All correspondence for Chorus Angelorum should go to:
Our Lady of Walsingham
7809 Shadyvilla Ln, Houston, TX 77055
Dr. Hyeok Lee, Interim Director of Chorus Angelorum
A South Korean conductor, Hyeok Lee received his bachelor of music degree in composition from Chong-Sin University in Seoul, Korea, and two master of music degrees in the United States: composition from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and choral conducting from the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. In May 2014, he completed his doctoral study in choral conducting at the MSM. Dr. Lee currently serves as interim choirmaster of Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church. He also recently served as assistant director of the Houston Symphony Chorus and graduate assistant of various undergraduate choirs at UH including the award-wining MSM Concert Chorale under the direction of Dr. Betsy Cook Weber. Dr. Lee has transcribed and modern-premiered several church cantatas of Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow and researched the performance practice of Zachow's cantata oeuvre (F. W. Zachow's Thirty-Three Extant Church Cantatas: an Examination of Pitch Standard Issues, Choir and Orchestra Size, and Continuo Group Constitution) under the guidance of Dr. Matthew Dirst.
Dr. Jeong-Suk Bae, Organist/Rehearsal Accompanist of Chorus Angelorum
Jeong-Suk Bae recently earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance at the University of Houston. Dr. Bae serves St. Peter's United Methodist Church in Katy as a principal organist, and the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart as an assistant organist. She also enjoys accompanying choirs and playing basso continuo for chamber music, as she plays for Zachow Consort & Players, a Baroque vocal/instrumental chamber ensemble founded by Hyeok Lee in September, 2013. Her major solo organ performances this year includes organ recital for the NPM (National Pastoral Musicians) convention at St. Louis, MO, early organ music recital at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, joint-recital of the Cathedral organists at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, First Friday Organ Recital Series at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, and another First Friday Organ Recital at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugarland. She holds music degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX and Chong-Shin Presbyterian University in South Korea. Her paper, 'Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Italian Keyboard Continuo Improvisation and Its Application to the Slow Movements of Buxtehude's Trio Sonatas Op. 1 and 2', was presented in the Westfield Conference in April 2013.
History of Workshops with David Trendell:
Henry Purcell 2009
Trendall Tutors Tallis 2007
Gibbons & Tallis 2005
Mairriage of England and Spain 2003
Byrd and his Tudor Friends 2001
David Trendell, an authority on stylistic interpretation and performance
practices of English Renaissance church music has lead a workshop in Houston
every two years since 2001.. The music spans most of the 16th century
and has included English and continental contemporaries of Thomas Tallis,
William Byrd, Victoria, etc. and in 2009 delved into the music of Henry
At each two year interval approximately 60 participants join Mr. Trendell,
Chapel Organist and Music Head at King’s College, London, in a unique
opportunity to take the manuscripts of these great masters and bring their
sacred music to life.
The Choral Workshop includes rehearsals with David Trendell and a professional
solo quartet from London, who also present a concert of sacred music.
Participants sing choral evensong, followed by a concert of music learned
during the event.
Descriptions of Past Workshops
Location of Workshop and
Lady of Walsingham
Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church-Anglican Use at
7809 Shadyvilla Lane, near the intersection of Westview and Wirt, just
north of I-10, Katy Freeway.
Ed Franklin's reflections on the 2003 Workshop:
The Marriage of England and Spain
David Trendell Passes Away Suddenly at Age 50
We celebrate the memory of David Trendell, our beloved summer workshop leader for 15 years. David Trendell was a famous choral director and lecturer at King's College, London. He passed away in his sleep Monday night or Tuesday morning, October 27th. He will be greatly missed.
For more info:
Memories of David Trendell's association with Chorus Angelorum
by Ed Franklin
There is little doubt that the musical world so many of us have known through the inspiration and extraordinary musical talents of David Trendell has been dramatically altered. His voice will no longer be heard, that silver-throated swan is no more. We are left, however, with unparalleled musical experiences of the first order due to his leadership, and there is nothing more long-lasting than that. Fr. Noble's tribute to David, which has been shared with all of you, whether or not you knew David, is perhaps the most beautifully represented tribute one could hope for. It was written with love in a sense of loss, a true remembrance of the mark David left on us, and we are forever indebted and enriched by this.
