Goodbye Harvey! Hard working DoM leaves Christ Church after three successful years!

Posted on January 31, 2013

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Despite the snow and ice, it was wonderful to see so many people in church on 20th January to say goodbye to Harvey Brink, our Director of Music for the past three years. We sang some wonderful music, including Stanford’s Te Deum in B Flat as a communion motet and, at Evensong the expansive St Paul’s setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis by Howells. During the 10am service, we presented Harvey with a scrapbook charting his three eventful years at Christ Church; our many choir trips including our tour to York Minster and of course the magnificent performance of the B Minor Mass as the finale to our 150th Anniversary celebrations. The scrapbook had been signed by the choir and congregation (we couldn’t find a card big enough for all the messages!)

A great turnout for Harvey's last morning - despite the sleet and snow!

A great turnout for Harvey’s last morning – despite the sleet and snow!

Fifty members of the choir, friends and family, trudged through the sleet to Pizza Express after the Eucharist and sat round a large ‘L’ shaped table and were able to look through and write messages in the scrapbook. After pizza, the Juniors and Probationers were the first to make a presentation to both Harvey and to Laura, who has helped to organise and run the junior choir for the past year. Next, Clive Woodhouse gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the senior choir, thanking Harvey for his commitment, dedication and enthusiasm. David Hinitt responded by thanking Harvey for his focus quality, which has helped to develop and maintain the high standard of the choir. We presented Harvey with a facsimile copy of the original score of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

We spend so much time together as a choir – (with rehearsals and services it amounts to a staggering 200 hours per person every year!) that our final Evensong after three years under Harvey’s direction was always going to be an emotional affair! His parting piece was Blest Pair of Sirens by Parry. Written in 1887, the premiere was conducted by Stanford. The ten minute anthem is a setting of Milton’s Ode ‘At a solemn music’ which describes the experience of listening to sacred music; personified as two heavenly sisters ‘Voice’ and ‘Verse’. Given Harvey’s unending enthusiasm for choral music and its importance in explaining and enhancing the liturgy, this final piece with us could not have been more appropriate.

We would all like to thank Harvey for everything he has achieved during his time with us at Christ Church. Good luck for the future!

“O may we soon again renew that song”

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