Sing and Praise!

Wonderful sung worship at 9.30 mass today by all of St Joseph’s Family Choir!  You were excellent at holding your lines in the new hymns that we learnt for today’s mass and very well harmonised everyone.

The congregation enjoyed your singing enormously – a special thanks to Alex our brilliant accompanist and also, a big high-five to Phil, whose great voice and enthusiasm for cantor duties knows no bounds. Martha and Jola also deserve special praise for leading their sections so expertly.

All of you, collectively make a wonderful sound and we are blessed to welcome another two singers to our choir, Val Fonticoba and Jesse Godinho, whom you have already made to feel at home. Thank you one and all for the hard work and dedication you bring to your choir, it is truly appreciated. I shall see you next at Thursday evening’s choir practice. God Bless you all and look after those wonderful voices!  Helen

O Holy Night!

image What an immense joy it was to hear the choir singing those beautiful harmonies at the parish carol service last night. Well done everyone, you’ve worked really hard on this challenging arrangement of Adolphe Charles Adams’ “O Holy Night” and I know at times some of you felt pushed out of your comfort zone in the learning process.  But you rose to the challenge, stepimageped up to the plate magnificently and produced a most wonderful sound which went down a storm with many of the congregation.  I had so many people afterwards coming up to me saying how much they’d enjoyed our choir’s performance and how they were left wanting moreimage (next time we’ll sing all the verses maybe?)   I especially want to thank you all for welcoming both Amelya and Izzy to join us for this one-off performance singing the female solo.  I think you will agree that having such a range of voices enabled us to produce a truly rich and magnificent sound.  I am inordinately proud of your success and all that you have achieved through your hard work and dedication.  Long may it continue!  Looking forward to Sunday’s mass and the new, vigil mass on Christmas Eve.  By which time we’ll all be ready for a well-earned break to recharge the vocal batteries.  photo (39)Last but by no means least, thank you dear friends for your generosity in buying me the flowers and chocolates.  It was so very kind and thoughtful of you.

On Faith and Music

Here’s the renowned, Scottish composer James MacMillan talking about how his faith influences his work.  I thought it might interest the choir to read about how composers write psalms as it’s something that we sing regularly.  He’s one of the most prolific, choral composers of our time, responsible for some of my favourite pieces of work such as his setting of the Mieserere mei and the wonderful, advent piece O Radiant Dawn.


Review of Epsom Civic Society Concert on 17th Octobe


“A delightful evening” was the general consensus on the 2014 supper party held on Friday 17th October in St. Joseph’s Church Hall. Eighty-one members, friends and family were joined by the Mayor, Councillor Robert Foote, and his wife, Rosemary – both ECS members. [….]  2cf4d0d0-27b6-463c-8f77-5e60f9c0e220However the highlight of the event was the St. Joseph’s Family Choir, conducted by Helen Wade and accompanied on the piano by Alex Watson. The thirteen in the choir had a varied repertoire from Bob Dylan to Bizet finishing up with Paddy on the Railway. Their soloists, Sandra Dunn, Amanda Mathers, Paul Tooke and Phil Wells were joined by guest artists Amelya Goldy (soprano) and a name for the future, Amelya’s pupil Elspeth Marrow (mezzo-soprano) – what amazing musical talent lurks around Epsom!
Sheila Wadsworth

Hymns for 9.30 mass on 21st December – 4th Sunday of Advent

We welcome Patrick Solomon once again who will accompany our choir as Alex will be away at a family wedding that weekend.  As you may know, there is no Gloria sung during Advent so here’s the list as we discussed a few weeks ago, with two new hymns which we’ll learn from now till then.  Gather us In and Our God Reigns.  I look forward to seeing you all at the next choir practice on Thursday 20th November at 20.00 in the Lady Chapel. Regards, Helen

Gather us In (253) – processional

Responsorial psalm 88 “I will sing forever of your love, O Lord.”

Celtic Alleluia (410) 1 verse only – gospel acclamation

All that I Am (23) – offertory

Communion hymns: Make me a Channel of your peace (478) and Be Still for the presence of the Lord (72)

“Our God Reigns” (268) – Recessional hymn

Second collection if there is one: Over my head (a cappella)

Oh what a night!

2cf4d0d0-27b6-463c-8f77-5e60f9c0e220The St Joseph’s Singers, ready to perform our very first, “paid gig” for the Epsom Civic Society at their 75th Anniversary Dinner on 17th October 2014. The choir was superb, performing an eclectic, concert programme.  It was a joy to conduct you all. Thanks for the hard work and dedication you bring to our choir. Special thanks to our guest artists, mezzo-sopranos Elspeth Marrow and soprano Amelya Goldy – you all wowed the audience, big time.  d4901e21-860a-4233-8916-7913f1b6befe After all that hard work it was time to celebrate with a drink at the Haywain pub just down the road – a wonderful way to end a brilliant evening.