For those of you who perhaps do not remember the history we shared with David over more than 15 years, I want to share some of that history with you. David entered our lives through the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great in London and the appointment of our friend, (Fr.) John Caster was appointed Verger in that venerable church. John had been on the job at St. Bart's only a couple of weeks when he called me in Houston to tell me all about the choir. It was lead by David Trendell, with the brilliant organist Simon Nieminski at the keyboard. John was almost beside himself as he told me about David and that remarkable group of eight singers. (Patti Spain, a Houston early music vocal specialist and teacher once told me: "Ed, if you can't sing it with 8 singers, you don't even need to sing it." Hearing that sage's wisdom gave me the hiccups, for sure.) The enthusiasm coming from John certainly tweaked my interest so the next time I was in London, of course I was going to meet David. And where would that be? The Rising Sun! That pub may not officially be the closest pub to an English church, but I don't see how that's possible. Out one door and in the other can't get much closer than that. As long as John was employed at St. Bart's, I always scheduled ione Mass and an Evensong as the starting point for Chorus Angelorum's summer residencies, and during these visits, we all got to know David fairly well.
Our summer choral workshops had, from the very beginning, been on my agenda for Chorus Angelorum, and when Martha and I started laying out our plans to make this come to fruition, David was who we turned to for the musical direction I was looking for. I approached him with the idea; he liked it and agreed that bringing members of his group and a superb English organist with him was the right way to proceed. Because his primary interests lay in the field of Tudor music, English Renaissance/Reformation, we determined that we would focus our attention on that particular period. Thus began a relationship that brought David and his troupe to Houston multiple times. During these visits, we explored the music of William Byrd, introduced another meaning to G&T (Gibbons and Tomkins), encountered the musical influences during the marriage of England's Queen Mary I to Phillip of Spain, waxed through the romantic poetry of the biblical Song of Songs, ventured far afield in the church music of Henry Purcell and then returned to more Byrd and his friends. Along the way, we met the organist Ruaraidh Sutherland by happenstance, who not only made the trip to Houston several times but also was our organist at our last three residencies in England: Durham, Canterbury and Norwich. As could be expected, combining these two brilliant musicians, David and Ruaraidh, in one program gave all of us unequaled musical experiences. As an aside, when Chorus Angelorum was at Norwich Cathedral in 2013, David traveled from London to Norwich to see everyone and to hear what we were doing. He stayed two days with us.
While in Houston, David made his home-away-from-home at former chorus member's house, Bobbi Prewit, who wrote after David's death that she would always cherish the hours she and David sat in rocking chairs on her back porch at the end of those long days in Houston, down-loading that day's events and throwing in all sorts of trivia along the way. That was David and we have been blessed by his presence.
"May the angels lead you into paradise,
May the martyrs receive you on arrival
And lead you into the holy city of Jerusalem.
May the choir of angels receive you
And like poor Lazarus
May you have eternal rest."
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat................
Summer Workshop with David Trendell
July 10- Sunday, July 13, 2014
Recording available of the workshop concerts
for more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
"For All The Saints"
Festival Choral Evensong and Concert July 2014
Workshop Participants led by David Trendall
The 7th Biennial Workshop "For All The Saints"
Renaissance sacred music
Choral Workshop - “For All the Saints”
July 10- 13, 2014
featuring music of Morley, Byrd, Mouton,
Victoria, Palestrina and Tallis
Chorus Angelorum of Houston, Texas presented its Seventh Biennial Choral Workshop and Evensong, featuring musical settings by various composers of early sacred music. Led by David Trendell, noted Renaissance musical scholar and College Organist and Lecturer in Music at King's College, London, and with workshop organist, Ruaraidh Sutherland of Christ's Church, Rye, NY. Mr. Trendell brought a professional vocal quartet from London to act as Section Leaders within the Workshop Chorus. Rehearsal sessions were held Thursday evening and daily Friday and Saturday. Sunday's events included optional participation in the Sunday service at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church. Sunday afternoon provided a full evensong and concert of music by workshop attendees.
