During August Grace Church welcomes two choirs from England to sing at the Six o’clock Sunday Eucharist.
The Six p.m. service will take place in the Church on these Sundays to accommodate the size of the choirs.
Come early and hear them offer a choral prelude beginning around 5:45 p.m.
SUNDAY 28 August at 6:00 p.m. The Charter Choir of Homerton College, Cambridge, UK under the direction of Daniel Trocme-Latter.
SUNDAY 4 September at 6:00 p.m. The Somerville College Choir, Oxford, UK under the direction of Nicholas Machin.
The Charter Choir was founded in 2009 in celebration of Homerton College gaining full collegiate status within the University of Cambridge. It currently consists of around 24 singers (usually undergraduates at Homerton), most of whom receive choral scholarships. Some have been singing in choirs since they were children, while others arrive at Homerton and discover their voice here. Up to two organ scholarships are also funded.
During term time, the Choir sings Choral Evensong each Tuesday, and performs in occasional concerts. The Charter Choir plays an important role in the life of the College, featuring in particular at the College’s principal feast, the Charter Dinner. The College commissioned a piece by the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Dame Carol Ann Duffy (both Honorary Fellows of Homerton), simply entitled Homerton. This composition, along with a selection of other works was recorded by the Choir in 2014 and released as a CD entitled Audite Finem with EM Records. Copies can be bought directly from our website: www.homerton.cam.ac.uk/charterchoir/recordings.
In the UK, the Charter Choir has sung at Canterbury, Ely, Peterborough, Norwich, Southwark, St Edmundsbury Cathedrals. Past summer tours abroad have included Alsace, Croatia, Ireland, and Monaco and the French Riviera. This tour the USA is the Choir’s most adventurous yet, during which it will sing at venues in New York, Boston, and New Haven.
Homerton College is a constituent College of the University of Cambridge, gaining its Royal Charter in 2010. It is home to around 1200 students, the largest number of any Cambridge College. Over the past two decades it has broadened its intake to include most subjects, and will be admitting medical students for this first time from this autumn.
Daniel Trocmé-Latter was appointed Director of Music at Homerton in 2011 following the completion of his doctoral studies. As a choral director he has conducted choirs in several UK cathedrals and churches, as well in Hong Kong, France, Croatia, Ireland, and Monaco. In 2014, with the Charter Choir, he recorded Audite Finem, a commercially-released CD featuring choral works by William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, and many others including various composers associated with Homerton College. Two of Daniel’s own compositions, including a setting of the Homerton College Grace of 1957, appear on the CD. Daniel is also active as an organist: in March 2014 he played the organ in an ABC Classic FM broadcast of a new Mass by composer Gerard Brophy in Perth, Australia. In addition he serves as College Lecturer in Music at Homerton, and from October will become an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. He is also Recordings Review Editor for the Oxford journal Early Music.
The Choir of Somerville College, in its present form, was founded by Francis Knights (Director of Chapel Music) and Sam Bayliss (Organ Scholar/College Organist) in 2001. The choir sings in the college chapel every Sunday during term and performs regularly in concerts organised by Somerville Music Society. Since 2015 the choir has been conducted by Benjamin Goodson (Director of Chapel Music).
In recent years the choir has sung services and concerts at Worcester, Southwark, Winchester, Wells, Blackburn, Coventry and St. Paul’s cathedrals. In 2005 and 2009 the choir toured Germany under the patronage of Sir Peter Torry, the British ambassador to Germany, and sang services and concerts in Berlin, Potsdam and Brandenburg. A third foreign tour took the choir to Italy where the group performed in Milan, Crema and Lodi.
The choir has been involved in two opera productions (Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice) as well as high-profile concerts in Oxford, Brighton, Swindon and Upton. In 2009/2010 the choir appeared in a memorial concert for Iris Murdoch, performed Händel’s Messiah in Oxford and gave a performance of John Tavener’s Song for Athene in the presence of the composer. In 2010/2011 Somerville Choir performed Bach’s St John Passion and recorded its first commercial CD Requiem æternam (Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem and Robin Milford’s Mass for Five Voices) which was released by Stone Records in August 2012. The album features internationally acclaimed soloists Christine Rice (mezzo-soprano), Mark Stone (baritone) and Guy Johnston (cello).
In 2011/2012 the choir performed Bach’s Easter cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden and Schubert’s Mass in G with a professional orchestra and sang evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. The choir also toured Lancashire, singing concerts at Blackburn Cathedral and Lancaster Priory.
Engagements in 2012/2013 included two further performances at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a concert at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London as well as the recording sessions for our second CD, Advent Calendar, which was released in autumn 2013. The Choir of Somerville College also participated in Britten in Oxford’s Writing for Voices, a project run in collaboration with JAM, and made an appearance on BBC Radio 3.
In 2014 sang evensong at Coventry Cathedral and gave two performances of Bach’s St. John Passion featuring a professional orchestra and soloists from the Royal College of Music. After the end of Trinity Term the choir undertook a tour of the USA, singing services and concerts at Washington National Cathedral and the National City Church in Washington DC as well as several venues in Delaware and Massachusetts.