VENUE: St Catherine’s Catholic Church, Victoria Grove Bridport
Flute, fiddle, clarinet, bassoon and oboe will join with singers in an entertaining programme of village carols from two centuries ago.
Beaminster Gallery Quire invite you to an afternoon of traditional village carols at St Catherine’s RC Church in Victoria Grove, Bridport. The music starts at 3.00 pm on Saturday 14 December.
In the early nineteenth century (think Jane Austen!) village church music was led not by an organ and robed choir in the chancel, but by a motley collection of village folk in their Sunday best, up in a wooden gallery at the West end of the church, and accompanied by the village band.
The music is largely taken from old village manuscripts, notably Odcombe, Purbeck, and Padstow in Cornwall; a tune called ‘Burton Bradstock’ and a work by local composer Samuel Wakely of Bridport. Even Arcangelo Corelli makes an appearance! The carols are interspersed with readings and dance tunes of the period.
It is worth noting that many of the original Gallery Quires (in the Church of England at least) became so enthusiastic about their music, singing ever more complex settings, and improvising such elaborate decorations, that they were eventually disbanded by the clergy (with the backing of the Oxford Movement) around 1840. They were having far too much fun up in the gallery!
We in the Beaminster Gallery Quire intend to put the clock back two hundred years and carry on having fun with this wonderful music. You will not be charged for admission, but on the way out you will find quite a large bowl for your (entirely voluntary) donations, all of which will go to the benefit of PARKINSON’S UK. We look forward both to meeting you and entertaining you on the afternoon of Saturday 14 December, at 3.00pm in St Catherine’s