St Mary's, Thatcham | Christmas Music from St Mary's Thatcham

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Classical: Organ Classical: Choral Music Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas Music from St Mary's Thatcham

by St Mary's, Thatcham

Christmas Music From St Mary's, Thatcham. A mix of choral, organ and bell music. Recorded in 2001.
Genre: Classical: Organ
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Short Touch of Grandsire Caters (feat. The Tower Bell Ringers)
4:24 $0.99
clip
2. Choral Prelude On "In Dulci Jubilo" (feat. Bernard West)
2:30 $0.99
clip
3. Were You There on That Christmas Night? (feat. Barfield Handbell Ringers)
2:36 $0.99
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4. Angels' Carol (feat. St Mary's Choir)
3:49 $0.99
clip
5. Sheep May Safely Graze (feat. Andrew Bosley)
4:28 $0.99
clip
6. Past Three O'Clock (feat. Barfield Handbell Ringers)
2:32 $0.99
clip
7. Gabriel's Message (feat. St Mary's Choir)
2:41 $0.99
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8. Interlude On "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" (feat. Bernard West)
2:09 $0.99
clip
9. O Little Town of Bethlehem (feat. Barfield Handbell Ringers)
1:29 $0.99
clip
10. Silent Night (feat. Barfield Handbell Ringers)
1:55 $0.99
clip
11. Ding Dong Merrily on High (feat. St Mary's Choir)
2:03 $0.99
clip
12. White Christmas (feat. Barfield Handbell Ringers)
4:00 $0.99
clip
13. O Come All Ye Faithful (feat. St Mary's Choir)
3:34 $0.99
clip
14. Pastoral Symphony From "Messiah" (feat. Andrew Bosley)
4:22 $0.99
clip
15. Short Touch of Stedman Triples (feat. The Tower Bell Ringers)
3:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
CHRISTMAS MUSIC FROM ST MARY’S

Choir: Director of Music: Andrew Bosley
Deputy Director of Music: Bernard West

Brenda Bosley, Dominic Clarke, Keeley Coates, Jenna Coates, Siobhan Coates, Lesley Coggan, Chris Druce, Vivien Druce, Joanne Dunwell, Patsy Jones, Jim Lowe, Emma Moffatt, Jennifer Parsons, Jennie Stevens, Katie Stevens, Ann Watts, Chris Watts, Bernard West, Eve West, Laura Willoughby, Samantha Willoughby


Church Bell Ringers: Tower Captain: Michael K Till
Peter Bridle, William Butler, Ronald Christopher, John Collins, John Durham, Richard Marshall, Dennis Muttram, Susan Smith, Tony Smith, Michael K Till

Barfield Handbell Ringers: Director of Music: William Butler
Fiona Benjamin, Sylvia Denness, Rosemary Evans, Graham Hedges, Tricia Marshall, Bobbie May, Sally Moon, David Reed, Dianne Rogers,
Ann Walter, Carol Wheeler


THE CHURCH: St Mary’s, Thatcham is of an ancient foundation and is based on a Saxon Minster. The extensive rebuilding and refurbishment of the Victorians produced the current external aspect whilst the interior owes its present appearance to the construction of the hall and rooms inside the church in the 1970s. Acoustically the building is very good and the BBC used it for Sunday Half-hour in 1970 and for several other recordings as well as for many concerts.

THE TOWER: The lower stage was built around 1350 but the upper part was not completed for another one hundred and fifty years as the Black Death carried off over half the villagers. Bells were installed before 1525 and Ellis Knight of Reading cast one of the earliest complete rings of six for Thatcham in 1624. These bells were augmented to eight in 1928 and to ten in 1969 and, with a tenor (largest bell) of thirteen hundredweight, are well-known throughout the Ringing Exercise. A strong tradition of ringing has existed in the village since the nineteenth century and the belfry walls carry many records of the ringers’ prowess. In the 1950s HMV chose Thatcham for its long-playing record to illustrate church-bell ringing, and St Mary’s bells have rung out over many lands.


THE ORGAN: St Mary’s first instrument was a barrel organ with a finger board attachment, installed in 1842 by the recently formed partnership of Gray and Davison. This organ was converted in 1850 to a one manual and pedal instrument with a barrel organ attachment. In the Victorian alterations of 1858 this instrument was sold back to them and replaced with a splendid new tracker action organ which was enlarged in 1870 to a four manual instrument. This was completely renovated in the last restoration in 1992 at a cost of £10,619.31; this also included the cost of some extra stops.

THE CHOIR: There has always been a strong emphasis on music at
St Mary’s and for many years the church choir has been affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music. Women joined it for the first time in the late 1950s and since then have formed an integral part. Successive organists and choir leaders for the last two generations have worked hard to build up the current excellent team, many of whom are part of other musical groups.

THE BARFIELD HANDBELL RINGERS: This team was formed in 1965 when six of the church bell ringers began playing carols and other tunes at a house in Barfield Road. They originally used the tower set of sixteen bells, but they now have ninety-three handbells varying in size from 250 grams to four kilograms. With all these as well as tables, thick foam, cloths, music stands and other equipment practice sessions now have to take place in the church hall! Besides handbells, the group also uses handchimes, and these may be heard to good effect in this recording.

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