Saturday April 22nd: “Vamp til Ready”

This was another great entertaining and fund-raising event.

Vamp til Ready is a tremendously funny and mightily accomplished song-and-dance act that had many of us in stitches earlier this year. Our own Martin Elliff is one of its stars.

Reactions to the event.

Janet Knowles said:

Last night was a triumph. Thank you so much. Our friends loved it, and as my David pointed out, I enjoyed it even more than a folk concert at the Albert Hall on Easter day! Vamp were terrific – what talent.  The supper was very good, and clever of you to do it for the ticket price. Several on our table commented on that – they were expecting a mere nibble.

Susan King wrote:

What a brilliant result! It was a very happy event which we enjoyed greatly. Thank you so much to you and all the committee for working so hard to give us such a wonderful evening.

Launch of the Matrix Consort

The indulgent among us ate chocolate eggs, some sat down to enjoy a good lunch with wine, followed by feet up on the sofa, a good book, a spot of television perhaps or even Verdi’s Aida live from The Met.?

Instead, a small but enthusiastic group of 15 singers chose to gather in The Matrix to sing madrigals and part songs.

The first rehearsal given by Sebastian in his new “relaxed” style was great fun.  His carefully chosen range of music from the 16th century gave every voice a chance to shine and an opportunity to listen to each other only possible in a small group. (When we got the notes right, that is!) Tony’s particular favourite; with its repeated Fa la la chorus and suggestions of merry lads and dainty nymphs, is truly the “month of Maying”

Much more to come from this group.

Appointment of new orchestral leader

elizabethnurse
Elizabeth Nurse

Elizabeth Nurse is an accomplished and versatile violinist, experienced in leading chamber groups and orchestras as well as playing as a soloist. She studies with Paul Barritt. Elizabeth is the leader the Oxford University Orchestra and in November 2015 was awarded an Orchestral Apprenticeship with the professional Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2016, she was appointed Konzertmeister for the critically acclaimed Szene12 production of ‘La Bohème’ in Dresden. Elizabeth is a second year Music undergraduate and Choral Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

Sebastian Thomson

sebastian_thomsonSebastian was a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (alongside Gulliver Ralston, one of our previous Directors of Music) before moving to HarrowSchool with the top music scholarship. He was then awarded the Bristol University Organ Scholarship. After this, he moved to Chichester Cathedral as Organ Scholar. In 2005, Sebastian was appointed Director of Music at St Matthew’s Church, Northampton, a post held alongside teaching piano, organ, and theory at Eton College.

Sebastian is an accomplished choral director and teacher with a growing reputation. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and a prize-winner in the Choral Training Diploma examination from the College. He was recently Head of Academic Music and Assistant Director of Music at Bloxham School.

Whilst at Bristol University, Sebastian founded The Howells Voices, a mixed voiced choir inspired by the music of Herbert Howells. The choir recommenced in 2012, and they take occupancy 3 times a year in Britain’s Cathedrals. Recent venues include, Salisbury, Westminster Abbey and York Minster.

Based in Oxford, he is now pursuing a freelance career as a choral conductor and organist. His recent solo engagements include recitals at Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, King’s College Cambridge, and St Paul’s Cathedral. Sebastian has also made appearances as a performer and speaker on local and national television and radio.

Sebastian is gaining a reputation for commissioning new works for choir and organ. The Angels of Creation Commissions are a collection of organ works composed for and premiered by Sebastian. A recording made on the organ of Keble College, Oxford is out later this year and a recital at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris is booked for the summer of 2017.