The good folks at Mary Abbots did a truly spectacular job with the Missa Festiva yesterday morning, directed by Mark Uglow and sung by a professional octet. I have been through many performances of my music, and the great ones always make my writing sound better than it is, and this was certainly in that category. What is more, the singers genuinely seemed to enjoy the piece, which was very gratifying.

This was the first time that I had heard the piece outside my head, and the moments about which I was most concerned seemed to work very well indeed, the shifting of the vocal parts of the Missa Dorica and the addition of an organ part by no means as cut-and-paste as it could have sounded. It helped that I was able to spend a comfortable amount of time on the piece, able to sketch at least three versions of the Sanctus, for example, but still the calibre of yesterday’s performance was really impressive.

I trotted out the Festive Voluntary at the same service after a dry run at the 9.30, after which a member of the congregation came to the organ eager to find out who had written the piece. It took a couple of goes before I managed to communicate that the music was mine, and, as with the Festiva, any concerns I might still have about the piece are beginning to fall away as people continue to react to it favourably.

The Missa Festiva will get another outing in June at Christ Church, Hampstead, though the organ there is different kettle of fish (box of pipes?) entirely, and I think that I might run the same voluntary as well if I am in the right mood. After that we shall see what happens with the Mass, but with the shops surely already thinking about their Christmas decorations (well, Harrods at least) I should probably turn my attention to a bit of a push on the Dorica as worthy of consideration for Advent.

At the mini reception after the service I found myself instinctively talking about “vocals” and “keys” rather than “choir” and “organ”, possibly because I am already thinking about the possibility of an audition with the new band, maybe even as early as tomorrow evening. For today, though, there are other things to get done, and while it may not be quite as active in terms of performances in the next couple of weeks as it has been over the past fortnight, there is still much that is good to come. In the meantime, though, my profound thanks to all who made yesterday’s performance happen, and also to those who made the trip to be there and support. As a certain supermarket likes to tell us, every little helps.

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