Choral Residency—Norwich Cathedral
July 22-28, 2013
Residency at Norwich Cathedral
Learn more about Norwich Cathedral in Norwich, England
Featuring: "Messe in Es"by Josef Rheinberger for 8 voices
and music of:
Dear Friends and Supporters of sacred choral music:
Following a successful choral residency at Ripon Cathedral in England, one of my singers said quite simply: “This cannot be a one-time deal!” Fifteen years later, the fruits of that insightful seed have been realized in what is an extraordinary choral ensemble: Chorus Angelorum. From the very beginning, our mission has not wavered but has followed a single path, that being the propagation and promotion of traditional Anglican music and culture within the context of liturgy. In addition to singing regularly scheduled Choral Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer, 1662, the chorus has sponsored six biennial summer choral music workshops, each one lead by David Trendell, musicologist, Lecturer and Chapel Organist at the prestigious King’s College, London, a solo quartet of Choral Scholars from London and a visiting organist from England as well. The musical exchange across the Atlantic goes in the opposite direction when the chorus fills a choral residency at an English Cathedral. Previously, these residencies have taken the chorus to Ripon, Lincoln, Edinburgh (St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral), Durham and Canterbury. In 2013, Choral Angelorum will sing a weeklong residency at the Anglican cathedral in Norwich.
In residence at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church since 2005, Chorus Angelorum has enjoyed a remarkable relationship with a nurturing parish, one that uniquely recognizes the Anglican patrimony of the Ordinariate of the Catholic Church as created in January, 2012. The building itself represents the awesome beauty of God’s creations in our midst in an architectural setting of great integrity, with acoustical properties that approach perfection.
As a 501c3 organization, Chorus Angelorum funds these remarkable programs through the generosity of donations from individual patrons, such as yourself, and we ask for your support at this time. Direct contributions are greatly appreciated and can be made to Chorus Angelorum, c/o Our Lady of Walsingham, 7809 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston, Texas 77055. However, our annual Gala provides another opportunity of support for patrons who wish to participate in the success of future programs, as well as to meet some of the choristers in a more social setting.
With heartfelt thanks and appreciation for your support,
Founder and Music Director
History of Workshops with David Trendell:
of Solomon Choral Workshop
July 13-17, 2011 The sixth biennial
choral workshop with David Trendell, Chapel Organist
and Lecturer at Kings College, London, England,
with music of the renaissance featuring texts from the
Song of Solomon
This workshop was held in the summer of 2011.
WHAT: Chorus Angelorum of Houston,
Texas presents King Solomons Songs: The Song
of Songs, its Sixth Biennial Choral Workshop, featuring
musical settings by various composers of the most romantic
book of the Old Testament, Solomons Song of Songs, July
13-17, 2011. Led by David Trendell, noted Renaissance musical
scholar and College Organist and Lecturer in Music at King's
College, London, and with workshop accompanist and celebrated
organist Simon Nieminski, Organist of St Mary's Metropolitan
Cathedral (Catholic) in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr.
Trendell will bring a professional vocal quartet from
London to act as Section Leaders within the Workshop
Chorus. Musical selections will include settings
of Nigra sum sed Formosa by Lheritier, Victoria and Palestrina;
Ego flos campi by Clemens non Papa; Vox patris by Mundy and
other selected compositions by Vivanco and Guerrero.
WHEN: Wednesday, July 13, 6
Thursday, July 14, 9AM 9PM,
Friday, July 15, 9AM 6PM,
Saturday, July 16, 9AM 6PM,
Sunday, July 17, 2PM rehearsal for 4PM Evensong Service. Grand
Reception to follow.
WHERE: Our Lady of Walsingham
Catholic Church - Anglican Use.
7809 Shadyvilla (near 1 block north of Wirt @ Westview), Houston,
COST: $325 per person, space
limited to 50 participants. Discount of 10% to students or
groups of 5 or more participants.
INCLUDED: Complete packet of
music to be sung during the workshop, culminating in Choral
Evensong on Sunday, July 17.
Wednesday Registration and Happy Social Hour, with
first read through of music.
Breakfast and lunch Thursday Saturday.
Dinner Thursday evening only.
WHY: To preserve and promote
the culture and rich musical heritage of the Anglican
tradition within the context of liturgy, Choral Evensong.
REQUIRED: While there is no
audition, participants must have some experience in choral
singing and some ability to sight-read within a choir section.
To register, mail in the downloadable
form. All registration applications must be received
by mail. Applications received after June 30, 2011 will be
required to pay $325.
