The Gregorian Chant Group  is an informal group meeting on Wednesday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30 to explore the wonderful repertoire of plainchant.

Welcome back after the recent break.
Our focus over the next couple of months will be the music for the feast of The Seven Sorrows of Mary (September 15th), another chance to sing the Stabat Mater from the Tenebrae service in Holy Week, as well as the Magnificat.
Our new psalm is 134 (133), one of the psalms for Compline, with its accompanying antiphon ‘Miserere mihi Domine.’  This will form part of our preparations for a special Compline service to be held in the church to mark Michaelmas which falls on September 29th. The service will be either on the Wednesday before or after the 29th, depending on people’s availability.
The other musical items for this will be the hymns ‘Christ the Fair Glory of the Holy Angels,’ and ‘Te Lucis ante Terminum’ ; the Marian antiphon Salve Regina, and the canticle Nunc Dimittis.
Having learnt the Simple Tone version version Salve Regina, it’s time now to tackle the elaborate, more famous Solemn Tone, and we’ll make a start on this on Wednesday.
Here are some youtube links:
and another version sung by the Schola Cantorum of Amsterdam
I hope you can join us.

During Easter the group learnt the 11th century Easter sequence ‘Victimae Paschali laudes  and the most famous Gregorian hymn of all – Veni Creator Spiritus.  Composed in the ninth century by Rabanus Maurus as an invocation to the Holy Spirit, it is sung at Pentecost and at other solemn occasions including coronations.  A paraphrased version in English (‘Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire’) has been sung at every English coronation sing Charles I.  If you’d like to hear it, this excellent version here on youtube offers the music, text and translation in one.

We also looked at Psalm 126 (125), the Salva Nos antiphon, and the Eastertide Marian antiphon ‘Regina Caeli.’
Chant is the ancient traditional music of the Church, and consists of a single melodic line, needing no instrumental accompaniment.  Much of the music is as simple as it is beautiful, and is also easy to read even if you have no previous musical experience.

Times, seasons, moments of life and the Church year will provide us with endless opportunities to sing a variety of psalms, antiphons, hymns and canticles in English and Latin.

There are many beautiful and exciting chants for us to sing this year, and here are some of the highlights:

For Candlemas, February 2nd, the Nunc Dimittis in Latin with its special Candlemas antiphon ‘Lumen ad revelationem.’
For the Anunciation on March 25th, Ave Maria, the ancient prayer beloved of Christians for centuries in both East and West.
For Lent, the Lent Prose ‘Attende Domine’ with its penitential lyrics but surprisingly cheerful tune.
Then for Easter, the stunning Medieval sequence ‘Victimae Paschali’ with its wide melodic range and dramatic sung dialogue between Mary and the disciples describing the Resurrection.
And lastly, for Pentecost, one of the best known and most loved gregorian hymns, ‘Veni Creator Spiritus.’

The venue is the Parish Hall, on the corner of Angus St and Goodwood Rd. Parking is available in the car park of Holy Cross Church opposite St George’s.

New members most welcome. Please contact Sarah Clay (Director of Music) 0488 133 645 sarahanneclay@gmail.com