of both Houses, police officers, doorkeepers, catering staff, secretaries, clerks, even a journalist or two – the entire Westminster village.
This evening’s programme was Mozart’s Requiem, a piece that I have adored since I first sang it at school when I was seventeen, and a new setting by our accompanist Nick O’Neill of the prayer used at the beginning of each parliamentary day: Of All Persons and Estates.
The audience seemed to enjoy it all but since it is due to be broadcast on Classic FM tomorrow evening (John Brunning’s programme, starting at 9pm), you will be able to judge for yourself.