Join us for Come & Sing 2018
The Armed Man Choral Suite by Karl Jenkins and Blest Pair of Sirens by Hubert Parry conducted by Jonathan Kingston

Saturday 10 November 2018 9.15 am - 5.30pm; informal concert 4.30pm

A day which combines two contrasting choral pieces which work well together: The Armed Man (Choral Suite – 30 minutes) and Blest Pair of Sirens (12 minutes)

Music for All @ SMSG warmly invites you to our sixth great Come & Sing! day here at St Mary & St Giles in Stony Stratford.

Booking now open!


All funds raised will go to support the ongoing maintenance of the restored Willis pipe organ, so that it always sounds as good as it does now!

As featured on the international best-selling album, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man is a powerful and compelling account of the descent into and terrible consequences of war. Commissioned for the millennium by Britain's Royal Armouries Museum and dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo crisis, this work is a contemporary example of a Mass based on the fifteenth century French song L'Homme Armé. Subtitled ‘A Mass for Peace’ we have chosen to sing it in honour of the centenary of the end of World War I. We will be learning and performing the 'Choral Suite' of movements for full choir which comprises: Kyrie, Sanctus, Benedictus, Angus Dei, Hymn before action.

Hubert Parry composed Blest Pair of Sirens for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. It is a setting of John Milton’s ode At a Solemn Music, in which Milton combines the classical Greek idea of a lost Golden Age with the Christian doctrine of the Fall, the poem ending with the prayer that through the combined media of poetry and music - the Blest Pair of Sirens, Voice and Verse - we may once again unite with God’s own ‘celestial concert'. Parry sets this to suitably heroic tones scored for two SATB choirs with orchestra or organ reduction. This will be a splendid opportunity to sing with the wonderful Willis pipe organ.

We will contact all previous singers at our Come & Sing events; new singers are most welcome too. Booking will be online via our website. You need to be able to sight-read music well enough to cope with singing 40 minutes of new music in one day – however, it’s a day to have fun learning together and to do our best, not to polish a perfect performance. We’ll publish some learning resources when booking opens so that you can familiarise yourself with one or both works beforehand. Hold the date for now!

James conducts the singers with Richard at the organ

2016 Come & Sing Day

Prices: Singer tickets £18 (concession £9 for full time students and job seekers) - tickets include score hire and tea/coffee and cake throughout the day. Audience tickets £3 (concession free for full time students and job seekers).

Booking Ahead: Essential for all singers (audience can book ahead or pop in on the day). Tickets for singers are available by voice part. It will be a popular day and we encourage people to sign up soon. Soprano and alto voice tickets tend to go fast – book as early as you can and encourage a tenor or bass to come with you! This will make sure we have a reasonable balance. Booking will close on 7 November to give us time to manage the waiting list, seating plans, labels and scores.

Timetable: Registration is from 09.15 am (tea and coffee available at the church), rehearsal in four sessions from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm with breaks. Informal 45-minute concert performance at 16.30 pm; audience will be most welcome.

Location: The church has wheelchair access and facilities. Stony Stratford has plenty of good shops, plus cafes and pubs to pop out to at lunchtime or afterwards, and lots of free parking areas around the town

Conductor and Organist: Jonathan Kingston (conductor) is Director of Music at St Mary & St Giles (from September 2017) and well-known as a lively and entertaining event leader. He has previously been deputy organist at Ely Cathedral and assistant Director of Music at Stowe School, Bromsgrove, and The Kings School Ely.  He performs with leading orchestras and is a senior examiner with ABRSM and RSM. Stuart Miles (organist) teaches part-time and is a freelance organist.  Most of his teaching career was spent in London schools, the Royal College of Music and The University of London Institute of Education.

Further information and queries: If you have any queries, please do contact the Come & Sing team.

Jane Wolfson, David Scrutton and Janet Walters
Come & Sing! Co-organisers