Musica Donum Dei Clones Itself

On Saturday April 5th 2014, MDD performed in two concerts simultaneously!

The southern branch performed in Haydn’s Creation with the Barnet Choral Society at St John the Evangelist, Friern Barnet, conducted by Stephen Bullamore. Meanwhile, at the same time on the same night the northern branch performed with the Grantham Choral Society under their musical director Nigel Stark at St Wulfram’s Parish Church, Grantham. The latter programme consisted of two Coronation anthems by Handel – Zadok the Priest, and The King shall Rejoice, with Handel’s Ode to St Cecilia’s Day and Vivaldi’s Gloria. We MDD members felt that the conductor might have reserved a little more time for the rehearsal of Handel’s Ode, since it is a wonderful piece and not often performed. But we were very impressed indeed by the soprano soloist, Natalie Johnson-Hyde, and would gladly work with her again!

The logistical problem of providing a band at very short notice for Grantham resulted in some intriguing manoeuvres: Diane Terry having booked her band for Barnet long ago helped out by booking at short notice no less a player than Alastair Ross to play the organ there, thereby freeing Michael Overbury to play in Grantham. Similarly, a severe shortage of Baroque violins led Diane to find some southern ‘classical’ violins, thereby freeing Ken Mitchell and Eleanor Gilchrist to join Kirra Thomas, Lara James and Michael Sanderson in Grantham. We also swapped viola players! In my position as Diane’s deputy fixer, I had to contact no fewer than 25 Baroque oboists before finding a good player to join our own Caroline Radcliffe.

Nevertheless, despite a very late request from GCS, a very good band was fixed, including three spectacular trumpeters; and the other good news is that we have made a firm connection with this choral society.

Wendy Hancock