Competition winners

We are delighted to announce the result of our Composition Competition. After much discussion amongst the adjudicators, it was decided to share the first prize between two contenders: David Harris for Hail, gladdening light and John Sturt for Te lucis ante terminum. Both pieces will have their first performance at Wimborne Minster at Evensong on Saturday 10 August 2024, when we hope to be able to present the winning composers with their prize. Both anthems will subsequently be published by the Royal School of Church Music.

More information here:

All in place for July!

Not only do we now have singers, delighted at the thought of singing again, but we also have places to sing! This year we look forward to a welcome at churches in Sturminster Newton – an old favourite; Milton Abbey – a repeat visit; Cranborne – not visited for some years;  Puddletown – a new experience; and – as ever – Wimborne Minster, dedicated to St Cuthburga who is celebrated in that evening’s anthem. You can find full details on our Tour page. Fervent hopes for no stalling in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Were it not for Covid-19 . . .

. . . we would all, at this very moment (8.00pm Sunday) be about to take a break in our first rehearsal of the week at Bryanston School with Jeremy Jackman and Sam Hanson. So sad to think of the old friendships which will very likely not be renewed this year, and the new ones which won’t be forged. And so disappointing (if understandable) that amateur music making is still off limits – even outside – while professionals can now play and sing again, even if they are obliged to scratch their heads and wonder how best to conform with the safety strictures.

Thank you to Wimborne Minster who would have welcomed our al fresco Evensong had they been permitted to do so, and to Lesnes Abbey who were delighted by the suggestion that we might sing there.  Keep safe, everyone; remember all the good times from past Laudemus! weeks; and take care of your voices so that you still have one when we are all allowed to sing again.

Salvaging some singing

With fingers firmly crossed, we have come up with a plan to meet in Dorset and sing Evensong this summer, in spite of Covid-19. Just one service, unaccompanied and out of doors (now there’s a challenge!), to be sung in the north-east courtyard outside Wimborne Minster. Date will be between 22 and 25 July, depending on the weather forecast. Regular updates in this slot.

Minster wedding

Travelled to Wimborne Minster on Friday 31 August for the wedding of Margaret James (92) and Robert Cave (91). They are Britain’s oldest newly-weds, and a full Minster church wished them well. Google their names for more details and lovely pictures! (The Michael James Music Trust supports two Laudemus! scholars each year.)

Another year over!

Another wonderful week over – all very successful apart from an uncharacteristic ‘blip’ on Friday. Over the course of five days we coped with ciphers, impossible sight-lines, interesting cantors and challenging organs: all in a day’s singing. Now back to the real world, with Howells’ St Paul’s Service and Wesley’s Ascribe unto the Lord still ringing in our ears from the final service in Wimborne Minster. Huge thanks to our wonderful professional team of Sam Hanson (organ) and Jeremy Jackman (inspirational musical director).