(For further information go to www.chorusangelorum.org)
has been College Organist and Lecturer in Music at King's
since 1992. In that time he has established the chapel choir
as one of the finest mixed-voice university choirs in the
country. They have made several recordings in recent years
of sixteenth-century music, thus tying in with Trendell's
research interests. Their disc of Taverner's Missa Corona
spinea was nominated for a Gramophone award in the Early Music
category and their disc of music by Alonso Lobo was chosen
by Gramphone reviewer, Tess Knighton, as one of her two favourite
CDs of the year. More recently, they have continued their
relationship with Sanctuary's Gaudeamus label by recording
music by Sebastian de Vivanco and they have also recorded
a disc of music for Advent with the renowned viol consort
Phantasm on the Herald label. Trendell was educated as an
organ scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, and, prior to his
arrival at King's was Lecturer at St Hilda's, St Hugh's and
Oriel Colleges. He is much in demand as a choral conductor
and frequently directs choral workshops in the USA. In recent
years the choir has toured the USA, France, Ireland and Italy.
summer's workshop will feature organ playing by SIMON NIEMINSKI
Nieminski, British organist, in recital at
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Meyerland, on Saturday, July
16 at 7:30 p.m.!
On Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
to host an organ recital by British organist Simon Nieminski.
will be in the city serving as accompanist for a choral workshop
Evensong called King Solomon's Songs. This event features
of portions of the Old Testament Song of Songs by Renaissance
workshop runs from July 13-17, and is hosted by Chorus Angelorum,
semi-professional chorus "devoted to the propagation
and continued use of
the traditional music of the church in the context of its
Simon Nieminski studied at the Royal College of Music, London,
with honors from Cambridge University and was Organ Scholar
at York Minster.
Since serving as Assistant Director of Music at London's historic
Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, he served as Organist
and Master of the
Music at St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral in Edinburgh and is
now Organist at
St. Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh. A Fellow of
the Royal College
of Organists, his sixth CD release, "Longhorns in Abilene",
is the inaugural
recording of the magnificent new Nichols and Simpson organ
at First Baptist
Church, Abilene, Texas.
All are welcome to enjoy hearing this outstanding organist
perform on the
fine Schoenstein instrument at St. Thomas'. There is no charge.
Nieminski was born in London and descended from an unlikely
mixture of Edwardian Japanese acrobats, Lancastrian Music
Hall artistes and a Polish army veteran. He studied in London
at the Royal College of Music, at Cambridge University and
as Organ Scholar of York Minster. He is experienced in the
cathedral music tradition, currently as Organist of St Marys
Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh, and previously as Organist
and Master of the Music at St Marys Episcopal Cathedral
in Edinburgh, where he directed the choir in daily choral
services, concerts, recordings and broadcasts. He has also
conducted the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union in concert at the
Usher Hall and played organ in the Royal Scottish National
His work as
an organist takes him around the UK and abroad, both in concert
and over the airwaves. As a recitalist, his programmes often
include unusual but attractive repertoire and it has become
his aim to play programmes which appeal to organ buffs and
sceptics alike. His recordings have helped to revive the music
of unjustly neglected composers, with releases on the Pro
Organo label of the Promenades en Provence by Eugène
Reuchsel (This is a splendid release
a lot of poetry here. - The American Record Guide; Simon
Nieminskis playing is utterly convincing and at one
stroke establishes him as a recording artist of the first
rank. - Organists Review) and the Symphonies of
Edward Shippen Barnes - American pupil of Louis Vierne (Pro
Organo and Simon Nieminski must be commended for searching
out this music and having the courage to record it - would
that other companies would make the efforts to record music
which is both unusual and worthy. - The Organ.) An interest
in transcriptions has resulted in recordings of works inspired
by Shakespeare, and another of Elgar, including the complete
Enigma Variations (Romantic organ playing at its best
- The Organ.)
at St Marys Metropolitan Cathedral for BBC Radio 2s
The Organist Entertains programme was broadcast last year
and a CD on the new organ was released, which was reviewed
as a Star Recording in The Organ (
a triumph for
both organ and organist
) His latest release is
a recording of the new organ at First Baptist Church, Abilene,
Past Workshops: 2009
Angelorum hosted its fifth biennial choral workshop, A
Time of Restoration from July 8 - 12, 2009, at Our
Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church-Anglican Use, Houston,
Trendell, an authority on stylistic interpretation and performance
practices of English Renaissance and Restoration church
music, lead the workshop celebrating the music of Henry
Purcell at the 350th anniversary of his birth. Purcells
music was written in the 17th century during the 36 short
years of his life. The Restoration of the English monarchy
in 1660 allowed a flowering of Anglican church music and
Henry Purcell was its greatest blossom.
