Midhurst Music Society (MMS) 2018 Made with Xara
News from MMS
Summer Music in The Walled Garden Midhurst Music Society presented a Celebration of Summer Concert in aid of The Chestnut Tree House, Arundel on Sunday 10 th  June at 6.00 pm. in  the beautiful Walled Garden beside the Cowdray House ruins The concert had a theme of flowers, love songs and the joy of summer. Jan and Mike Howard who have restored The Walled Garden,  known as ‘Midhurst’s hidden  gem’, generously offered to host the event in their Courtyard Room with an opportunity for guests to explore The Walled Garden both before the concert and during the interval. Before the event, Tracy Bowdery community fundraiser said: “We are delighted that Midhurst Music Society has chosen to support The Chestnut Tree House Children’s hospice at their upcoming concert at The Walled Garden. The service we provide costs £3.5 million a year, and we receive less than 7% from the government, so we rely heavily on the wonderful support of our local community.” Jan Howard said: “We are all looking forward to a magical evening here at the garden of music and the best of all things Summer Romance and Roses.” Tickets cost £12.00, and included Pimms and Canapés in the garden during the interval, with all proceeds going to Chestnut Tree House.  We hoped for a wonderful evening and we were not disappointed as the subsequent Press Release explains.
Tracy, soloists and choir in the Courtyard Room
We join the Canterbury Pilgrims
After many weeks of rehearsal we finally made it to the Tabard Inn at Southwark to join Chaucer’s Pilgrims as they set out for Canterbury. “Canterbury Pilgrims” by George Dyson, was initially unknown to us, it having fallen out of popularity many years ago. Paul Spicer, conductor of the Petersfield Musical Festival choirs, is an expert on Dyson and so was keen to perform the work. At our Monday rehearsals we gradually became familiar with the unusually addictive and tuneful music depicting the various characters in the story. Those who had studied Chaucer at school, particulary the Prologue and the Knight’s Tale could still quote large chunks of the text in the original ancient English but the rest of us had a more modern translation to work from. Jessica and Mary heroically tackled the difficult rehearsal piano part as we struggled with complex words and rhythms, gradually coming to like the music and to enjoy the depictions of the various pilgrims, such as The Knight, The Nun, The Merchant, The Shipman and, most wonderfully captured in Chaucer’s text, The Poor Parson. The music for The Merchant was especially memorable, causing several members to experience “ear-worms” when they were unable to get the catchy tune out of their heads. At last it was concert time and we gathered on a stormy Saturday at the Petersfield Festival Hall to rehearse with the orchestra. For the first time we were able to experience the full force of Dyson’s exciting score, having to rise to the challenge of singing over a large and very loud orchestra. One moment of humour came when the Horn player, having gone off stage to play the last fading tune as the pilgrims disappeared into the distance, was unintentionally ignored by the conductor and so held the last note seemingly for ever. We expected to hear him collapse! Paul seemed pleased with the results and we managed to stay in tune in unaccompanied passages; now for the concert. We performed to a full hall, quickly getting into the spirit of the work, especially the Basses who,like The Merchant, expressed their “opinions full solemnly”. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience and Paul later expressed his great satisfaction with the performance. We had worked hard to prepare but it was all worth it in the end.