Informal concert, October 8th 2022, St. Alban’s Church, Hull

On the evening of Friday 7th October and the afternoon of Saturday 8th October, we got together, in St. Alban’s Church, Hull, for the first time since our series of open rehearsals in the spring. We were able to work briefly on that same repertoire, linked by themes relating to war, peace, nationhood, nature and remembrance, with a view to giving an informal performance on the Saturday evening, to family and friends. This was not a polished performance, on just a few hours’ rehearsal, but it was a joy to be music-making together.

All the local composers whose works we were performing were in the room, and were able to talk to the audience about their compositions. It was a privilege to be able to work with them and offer their music to the public.

A series of recordings of Paul Chamberlain’s Songs from the Requiem is available below.

Easter greetings

This weekend, appropriately for Easter, Handel’s Messiah was the subject of Radio 3’s Building a Library. It is 280 years since the first performance of this mighty work, and four years since our memorable semi-staged performances in the Church of All Saints, Driffield, and Hull Minster.

Listening to the recordings, old and new, of the versions of Messiah preserved in wax and modern digital equivalents by famous conductors and ensembles, and discussed on Radio 3, I could not help but think of our own versions, every bit as powerful and engaging as anything that could be heard on the radio or, as they say, wherever you listen to your music these days.

Take another look and another listen to this music, and what we made of it, in a series of videos, and the programme, from the Hull Minster performance in April 2018.

Our next venture, which we have just begun, is not centred on world-famous music, nor on world-famous composers. Instead, we are getting to know music written by some of our own members.

All music starts somewhere. Who knows what people will be singing and playing in 280 years? Invitatione’s mission has always been to enjoy singing and playing together, and to grow and learn about ourselves and others through our experiences of rehearsing and performing.

Join us.

Recordings from 20th November

On Saturday 20th November, in St. Alban’s Church, Hull, we met to sing and play a programme of music in concert format (two halves!) for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic forced musical activity to cease for many months. The only musical activity Invitatione had organised since our wonderful last formal concert in October 2019 was the Come and Sing, Come and Play event in Driffield in July.

We rehearsed just a few times in advance, intending that this event should not necessarily be the polished performance we would normally aim for, but simply a focus for us to get together and sing and play, and get back into the swing of things. Many of us had not done much singing or playing during the past 18 months. Many of our members were not ready to come back to the group because of worries about mixing with others, which particularly affected the number of players in the orchestra.

Though this was an informal event, without advance publicity and with just family and friends there, we had a warm, receptive audience on the night, who seemed to be as pleased to be listening to an evening of music as we were to be giving it.

Chris Bates recorded parts of the concert with his trusty camcorder, and some of the items are available to watch below.

Christmas greetings – and a Lauridsen treat

It is very sad indeed that we have not – yet again – been able to get together and sing this Christmas. It is especially disappointing because we had hoped that our informal concert on 20th November would be the start of a renewal of our music making after the long gap due to the pandemic.

By way of some small consolation, and as a reminder of better days, here is a performance, from the Invitatione archives, of the beautiful O magnum mysterium by Morten Lauridsen. It is hard to believe that it is five years since, in 2016, we embarked on three concerts in three venues in Hull and the East Riding, to celebrate Advent and Christmas. Thanks to Stuart Grant, we have recordings of all of those concerts.

This particular performance was part of the lunchtime concert we gave at the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Peter Chanel, Hull, on 26th November 2016, the weekend of Advent.

Listening back to this excellent performance underlines how important it is for us to keep singing together, and to keep sharing our performances with a wider audience.

Let’s hope 2022 brings renewed opportunities for us to be together to sing and play. In the meantime, enjoy.