ANGELORUM'S FIFTH BIENNIAL CHORAL WORKSHOP
has been College Organist and Lecturer in Music at King's
since 1992. In that time he has established the chapel choir
as one of the finest mixed-voice university choirs in the
country. They have made several recordings in recent years
of sixteenth-century music, thus tying in with Trendell's
research interests. Their disc of Taverner's Missa Corona
spinea was nominated for a Gramophone award in the Early
Music category and their disc of music by Alonso Lobo was
chosen by Gramphone reviewer, Tess Knighton, as one of her
two favourite CDs of the year. More recently, they have
continued their relationship with Sanctuary's Gaudeamus
label by recording music by Sebastian de Vivanco and they
have also recorded a disc of music for Advent with the renowned
viol consort Phantasm on the Herald label. Trendell was
educated as an organ scholar at Exeter College, Oxford,
and, prior to his arrival at King's was Lecturer at St Hilda's,
St Hugh's and Oriel Colleges. He is much in demand as a
choral conductor and frequently directs choral workshops
in the USA. In recent years the choir has toured the USA,
France, Ireland and Italy.
on a music scholarship at Blundell’s School, Devon,
Rupert, aged 22, completed his BMus Honours Degree at King’s
College, London, in 2008. During his time at King’s
he was a choral scholar in the Chapel Choir and was accepted
onto the third year auditioned advanced performance course.
He received voice tuition with Professor David Lowe at the
Royal Academy of Music for two years and begun tuition with
Professor Philip Doghan in September 2007. He was offered
a place at the Royal Academy of Music and will be starting
there in September to study for a MA in Vocal Performance.
date Rupert has sung tenor solo in performances of Mozart’s
in C minor,
in D and
In May of last year Rupert made his operatic debut as a
founder member of the King’s College Opera Company,
playing the role of Prince Philippe in their production
of Lennox Berkeley’s A
In July 2008 he performed the UK premiere of The
Sealed Angel by
Rodion Shchedrin with the choir of King’s London in
collaboration with the chapel choir of Gonville and Caius
College, Cambridge as part of the Spitalfields music festival.
This was followed by a recording of The
Sealed Angel which
is now commercially available. Other recordings include
disc of music by Giles Swayne and new Hyperion recording
of works by Philippe Rogier. Rupert is currently based in
London holds a choral scholarship at All Saint Church Fulham.
He is also a member of the up and coming close harmony group
Six Tricks and Siglo de Oro, a chamber choir specializing
in 16th century polyphony from the continent. Rupert is
currently looking for sponsorship to help fund his studies.
singing with Anne Howells at the Royal Academy of Music
while working for an academic music degree at King’s
College, London between 1995 and 1998. She sings for several
professional vocal ensembles including Polyphony
by Stephen Layton, The
Cambridge Singers conducted
by John Rutter and the King’s
by Robert King and appeared with them in 2006 on the soundtrack
for the film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. More recently
she has toured with Clare College Choir to Japan as the
mezzo soprano soloist in the Mozart Requiem and was one
of the soloists in a performance of the Verdi Requiem in
Trinity College Chapel in Cambridge. In 2003 she began training
for ordained ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge, was
ordained priest of the Church of England in 2007 and is
now Assistant Curate on the Manor Estates in Sheffield.
In the last few years she has become the duet partner of
the Bishop of Sheffield in a series of fundraising concerts!
is a soprano who has recently graduated from Central School
of Speech and Drama having been a choral scholar at Kings
College, London. She is currently studying singing with
Julie Kennard from the Royal Academy of Music and trained
in voice and harp at the Guildhall School of Music. Career
highlights include winning the 1998 BBC Radio 2 Choirgirl
of the Year competition. This led to her appearing as a
soloist in Sunday Half Hour, Good Morning Sunday, Friday
Night is Music Night, Daily Service and Songs of Praise.
In December, 1999, she released a CD with the BBC Concert
Orchestra: “A Christmas Celebration” including
her composition: “The Little Messiah” which
was released as a single and performed with the BBC Concert
Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Fairfield Hall and
Birmingham Symphony Hall. In March 2001, she was soloist
in a performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem”
with the Scottish Opera Orchestra at Caird Hall, Dundee.
