TCS helps hospice

2016 Jan TCS Charity Collection (1) ed copyOur performance of Handel’s Messiah on 12th December in Truro Cathedral was a success in more ways than one.

Judith Whitehouse, writing in the West Briton, praised the contributions made by the soloists and Martin Palmer’s direction, which she said “produced some fine effects”. She also described the choir’s singing as “rock solid in the many fugal episodes” and sounding “simply glorious in the final chorus, with a massive crescendo and deceleration at the close”.  A capacity audience filled the Cathedral.

The other great success of the evening was the retiring collection for Little Harbour Children’s Hospice. In the 10 minutes it took for everyone to leave the Cathedral at the end of the concert, the magnificent sum of £917 was donated by members of the audience, orchestra and choir – £90 a minute! We thank everyone for their generosity.

Our Treasurer, Markus Mueller (far left), presented the cheque to Roger Clarke (far right), who was representing Little Harbour, on the steps of Truro Cathedral on Monday, 11th January. Also in the photo are Glynnis Wadham-Smith (TCS Vice Chair) and Colin Scofield (TCS Publicity Officer).


TCS at Choral Evensong

MD93153  -  Chris Gray directing TCS members  singing with the Cathedral Choir in Choral Evensong 6 November 2015  from a large high resolution original Over 100 of our members took part in Choral Evensong at Truro Cathedral on Friday 6 November and it was an experience that left a deep impression on all of us.

Christopher Gray, director of music at the Cathedral, gave us a very warm welcome after we had assembled in the Quire and talked about the history and content of the service. We were then joined by the boys and men of the Cathedral Choir for an hour’s rehearsal, during which we were taken through Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C, Parry’s “I was glad” and the hymn Now Thank We All Our God. This was when we were so glad that we had been well prepared for this by our music director, Martin Palmer, and Russell Pascoe.

Robin (TCS tenor) observed: “A memorable experience, singing with the brilliant Cathedral Choir. We can learn so much from new challenges such as forming two choirs. Impressive concentration was shown by the children as they rapidly learnt the music yet still watched the inspirational Christopher Gray.”

After rehearsal we remained in our seats while the Cathedral Choir left to put on their surplices and cassocks, and by 5.30pm, a good-size congregation had assembled for the start of Evensong. After a hushed silence, the Cathedral clergy and choir processed into the Quire and, for the next 45 minutes, we were privileged to be part of an event that none of us will forget.

Chris Gray directing TCS members  singing with the Cathedral ChoTCS alto Joy said: “It was a great experience, and so intimate to be looking into all four sides of the choir instead of out to the congregation. Parry’s ‘I was glad’ was so celebratory, a real joy to sing, and Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis just so much part of the service.”

Our kind reviewer Judith Whitehouse, who also happened to be in the congregation, commented, “Now we just have to get you some cassocks and surplices!” And it is true to say that Gray made us feel welcomed and an integral part of his choir.

When Evensong ended, we had only 10 minutes to assemble in front of the High Altar to have a photograph taken, as another event was to follow at 6.30pm. We are lucky to have an excellent photographer in the choir (Crispin Geohegan, bass) and our thanks go to him for the beautiful images he captured.

The last word must go to local composer Russell Pascoe: “A truly memorable event. A superb performance of ‘I was glad’ and great to hear the Stanford at the correct tempo. I hope this will become an annual event.”



Choral Evensong at the Cathedral

© James Ram (

When TCS take part in Choral Evensong in Truro Cathedral on 6th November it will be the first time we have done so in our 53-year history. We will join Truro Cathedral Choir to sing Parry’s “I was glad” and Stanford’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C. The service commences at 5.30pm, with Christopher Gray as Music Director.

The Cathedral Choir is made up of 18 boy choristers and 12 men. With over 100 members of TCS joining them and the accompaniment of the 2,700-pipe Henry Willis organ, this should be a memorable occasion.

The normal running order of Evensong is: responses, welcome by the priest, psalm, bible reading, Magnificat, bible reading, Nunc Dimittis, the Creed, responses (including the Lord’s Prayer), anthem, prayers, hymn and, finally, responses.

Anyone is welcome to attend Evensong, so come and enjoy the beautiful music and the amazing architecture of the Cathedral. We have loved rehearsing these pieces and are very much looking forward to taking part in the service.

IMG_6284 IMG_6280 Freya Truro Cathedral Concert (18 of 26)

Our new accompanist

At the start of this term, we welcomed Joseph O’Berry, who joins us for 2015/16. Joseph tells us he is thrilled to be accompanying Truro Choral Society this season and looks forward to all the joys this experience will provide.

He comes to Truro as the Cathedral organ scholar, having completed one year at Blackburn Cathedral as organ scholar. Whilst there he played an active role in the administration of the music department and wider Cathedral community, playing four services a week and assisting in the Cathedral’s Music Outreach Project “Sing Together”.

A native of Georgia, USA, Joseph was Director of Music at Holy Trinity Parish Church in Atlanta, where he oversaw a comprehensive RSCM-based music programme for adults, youth and children. In Atlanta he was appointed Chapel Organist for the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he played for Eucharist services and was Collaborative Artist in Residence for the Candler Chorale.

From 2009-12 Joseph read Organ Performance, with a secondary emphasis on collaborative piano, at The Townsend School of Music at Mercer University. He is a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians and a Colleague of the American Guild
of Organists (CAGO).

An active parishioner at the Episcopal Cathedral of St Philip, Atlanta, he sang with Cathedra Schola in their 2013 Pilgrimage to England, during which they served as Choir in Residence for two weeks consecutively at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and Canterbury Cathedral.

TCS plays the Royal Albert Hall

Twenty-three of our members joined a 2,000-strong choir on 12th July 2015 to sing The Armed Man by Sir Karl Jenkins. The event had been organised by The Really Big Chorus and the performance took place in the Royal Albert Hall at 7pm.

The conductor, Brian Kay, impressed everyone from the moment he stepped onto the podium for morning rehearsal at 11am. His clear direction was delivered with much humour (“If you continue to sing a B flat instead of a B natural it will sound more like Stockhausen than Karl Kenkins!”) This meant that by the afternoon rehearsal, with full orchestra, there was a marked improvement in dynamics, clarity and timing. For example, in the morning rehearsal, the tricky exposed section for unaccompanied basses and tenors – Save Me From Bloody Men – was very ragged. By the afternoon it was delivered perfectly. It should be mentioned that we were greatly helped by the fact that our Music Director Martin Palmer had prepared us so well for this piece when TCS performed it in Truro Cathedral in 2013, so we had a head start on some others.

The massed choirs at the RAH were fired up to produce an evening public performance that the audience and singers alike clearly found exhilarating and moving (the hushed silence after the final chord said it all). The concert also raised funds for the National Autistic Society.

Part of the fun was meeting members of other choirs and swapping experiences (one of our tenors was even given a miniature koala bear by the Australian contingent attending!). It was also an opportunity for TCS members to get to know each other better. Most went up in a group on the Friday and stayed in a university hall of residence. Dining out together and attending either La bohème at Covent Garden or Fauré’s Requiem at St Martin-in-the-Fields on the Saturday night helped to bond the group in a way that can only be beneficial for the whole choir.

Our thanks go to Maura Clarke for organising the trip and to Dee Hughes for arranging some of the social aspects.

Everyone who took part looks forward to repeating the experience at another concert being organised by The Really Big Chorus next year.

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