Music for Worship

I am an experienced music leader for congregational worship, familiar with organ and piano/worship band-led styles of worship in the Anglican and non-conformist traditions.

 

I have also worked as a cantor in responsorial styles of worship from catholic traditions, and am familiar with music of the Iona Community, Taize, and modern Roman Catholic composers.

 

I worked as Abbey Musician on Iona in 1990, and as Director of Congregational Music at St James' Piccaddily from 1991-2000. From 2005-2012 I was regular organist at St Barnabas, Bethnal Green.

 

I currently deputise regularly for churches in the Stepney diocese, including All Saints Poplar, St Paul Old Ford, and St Mary Islington. If you need a deputy musician for Sunday worship, please contact me. 

Missa Luba

Sixty years ago this year the Misa Luba was first performed in Europe and around the world, by Les Musiciens du Roi Baudouin of Congo, under the direction of their composer-priest Fr Guido Haazen. It is a remarkable piece, setting words of the Roman Catholic Latin Mass (this was before the Second Vatican Council) to folk song melodies of the Luba people.

The work was recorded, and is still available. It has become the subject of a PhD by Marc Ashley Foster (2005) and is also superb example of 'inculturation' - the adoption and adaptation of Christian faith and practice by people whose culture is different to that of those who converted them.

For Soul in the City 2017, the St Mary's Ensemble performed the Agnus Dei of Misa Luba as part of a concert celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. It was a fitting climax to the concert, and you can listen to the performance here.

 

Ravel's 'Mother Goose' Stories

The 'Cinq pieces enfantines' that make up Ravel's 'Mother Goose Suite' illustrate moments from fairy tale narratives. Apart from the last (The Fairy Garden), each is subtitled with a line or two from the text of a story. Three of these are well known stories: Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb,and Beauty and the Beast (all from Perrault). The third, 'Pagodes et Pagodines' is based on a less familiar tale, 'The Green Serpent', by Mme d'Anglebert.

 

Despite their narrative origins, performances of Ravel's suite have not before been combined with narrations of the tales themselves. For a concert pairing with Poulenc's (narrated) Babar the Elephant, I wrote a narration for the Ravel pieces (peformed in a piano solo version by Jaques Charlot) which uses abridged versions of the stories to introduce and set off the music, ending with the narrator walking off to the magical music of the Fairy Garden.

 

 

Recent Performances

  • 2017 - Albeniz Songs of Spain,Soul in the City festival, St Mary Islington.

  • 2016 - Regular performances with the East London Evensong Choir, directed by Jonathan Pease.

  • 2014 - Regular performances with the London Dockland Singers, directed by Andrew Campling.

  • 2013 Songs to Warm the Heart with Alison Wells, St Barnabas Church 

  • 2012 Mozart Piano Concerto 19 in F, BAMT Orchestra, conductor Ben Saul 
    Listen on Soundcloud: Mozart K.591, Andante

  • 2011 Britten Noye's Fludde, Faversham Choral Society, conductor Ben Saul (Secondo piano part)
  • 2011 Bizet Jeux d'Enfants, Faversham Choral Society, with Ben Saul.
  • 2010 Poulenc Babar the Elephant (narrated by Peter Flewitt) and Ravel Mother Goose Suite (narrated by Caroline Shuttleworth and Peter Flewitt), St Barnabas Church
    Listen on Soundcloud: Ravel, Waltz of Beauty and the Beast
  • 2009 Love, Loss and Laughter - Songs for a Summer Evening, with Sorita le Var and friends, St Barnabas Church. Listen on Soundcloud: Messiaen, Pourquoi? with Christine Radjabou.

 

 

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© Donald Wetherick