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The singers of the choir at St.John the Baptist Church, Keynsham, are busy preparing for their trip to Italy at the end of this month with their music director, Chris Thomas. They will fly from Bristol airport to Pisa in Tuscany, then by coach to the town of Bolsena by the beautiful lake of that name, in the province of Viterbo. Here they will stay at the Loriana Park Hotel, and at Montepozzo, the converted farmhouse belonging to Chris’s brother and sister-in-law John and Jaqui and his nephew Alex, who are also practising hard to join the performances. John and Jacqui are also visiting the singing venues in advance to iron out details.
With concerts at two local churches on the Tuesday and Wednesday, the most demanding event will be singing at Orvieto Cathedral on Thursday 1st November, in their Mass for All Saints Day.
There will be 41 in the party, including 33 singers, plus family members and helpers. The youngest is 11-year-old Jamie Mason, who has just been appointed Head Chorister of the Junior Choir – and our oldest member has recently celebrated his 93rd birthday!
You can hear a preview of what the choir will sing, at their concert at St.John’s Church on Saturday 13th October at 7.30pm – supported by the St.John’s Chamber Orchestra. You will hear, among other musical delights, Fauré’s Requiem, S.S.Wesley’s anthem ‘Blessed be the God and Father’, Monteverdi’s ‘Laudate Dominum’, Victoria’s motet ‘O Quam Gloriosum’, and Handel’s organ concerto ‘The Cuckoo and the Nightingale’, with Alison Howell as soloist. Tickets £7.50 (concessions £5.00) can be purchased on the door at the event.
St.John’s church sends its choir on continental tours every 3 years, and previous destinations have included Paris, Cologne and Amsterdam. The tours are entirely self-funding, with places subsidised by funds raised at such events as weddings, concerts, Vespers recitals, and a 500-church ‘sing-a-thon’.
St.John’s Choir always welcomes new members from the age of 6 upwards. They function as part of a rich musical setup: Choristers, Youth Choir, Adult Choir, St.John’s Consort, Worship Band, Folk Band, Chameleonz jazz band, and occasionally a chamber orchestra. If you would like to be part of it, contact firstname.lastname@example.org