Back in the Choir Room:

On Saturday, September 9, 2006, The Anglican Singers gathered in the choir room of St. James Church for “Camp Day,” an annual day-long rehearsal when Director Wilcox assigns new and familiar music for the upcoming performance season. It was on this particular occasion that the group did its first reading of Powell’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in G-minor. These two canticles are delightful: sprightly, joyous, light-filled – a perfect accompaniment to the season of light in which they will be sung, Epiphany.

Since this past Camp Day, while rehearsing for other performances, including Choral Evensong at Groton School in Massachusetts at the end of October and A Festival of Lessons and Carols at St. James during the Advent season, the ensemble has each week been practicing Powell’s charming Service.

And so the story ends where it began – in a basement rehearsal room shared by The Anglican Singers with generations of choirs of St. James. Ghosts of those long-ago singers stare out from faded black-and-white photographs that hang on the walls. And who knows what other treasures lie beneath the dust of decades – just waiting to be discovered, as Robert Powell’s too-long neglected opus was discovered during a routine housecleaning?

Meanwhile, The Anglican Singers strive to do credit to the composer’s art as they joyfully prepare for the celebratory Epiphany service of Choral Evensong.

Anne Carr Bingham


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