This week we are grateful to be a destination cathedral, welcoming the Choir of St Mary's Church, Nottingham, under the direction of John Keys.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Nottingham, has been on this site since Saxon times. Given the folklore related to Robin Hood and that there is a door that can be dated to the reign of Richard II, the church has a certain notoriety.
The current choir evolved from the arrival of the new Director of Music (John Keys) in 1984. The choir benefits from close relationships with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University through its Choral Scholar scheme. Many of the current 'local' choir were at university here and have remained as stalwarts of the choir.
As a result of these contacts, the choir numbers - past and present - the (Canadian) Nottingham University Professor of Mental Health Law, German doctoral students, singers who have achieved great heights at the Frankfurt Opera and English National Opera and those pursuing careers in music.
The choir gives several concerts a year with the house orchestra (The Orchestra of the Restoration) as well as singing at least three choral services each week, and collaborates each year with the 18th Century Sinfonia for the Good Friday Passion and the English Cornett & Sackbutt Ensemble for special events.
Members of St Mary's Choir, past and present, are flattered to be invited to sing in Christ Church Cathedral which has a renowned reputation for its musical excellence.
You can hear them sing on three occasions this weekend: On Saturday, July 9 at 4pm, when they sing a program of sacred choral works in our Summer Recital Series (admission by donation), and on Sunday, July 10 in the 10.30am and 4.00pm services, when they sing music by Byrd, Wood, and Hylton-Stewart.