For those who may be interested, here are the places I’m singing over the next few weeks:
Sunday, December 1
6:00 pm: Advent Carols at Wesley (148 Lonsdale St, Melbourne). This is our annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Lots of music and readings – it’s a really gorgeous service. Also, I’m singing ‘O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion’, which is one of my favourite Handel arias and one that I’ve wanted to sing for years, and have never gotten to…
Saturday, December 7
6:00 pm: Mass at St Joseph’s West Brunswick (Cnr Hope and Melville). This is a sung mass, and I’ll be part of a quintet. The singing is always excellent; the musical choices are varied, and I have no idea what they are at this point – favourite genres seem to be Italian polyphony, Gregorian chant and Benjamin Britten – but expect Advent themes.
Sunday, December 8
11:00 am: Morning service at Wesley. No choir, but I’ll be singing as a soloist, because there is no choir music in the mornings in December. And also because I like a chance to get my Bach on. I’ve found a lovely one called Kommt, ihr angefochtnen Sünder, which is suitably John the Baptist-ish to match the lectionary, and I’ll also be singing Expectans from the Saint Saëns Christmas Oratorio, which is very simple and very sweet, and I like it very much.
Sunday, December 15
2:00 pm: Grand Re-Opening at Wesley! We have been promised that work on the church building really will be finished and that the organ will be working. We keep looking out the window from the church hall at all the scaffolding and doubting, but hopefully we will have a Saint Thomas moment, and the church really will be done. We are singing Big Elgar – Great is the Lord. Just the one piece, but it runs for about 12 minutes. Nice bass solo, and from the soprano perspective, it’s essentially a 12-minute descant…
Sunday, December 22
6:00 pm: Carols by Candlelight at Wesley. This is a choir service, and I suspect we’ll be keeping it simple, carols-wise, this year, given that we are doing Big Elgar the week before. Expect all the classics and some big descants. You know the drill. Maybe less of our music director running frantically up and down the stairs to the organ, because rumour has it the organ console will now be at ground level.
Tuesday, December 24
9:00pm: ‘Midnight’ Mass at St Joseph’s West Brunswick. This is a nice, traditional Midnight Mass, except that you are done and home and in bed by 11. Unless you are too hyped up by singing to sleep. This is the quintet again. Expect carols in English, French, Latin, Italian, and maybe German, and expect to be there for about 90 minutes, because there is a half hour carol service followed by a full Christmas Mass.
Wednesday, December 25
10:00 am: Christmas Morning service at Wesley. Precise musical configuration unknown, but there is usually a small choir, and I am probably going to be doing the Alleluia from Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate.
But wait, there’s more…
Why do I always do this to myself?
6:00 pm Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Middle Park.
9:00 am Mass at St Joseph’s Port Melbourne
10:30 am Mass at Mount Carmel Middle Park
I’m cantoring all these Masses, which essentially means I lead all the music – psalms, Mass, etc. You never quite know which of the Carmelites will lead any of these Masses, but Father Hugh almost always does the 10:30 one. Theology is interesting and depends a bit on who you get. Sometimes, it is *very* strange and includes warnings against Spies in the Catholic Church. Usually it’s pretty good.
I’ll be trying to do an Advent calendar again this year, but make no promises. As you can see, I will be a tiny bit busy in December (not counting the fact that our laboratories are all relocating at work in December and January, for added bonus fun!).