March 5, 2016

“Hands on”

Andrew Reid, Director of the RSCM world-wide on his visit to NZ had a chance to visit St Mark’s Remuera. Director of Music, Brian Millar, wondered if it was an occasion for Andrew to observe or was he going to be “hands on”? Read Brian’s report about what happened on Sunday 12 April.

Visit of Andrew Reid to St Mark’s, Remuera.
I was asked by Neil Shroff, Char if we would like to host Andrew Reid, Director of RSCM, on Sunday April 12th; it seemed that Andrew wanted to experience a parish church in Auckland, and we were it! One doesn’t turn down an invite like that! But – how to host him? How much input did Andrew want to provide? Did he want to simply observe, or be a bit more “hands on?” My initial thinking was that Andrew wouldn’t want to be overly involved; after all, he probably gets asked to play wherever he goes, and this visit was likely to be an occasion for him to just watch and see how us colonials do Choral Eucharist! Wrong…. Andrew was obviously wanting to participate as much as possible. So he duly arrived at 8:45 am for our pre-service choir run through, accompanied the choir for one of our motets (the other was a capella) and the psalm; then with time in hand proceeded to give the choir 15 minutes of vocal training including vowel sounds, plus phrasing tips, including the “charismatic wave” at the end of a vocal line (contact me for explanation!). With 10 minutes left before the service started, he took about one minute to grasp the gist of our regular Choral Eucharist liturgy music, which would have been totally unfamiliar to him; then with a short prelude the service started. And went so smoothly you’d think he’d done it before….he played all the music for the service, finishing with a postlude flourish, a Fantasia on ‘St Anne’ by Parry, well received by a number of the congregation who remained in the pews to listen.
Enthusiastic; knowledgeable; able to communicate; we were privileged.
-Brian Millar, D.o.M., St Mark’s Anglican Church