Sing to the Lord – Masterpieces of the Motet From Bach to Britten

Princes St URC

Saturday December 3, 2016

United Reform Church, Princes St

Norwich, NR3 1AZ

7.30 pm

 With a programme of German and English motets ranging from Bach’s Lobet den Herrn Alle Heiden (BWV 240, Praise the Lord Ye Heathen) to Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, the Jays are thrilled to be performing for the first time at Norwich’s magnificent 19th Century United Reform Church.

The acoustics are exquisite, and with composers including Schubert, Brahms and Mendelssohn, as well as Stanford and Vaughan Williams, our ex-Sixteen musical director Neil MacKenzie has chosen for us an equally exquisite programme.

Neil Ricketts

Fresh from our triumphant summer concert in Sheringham in June, we’ll again be accompanied by Norwich’s Roman Catholic Cathedral organist Neil Ricketts, who as in Sheringham will be adding to the delight of the evening with two solos of his own.

Tickets for December are £10 in advance online (click here to book), and £12 on the door.

Click on the following link for directions to the Church, and read on for the full programme.

Lobet den Herrn | JS Bach

Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd) | Franz Schubert

Liebe, dir ergeb’ ich mich – Love, I give myself unto you & Ich will dich lieben, meine Krone – I wish to love you, My Crown (Op 18 Numbers 1 & 2) | Peter Cornelius

Organ Solo (work to be confirmed)  with Neil Ricketts

Verleih uns Frieden (Give us Peace) | Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Warum ist das Licht Gegeben (Wherefore is the Light given) | Johannes Brahms

Three Motets | Charles Villiers Stanford

Three Shakespeare Songs | Ralph Vaughan Williams

Organ Solo (TBC) with Neil Ricketts

Rejoice in the Lamb | Benjamin Britten

Jays Triumph in Songs of Love and Summer, Sheringham, June 18 2016

Sheringham Love and Summer performance

The Jay Singers’ latest concert on June 18 to a packed St Peter’s Church in Sheringham marked our celebration of 21 years of music-making with a magical combination of Shakespeare, madrigals and American pizzazz.

If you were there and liked our style, or if you’d like to know more, make a date in your diary for Saturday Dec 3 at Norwich’s United Reform Church with ‘Sing to the Lord’ – motets by Bach, Mendelssohn, Cornelius and Stanford.

Neil Ricketts

Neil Ricketts (pictures by Peter Smith)

Online booking here will open in August, and we’ll again be accompanied by Norwich’s RC Cathedral organist Neil Ricketts, fresh from delighting the Sheringham audience with piano solos from Byrd to Gershwin.

“We all had a wonderful time” was our musical director Neil MacKenzie’s succinct summary of the evening in Sheringham, while the Jay’s Chair, Naomi Jaffa gave a more typically extravagant response.

DSC_1149

Neil MacKenzie, Jays Music Director

“Hip hip hooray for yesterday’s Songs of Love & Summer. The audience pleasure grew palpably throughout the evening, ending on the massive ‘high’ of that stonkingly terrific rendition of Old Man River.

“Wasn’t Des Turner just fabulous!” enthused Naomi.

“Big thanks to him for agreeing to be our guest soloist, as well as for his sterling contribution to the rest of the programme.”

We’re experimenting with online recordings of some of our best and favourite performed pieces, so please do click here to choose from five of our Sheringham items:

  • Three Shakespeare Songs by Vaughan Williams
  • Embraceable You  – all female arrangement
  • Barnwell’s Wanting Memories
  • Ol’ Man River (bass soloist: Des Turner)
  • Eric Whitacre’s Sleep

And looking even further ahead, another delight for your diaries – Saturday April 1 2017 at Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, Suffolk, with a programme yet to be determined, but which will most probably pay homage to the date – April the First. Will be fun.

For the record, our detailed programme in Sheringham was as follows:

Full fathom five | Charles Wood

Lay a Garland | Robert Pearsall

Three songs from “As You Like It” | Joseph Horovitz

The Wood So Wild | Piano solo

It was a lover and his lass | Thomas Morley (small group)

Draw on sweet night | John Wilbye

Il est bel et bon | Pierre Passereau

It was a Lover and his lass | John Rutter

Three Shakespeare Songs  | Ralph Vaughan Williams

INTERVAL

Le chant des oiseaux | Janequin arr Jackman

A boy and a girl | Eric Whitacre

Wanting memories | Ysaye Barnwell

Sleep | Eric Whitacre

Summertime | George & Ira Gershwin

Preludes Numbers 2 & 1 | Gershwin (Piano solo)

Embraceable you | George & Ira Gerswhin

Old Man River | Jerome Kern

Songs of Love & Summer – A Shakespeare Celebration | St Peters Sheringham | Saturday June 18, 2016. 7.30pm

SHAKESPEARE-1-750x347

What: Jay Singers celebrate Shakespeare in Song, with an evening of choral riches from Europe and America.