Countdown to Friday’s performance!

A few days left now for the choir’s first “paid gig” on Friday 17th October where we’ll be “the entertainment” at the Epsom Civic Society’s 75th anniversary dinner.  The concert programme is an eclectic mix, with something for everyone.  There are arrangements of pop classics, a few numbers from the best-known musicals, gospel and some classical arias all in the mix.  We will be joined by guest artists, mezzo-sopranos Elspeth Marrow and Amelya Goldy.  Dress rehearsal is on Wednesday evening (8pm warm-up and 8.15 start.  Please arrive just before 8 if you can?)  We’d love to have an audience to perform to so please invite family and friends to come along for a “freebie” concert (NB. Elspeth and Amelya cannot make the dress rehearsal, they will only be there on Friday night.) The singers have worked really hard over a number of months now, leading up to this performance and I know they are going to blow the audience away with their beautiful harmonies!  It will be an immensely proud moment for this fledgling conductor and no doubt for all the wonderful singers too.  Thank you for all your hard work and dedication – you’re a terrific choir!  Helen X

Singing day at St Joseph’s

b598cebe-d18f-439e-a21a-290a5451af8fIt was a pleasure to welcome back Ula Weber and Suzzie Vango from Vocal.Point at St Joseph’s for our annual, singing workshop. What an incredible team they are – fantastic motivators as well as top, vocal coaches.  They had us all  warmed up and moving around, singing in no time.  It was great to see so many faces having fun and getting so much out of it. There were some great 3-part songs taught and sung in record time in the afternoon (wow!) and you were all making such a beautiful sound too!

347ce5b1-36e0-443b-8ad8-ca15df991d39Ula and Suzzie complimented our singers throughout the day for making such a great sound – extra brownie points for learning the Polish song (yes, sung in Polish) so quickly. It was a wonderful opportunity to break from the norm at choir practice, learn new things, relax and enjoy each other’s company at a fantastic, team-building event.

Watch a clip of our final sing-song here:

Well done to all who came, it was great to see you.  Of course we would have preferred it if more people could attend but that’s not always possible.  They will be back for more next year (we may be holding it in the afternoon instead of morning next time to ensure it doesn’t clash with children’s sporting and other activities on a Saturday.)  I’ve had some great feedback from many of you already.

7e7d79dd-01b8-44e9-9cfb-e02109aca04bIt was a truly wonderful day and I’m already planning for the next one.  Thank you for taking part and contributing so much towards its success.

Back to choir!

I hope you and your families have enjoyed a wonderful summer break and are feeling refreshed and invigorate as we look ahead to the start of the new term in a week or so.
Firstly let me welcome the latest addition to our choir – baby Patrick who was was born in July to Rachel and Ben.  Many congratulations on your new baby, we look forward to meeting him.
The last time we met, informally over coffee in the Haywain just before the summer break, we had a great opportunity to review our progress and look ahead to what the choir would like to sing in the coming months.  Thank you for your many wonderful ideas and suggestions – it was incredibly productive and a chance for us to exchange view and ideas in an informal setting.  The main focus was our next “concert performance” on 17th October which we’ve been working on for some months now at our Thursday evening rehearsals.  We have a great set planned, including some solos and duets from those of you who volunteered.
Here’s the line up (we’ll finalise the order during our next rehearsal.)
California Dreaming
Make you feel my love
Patience (Phil and Paul duet, choir harmonies)
She’s the One (Paul solo, choir harmonies)
Amazing Grace
Wishing you were here again (Sandra and Phil duet)
All I ask of you (Phil and Sandra duet)
Paddy on the Railway
Hymn (Martha, Rachel/Amanda, Phil)
My Life is in your hands
We’ve had some excellent suggestions of new hymns to learn over the course of the year, including: Sing to the mountains, Come all ye nations, Come to the water, Lord I lift your name on hight, I watch the sunrise, Eagles wings, Be not afraid, How great thou art, Love Divine, all loves excelling, The Lord is my shepherd (with a descant,) Our God Reigns.
I look forward to expanding our liturgical repertoire (we may need new choir folders soon!)
Some dates for your diaries: Sunday 7th September – choir practice resumes after the summer break.  10.30 in the Westlake Room.
Thursday 11th September – evening choir practice in Lady Chapel resumes at 20.00.
Saturday 20th September is our Choral Workshop when Ula and Suzzie will be spending the day with us again.  Those of you who attended last year got so much out of it and hopefully there will be many more of you this year joining us for a fantastic day of vocal training.
Wednesday 17th December – carol concert at St Joseph’s Church – 7.30pm.
I am looking for dates in October/November (away from half-term week) to hold the “musicianship for singers” workshop which I promised.  Please let me have a few dates that would be suitable.
Onwards and upwards!