Most recently, she reached the final 20 in the BBC “How
do you Solve a Problem like Maria?” competition, which
led to her performing on BBC 1 at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s
Sydmonton Festival. More recent engagements include performing
Handel’s “Messiah” and Berlioz “L’Enfance
du Christ” with Tenebrae at the Barbican Hall with
the LSO, conducted by Sir Colin Davis on BBC 3. She has
also appeared with Howard Goodall’s “Enchanted
Voices” in a series of Sky concerts in the Westcountry
and also with the Oxford Camerata at a Naxos Concert at
St Johns Smith Square, the Edington Festival and at Malmesbury
Abbey . She regularly performs as a soprano soloist throughout
London and Sussex and her solo performances have included
Purcell’s “The Faerie Queene”, Handel’s
“Messiah”, Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”,
Gabriel in Haydn’s “Creation” and as a
soloist in the Monteverdi Vespers with Neil Jenkins and
the Sussex Chorus. She regularly sings as a soprano at St
Bartholomews Smithfield, All Saints Margaret Street, St
James Spanish Place and Guards Chapel. Recent recordings
include 2 CDS with Oxford Camerata, 1 CD with Voces Cantabiles
and 1 CD with the Chapel choir at Kings College, London.
She has also recorded a variety of big band numbers for
SingLive UK. Eloise also enjoys singing whilst playing the
harp and has performed extensively as a singer/harpist at
various weddings, corporate events and orchestral concerts,
featuring a range of works including her own compositions
and arrangements. She most recently appeared as an actress/harpist
in Holby City.
singing when he won a chorister scholarship to King's College
Choir, Cambridge, at the age of seven, where he later became
Head Chorister. From there he won a music scholarship to
Eton College, before returning to Cambridge, first as a
choral scholar at Gonville & Caius College, and then
at King's College for his final year. Immediately following
graduation, he was chosen to sing the Welsh national anthem
at the Rugby World Cup in Australia, singing to stadia of
up to 70,000 people. Now a freelance singer in London, Edward
sings for a number of choirs, including St. Paul's Cathedral,
Westminster Abbey, and the Temple choir. He has also performed
solo and oratorio repertoire, including the role of Jesus
in Bach's St John Passion in Tewkesbury Abbey. Edward has
also worked with opera groups, including the Paris-based
Opera Fuoco, as well as English Voices, and has just returned
from touring Israel and Palestine with La Boheme. Other
secular work includes recordings with the 8:15 vocal ensemble,
film scores (including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe),
and various close harmony groups.
Sutherland is a native of Scotland
and received his early musical education at Wellington
School in Ayr and the RSAMD in Glasgow. Since February
2007 he has been Assistant Director of Music at the Collegiate
Church of St Mary in Warwick, where he plays the organ
for four choral services each week, trains the choristers
of the internationally renowned choirs; he also directs
the increasingly successful St Marys Scholars Chamber
Choir in services, concerts and tours (recently to Tewkesbury
Abbey and Worcester Cathedral). Outside of St Marys,
he teaches organ and piano at Warwick School, and holds
the post of Vice-President of the Coventry and Warwickshire
from the University of Edinburgh in 2006 with honours in
music leaving with all the major academic and performance
prizes. For over three years he was on the music staff of
St Marys Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh as organ
scholar and spent a period of six months as the acting-Assistant
Organist at the cathedral and Organist of Fettes College.
As a student he performed regular concerts with Edinburgh
Symphony Baroque, the Edinburgh Singers and the Edinburgh
Bach Choir, toured with the University Music Society to
Norway and Holland and undertook a number of recordings.
of the Royal College of Organists, his organ teachers have
included Simon Nieminski, Margaret Phillips, and currently
with Andrew Fletcher, who continues to be an inspiring musical
force. Recent organ concerts include the cathedrals of Birmingham,
Edinburgh, Truro, St Albans, and the Colleges of Queen's
and Exeter, Oxford. He is also an avid transcriber of orchestral
works for the organ: his arrangement of Elgars Enigma
Variations was released on the Pro Organo label (performed
by Simon Nieminski) and recent transcriptions include Prokofievs
Romeo and Juliet, movements from Mendelssohns A Midsummer
Nights Dream and Elgars First Symphony.
cooking, fine ales, plenty of Mario Kart (and Zelda!), current
affairs and cartoons!