When: 7.30 pm Saturday June 18, 2016.

St PetersWhere: St Peter’s Parish Church, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8QS.

How much: £10 on the door, £8 online via Eventbrite.

Four hundred years after the Bard’s death in 1616, Norfolk’s Jay Singers celebrate Shakespeare with a delicious programme of song at Sheringham’s St Peters Parish Church.

As the Choir’s Music Director Neil Mackenzie writes, the Jays’ midsummer’s concert will feature a happy blend of music old and new with a decidedly upbeat feel.

There are three strands which I wanted to highlight. The first, of course, is William Shakespeare , with the marvellous Three Shakespeare Songs by Vaughan Williams as well as Joseph Horovitz’s take on As You Like It.

Secondly, in a year spent examining the nature of European identity, we will sing several examples of a great collaborative form – the madrigal.

Both English and French composers feature here, from Wilbye’s luxurious Draw on sweet night to Janequin’s virtuosic Le chant des oiseaux.

Finally, in an anniversary for the Jay Singers, which has enjoyed its own development in a 20 year life, we are including some American repertoire, coincidentally in a presidential election year, culminating in the timelessly fantastic music of Gershwin and Kern.

The detailed programme:

Full fathom five | Charles Wood

Lay a Garland | Robert Pearsall

Three songs from “As You Like It” | Joseph Horovitz

The Wood So Wild | Piano solo

It was a lover and his lass | Thomas Morley (small group)

Draw on sweet night | John Wilbye

Il est bel et bon | Pierre Passereau

It was a Lover and his lass | John Rutter

Three Shakespeare Songs  | Ralph Vaughan Williams

INTERVAL

Le chant des oiseaux | Janequin arr Jackman

A boy and a girl | Eric Whitacre

Wanting memories | Ysaye Barnwell

Sleep | Eric Whitacre

Summertime | George & Ira Gershwin

Preludes Numbers 2 & 1 | Gershwin (Piano solo)

Embraceable you | George & Ira Gerswhin

Old Man River | Jerome Kern

Emerging from Xmas hibernation

blue-jays-in-snow-temp-690x290[1]We’ve been hibernating since Christmas but now it’s time for the Jays to burst into song again.

The Jay Singers at Blythburgh

The Jay Singers, Feel The Spirit, directed by Neil MacKenzie perform at Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh.

Or at least sing to our esteemed musical director Neil Mackenzie (right), who’s asked to hear every member’s voice individually (but refuses the term ‘audition’).

The Jays convene this Saturday, 23 January, in Wymondham, for a day of 10-­minute solo slots and, very importantly, plenty of sustenance: hot sausages, fresh white rolls (mustard & ketchup too, of course), home-made lemon drizzle cake, endless supplies of tea and coffee, plus a whole dollop of excitement about starting a new year of singing together.

We’re a friendly lot, committed to learning and performing interesting repertoire to a good (or should that be ‘high’) standard, and we’d love to attract some new voices in 2016.

Basses would be welcomed with especially open arms! Do message us if you might be interested…

 

Christmas is Coming – Dec 6 2015

cropped-publicity-shot.jpgChristmas is a-coming and our concert at St Andrews, Eaton, just south of Norwich, put an encouragingly full house into the most festive of moods.

The Jay Singers have performed at Eaton on many occasions and on this were delighted to be back under the baton of our conductor, Neil MacKenzie, a a graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, a founder member of The Sixteen and an ex-member of the BBC Singers.

The Jays repertoire is diverse, spanning the centuries, and we take pleasure in delivering it with consistent care, commitment and infectious enjoyment. We’ve been delighting audiences for nearly two decades and next year we celebrate our 20th anniversary.

Here’s what we sang at St Andrews:

  1. Virga Jesse floruit Anton Bruckner
  2. A spotless rose Herbert Howells
  3. Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen Michael Praetorius
  4. Nesciens mater a8 Jean Mouton
  5. Nesciens mater Walter Lambe
  6. Quid petis o filii Richard Pygott
  7. Alleluia Eric Whitacre
  8. Riu, riu, chiu Mateo Flecha
  9. Tomorrow shall be my dancing day Traditional, arranged by Gustav Holst
  10. Lullay my liking Gustav Holst
  11. Lullay, my liking Thomas Hewitt Jones
  12. Stille Nacht Franz Gruber, arranged by Jeremy Jackman
  13. The Infant King Traditional Basque, arranged by Sir David Willcocks
  14. Christmas Kumbaya Traditional African, arranged by Jeremy Jackman
  15. 3-minute Messiah Peter Gritton