Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sing your heart out

I asked my favourite music expert Susan Heaton-Wright
to look at how brides can take elements of the Royal Wedding and make them their own.  One aspect that would be interesting to recreate is the choir.

The choir at the Royal Wedding was simply outstanding. They are one of the best choirs in the world and the sound they created was perfect for the Abbey. They led the hymn singing; sang anthems during the service, including during the signing of the register, and performed the astonishing “I was Glad” by Parry, as Catherine walked down the aisle.

Some churches do have a choir and they will be used to singing popular hymns and anthems for weddings. If you've booked a church it is worthwhile listening to the choir at a service, to see if you like the sound of them.

An alternative might be to either book a professional quartet of singers, who would lead the singing and anthems as required, or to book the services of a local amateur choir.

One note about an amateur choir; they are doing this for pleasure, but there are costs involved for them such as rehearsal time, the time of the conductor (who is normally a professional musician), hiring the music and the rehearsal room and arranging the singers to come to the wedding. I normally recommend that you make a donation to the choir of £200 - £300 to cover their expenses and time.

There are plenty of beautiful choir anthems that could be included such as:
  • Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring:  Bach
  • Lead Me Lord : Wesley
  • The Lord is my Shepherd: Various * many choirs will have the ‘Vicar of Dibley’s’ version by Howard Goodall
  • Hallelujah Chorus:  Handel
  • If ye love me: T Tallis
  • Cantique de Jean Racine: Faure
The choir will also lead the hymn singing for the congregation. Just think how relieved all your guests will be!

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