RELEASE FOR CHORUS ANGELORUM
In 1998, in what was to have been a “one time deal” with
a Choral Residency at Ripon Cathedral in England, evolved
into a remarkable chorus of eager singers whose goal was
to promote and foster the most outstanding examples in the
Anglican choral tradition. The Ripon Residency planted the
seed for the formation of Chorus Angelorum, the name itself
coming from the “In paradisum” portion of a Requiem Mass:
“may a chorus of angels await you in paradise.” It seemed
a most fitting name for a singing group with such high musical
ideals and focus.
When one reflects upon these past ten years, the contributions
made toward the originally stated goals have been both extraordinary
and consistent. The local “agenda” has been to sing Choral
Eucharist on the fourth Sunday of every month, offering
numerous opportunities to expose the community to one of
the richest choral traditions in the world. In a continuum
of perhaps the very best of the contributions to choral
music, only the German baroque and Italian renaissance can
rival the English choral tradition, which is still very
much alive and thriving in the cathedral system in England
today. During this decade, Chorus Angelorum has accepted
four additional residencies in England: Lincoln Cathedral,
St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, Edinburgh, Durham Cathedral,
and in 2008, Canterbury Cathedral.
Allow me to explain what a choral residency entails and
how it can benefit an American choir beyond the notion of
just another opportunity to vacation in England. As previously
mentioned, the cathedral system in the Anglican church in
England has a huge impact on choral development and opportunities
within the culture. The cathedral choirs traditionally sing
Choral Evensong every day of the week, with additional Matins
and Holy Communion on Sundays. This spiritual rhythm has
been going on in these great places for hundreds of years,
well before the English Reformation in the 15th century.
Each summer the cathedral choirs take a break from their
duties for one-two months, and in their place, visiting
choirs are invited to “fill in” while they are away. There
is something, which goes beyond definition, that happens
when a choir and those individual members of the organization,
process down the same aisles and follow the same liturgical
functions which have been taking place in the same manner,
day after day, for centuries. Their sound becomes part of
the layers of sound, the patina, already deposited on the
stones and becomes a part of the history of the place. That
sort of experience can be life-altering at the least.
In addition to these cyclical escapes to Great Britain,
Chorus Angelorum has brought a bit of the English tradition
to Houston by way of summer Tudor music workshops. Under
the musical direction of David Trendell, music scholar,
Senior Lecturer and Chapel Organist at London’s famed King’s
College, four workshops have previously been offered: The
Music of William Byrd, a celebration of the 500th anniversary
of Thomas Tallis, a recognition of the tremendous musical
contributions made during the marriage of Queen Mary Tudor
and Prince Philip II of Spain, and in 2007, the music of
Gibbons and Tomkins. A beneficial part of Trendell’s visit
was to have a quartet of professional singers from his choir
at St. Bartholomew the Great, London, accompany his, appearing
in live performances on KUHF and a public concert during
Chorus Angelorum is a 501.c3 organization receiving its
operational funding from private donations. The Chorus has
a membership of from 18-24 committed singers, offering the
most professional experience available anywhere. Under the
auspices of the William Byrd Society and in residence at
Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church-Anglican Use in Houston,
the Chorus continues to sing Choral Evensong at the Church
each month. The final Evensong of the season, just prior
to leaving for Canterbury, will be sung on Sunday, June
29, at 4:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Walsingham.
Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church – Anglican Use
7800 Shadyvilla Lane, Houston, Texas 77055
Past Workshops: 2007
Past Workshops: 2005
Past Workshops: 2003
Angelorum and friends during the Summer 2003 Workshop under the
direction of David Trendell
Ed Franklin, Artistic Director for Chorus Angelorum, looks back
at our 2003 Summer Workshop.
he summer is but a cloud of smoke and a series of memories of trips,
time with families, and the tremendous sultry Gulf Coast heat. For
Chorus Angelorum members and a host of other singers, it was a time
for the Chorus’s second bi-annual summer choral workshop,
lead once again by David Trendell, Department Head and Chapel Organist
and Lecturer at King’s College, London. David also reigns
over the music at London’s historic, and oldest surviving
church, St. Bartholomew the Great. As in the past he was accompanied
by a quartet of professional singers from St. Barts, who would sing
a concert during the workshop as well as act as chorus section leaders
during rehearsals throughout the week.
