We are very fortunate at St Mary and St Giles Church to have been able to host some wonderful concerts in the past few years by some very good choirs. Last year's Open University Choir concert was our gala event for 2010 and it raised a lot of money for the organ fund. In recent years MK Chorale has given concerts in the church and has generously donated to the Church Restoration fund. As it happens, both choirs are rehearsing for separate performances this spring of Brahms wonderful 'A German Requiem', neither of which will be in our church.

So why am I mentioning this on the organ fund blog? Because at the OU choir rehearsal today Bill Strang had some very sad news to give us - the death of one of our sopranos from untreatable cancer. Janet Williams sang a solo from the gallery (in the Britten Antiphon) at last year's gala concert in our church and her illness and death was a great shock to us. Only 4 weeks ago Bill had announced the sudden and very unexpected death of Haydn Lloyd, who designed and built the screen on which the exhibition at that concert was mounted (Haydn's wife Jan is one of the altos). It certainly added poignancy to our rehearsal of the last and first movements of the requiem.

This is a link to the photo of the 3 soloists singing the Antiphon at the OU Choir Concert - Janet is in the middle http://smsgpipeorgan.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/a-glorious-feast-of-sacred-music/dscn3035/

This is the link to the photo of Haydn dismantling the screen (back view unfortunately) after the concert http://smsgpipeorgan.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/a-glorious-feast-of-sacred-music/dscn3051/

Words we sang today, from the 7th movement of 'A German Requiem':

Selig sind die Toten, die in dem Herren sterben, von nun an.
Ja der Geist spricht, daß sie ruhen von ihrer Arbeit;
denn ihre Werke folgen ihnen nach.

Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord, from henceforth.
Yea, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours;
and their works do follow them.  Revelation 14:13