A Christian Year in Song | Kent Chamber Choir and Holy Cross Choir

A Christian Year in Song | Kent Chamber Choir and Holy Cross Choir

Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 19:30

Concert in support of Holy Cross Church's 'Raise the Roof' fund

This evening of choral music takes place during Holy Cross Church's Flower Festival. The music is chosen to reflect some of the significant festivals and occasions in the church year with the two choirs singing both separately and together. Holy Cross Choir's selection includes William Byrd's spirited Haec dies from Psalm 117 ('This is the day the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it, Alleluia') and Elizabeth Poston's well-known gem, Jesus Christ the apple tree.

To mark the centenary of UK women's suffrage, and to participate in reversing the unjust neglect of female composers, Kent Chamber Choir's programme also features works by two women: Isabella Leonarda and Judith Weir. Leonarda entered an Ursuline convent in 1636 at the age of 16 and stayed there until her death in 1704. She was over 50 before she started composing and publishing her works. Her motet Alma Redemptoris Mater is one of four seasonal Marian antiphons sung at the end of the office of Compline. Weir describes her My guardian Angel as a carol because of “the increased incidence of public appearances by Angels at Christmas time”. It combines a short text by William Blake with a simple, repeated Alleluia for audience participation.

The choirs join forces for masterpieces by English composers, three of which are by Henry Purcell. Hear my prayer, O Lord and O Lord God of hosts are both superlative contrapuntal psalm settings for eight-part choir. By contrast, Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts is a moving hymn-like anthem written for Queen Mary II's funeral at Westminster Abbey in 1695. It was repeated later that year at the composer's own funeral in the Abbey. 2018 sees the centenary of Hubert Parry's death and his famous coronation anthem, I was glad when they said unto me, brings the evening's entertainment to a suitably resplendent conclusion.

Haec Dies quam fecit Dominus
William Byrd (1543-1623)
My Guardian Angel
Judith Weir (1954-)
Alma redemptoris mater
Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704)
Hear my Prayer, O Lord
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
O Lord God of hosts
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts from Funeral Sentences for the death of Queen Mary
Henry Purcell (1659-1695)
I was glad
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918)
Nova! Nova!
Bob Chilcott (1955-)
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
Elizabeth Poston (1905-1987)
A heavenly song
Cecilia McDowall (1951-)
Here is the little door
Herbert Howells (1892-1983)
Caelos ascendit hodie from 3 Motets
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
O where shall wisdom be found?
William Boyce (1711-1779)
O radiant dawn from Strathclyde Motets
Sir James MacMillan (1959-)
Alan Vincent (1943-)
My soul, there is a country from Songs of Farewell
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918)
Crux fidelis
John IV, King of Portugal (1603-1656)


Holy Cross Church
Church Lane
Bearsted, Maidstone ME14 4EE
United Kingdom
51° 16' 15.744" N, 0° 34' 47.6976" E
Event Information Box
£10, children and full-time students £5 Available from Rebecca Moate 07376 425780 .
Javascript is required to view this map.
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here