2001, the Board of Directors of Chorus Angelorum embarked on the
notion of presenting a choral workshop in alternate years, open
to other singers as well, and taking place in mid-summer, using
as the overall theme, [William] Byrd and his Tudor Friends. That
David Trendell was asked to lead this workshop was no surprise because
he is a leading authority on English music from this period. It
was decided that he should also bring a quartet of singers with
him to demonstrate the particular musical style one needs when trying
to sing, as accurately as possible, the music from the 16th century,
often referred to as the Golden Age of English Polyphonic Music.
That first time we had twenty-nine participants, and as predicted,
everyone lucky enough to be there left thoroughly enriched by the
experience, energized as only an emersion in music can do, and totally
engaged with David’s knowledge of the subject and with his
witty style of direction and leadership.
that the next workshop would be only two years away and knowing
that time has a way of sneaking up on us, I immediately asked David
to repeat his performance once again in Houston. The workshop was
set for July 9-13, and after taking an oblique change of direction
when selecting the music, we decided on yet another Tudor theme:
The Marriage of England and Spain and the Reign of Queen Mary
and Philip II of Spain. The general program was expanded quite
a lot in that one full day was added to the schedule, running from
Wednesday evening through Evensong on Sunday. In order to increase
the depth of the musical experiences available, I invited the brilliant
English organist, Simon Nieminski, recitalist, Pro Organo recording
artist and Assistant Organist at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh,
to offer a series of Master Classes for organists, play a recital
and to play for the closing Evensong service. It seemed appropriate
then to offer a series of classes geared to music education teachers,
and with that in mind, Phyllis King Braund was invited to teach
two sessions on the Kodály teaching method. St. Thomas’
Episcopal Church once again generously offered to host the event,
making available the necessary rehearsal facilities and food services
for our group.
is the history and the nuts-and-bolts process as to how we arrived
at the second Tudor music workshop for 2003. This past summer we
had forty-nine participants and, as predicted, David cast his spell
over the singers and set the overall tone as to the level of musical
performance expected from everyone. Because of the broad scope and
the various possibilities made available by the title of the workshop,
David chose a very ambitious program for the singers, drawing his
selections from familiar English composers, such as Tallis, Tomkins
and Byrd, as well as relatively unfamiliar composers from the Continent,
such as Morales, Rogier, Monte, Guerrero and Lheritier. Because
the workshop was conceived within the framework of Evening Prayer,
using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, service music – Preces
and Responses and the Evening Canticles –and an Anglican chant
setting of a Psalm were added to the musical list.
all was said and done, everyone was completely mesmerized by David’s
skill at teaching the challenging music, not only the notes, but
also the various styles needed to fully understand the different
pieces. Having the solo quartet in the group acting as section leaders
was once again a huge success. Being such exceptional singers created
a slight danger in that the other participants could have been tempted
to sit back and bask in the soloists’ sounds, but this didn’t
happen. The schedule, while demanding, was punctuated by great meals
served by the Women of St. Thomas’, and the various breaks
within the rehearsal sessions were carefully engineered by choristers
Martha Schuller, Susan Jones and Alys Dyke, tossing out gag gifts
and favors for everyone; there was never a dull moment whether singing
or on breaks. The pace was fast, always engaging, and at the end
of it all, everyone was riding the wave of musical renewal while
asking “when are we going to do this again?”.
the closing Choral Evensong was the high point of the workshop,
a “graduation” of sorts, bringing all of the week’s
efforts to a close, the concerts on Friday and Saturday nights by
the guest artists represented benchmarks for the musical styles
that had received so much attention during rehearsals throughout
the week. One participant remarked after hearing the quartet’s
concert that watching them sing and hearing how they sang the phrases
was the best example of everything that had been discussed, or implied,
all week long. Shaking his head he said, “That was the best
lesson of all.” Another seasoned singer told me that she had
sung, and heard, Byrd’s Ave verum many times, but
“I’ve never heard anything like that. It’s exactly
how you feel it should be sung, and that’s all you can say
about it.” The four singers were: Becky Hickey, soprano; Abigail
Smetham, alto; Julian Woodward, tenor; and Maurice McSweeney, bass.
They all reside in London and are part of the professional octet
at St. Bartholomew the Great, London.
Simon Nieminski played a concert of music from his most recent CD
recording featuring transcriptions for organ of music from the opera.
The whimsy of this concert exploited his tremendous technical skills
and his unparalleled ability to fully use the various colors available
on an organ.
what’s next? Well, we are committed to the next workshop in
2005, and two weeks after we waved farewell to our English friends,
we met to debrief what had been and to begin cultivating what will
be. How great is that?