Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
String Quartet musicians performing as part of Gloucester History Festival at the Church
The Discover deCrypt project is not just about creating a practical flexible space that can be cleaned, maintained and heated. We are very fortunate to have on board in the management/development team Jessica Gordon, who, as our Community Outreach person, has made great strides in readiness for the opening in Spring 2019.
One aspect of her work has been the involvement of local musical talent in events to get the place known for its potential in the performing arts. The acoustics are remarkable, and the setting very rewarding, even before the major works now under way. Especially heart-warming have been the recitals given by young musicians of all kinds, some playing various instruments, with others singing a great range of musical styles. This fits very well with the school and church combining to be a place and resource of learning; we were blessed by it, and the young performers grew visibly in stature from having such a good platform to exercise their skills.
Against this background, my mind wanders back to when we were well served by a succession of 6th form musicians from Crypt and Sir Thomas Rich’s schools who played the organ for Sunday services. Young organists were also encouraged to play in a series of organ recitals, among them Robert Poyser (now organist and choirmaster at Beverley Minster) and Luke Bond (who played the organ for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan).
SMdC, despite having to cope with less than ideal conditions (which the project will now put right!), has a precedent for drama events too, with Theatre Roundabout’s performance of Pilgrim’s Progress, A Grain of Mustard Seed (composed by Roger Jones for the bicentenary of Robert Raikes in 1979), Eight in the Crypt (commissioned by rector Canon David Paton and written by Norman Brown; an imaginative introduction to the noted characters of SMdC).
It is so exiting to have been part of what has been, but even more so to have contributed a little to what will be!
Churchwarden at St Mary de Crypt