MUSIC IN THE BRIDGE BENEFICE
Music is a very important part of Bridge Benefice life - it not only enriches our worship, it is a vital part of our programme of cultural events.
We have an excellent choir which sings at all the Sung Eucharist services throughout the Benefice, and at many other services besides. Times like Holy Week, Easter and Christmas are particularly music-intense and the choir works very hard to ensure the excellence of their contribution.
Our repertoire is wide and varied, ranging from the 16th- to the 21st-centuries, including works by American, European and Russian composers, sung in the original language (including church Slavonic) wherever possible. We are generally an upper voice choir, although we have ad hoc singers who are tenors and basses.
Our Good Friday Liturgy and our Service of Lessons and Carols have been broadcast on local radio, and there are more broadcasts to come.
If you are thinking about getting married in any of our churches, why not consider asking the choir to sing at your wedding? They support the singing of your chosen hymns, and can perform a suitable piece of music during the signing of the registers.
If you think you would enjoy singing with us and are able to commit to rehearsals on Friday evenings (apart from the summer break) and a sung service on Sundays, then please get in touch and we can arrange a brief, informal audition.
Amy Bernon: I'll Walk You Through The Rain - a lovely song about friendship
Lowry/Warner arr. Robert Hugh: How Can I Keep From Singing
Weiss & Thiele arr. Mark Brymer: What A Wonderful World
THE ORGANS IN OUR CHURCHES
Each of our three churches has an instrument, of varying size and character, and organists are more than welcome to use them - whether you just want to give them a try, or arrange a regular practice session. The more the merrier!
St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall
This is a 2-manual Norman and Beard (1908). It is situated at the east end of the north aisle and speaks directly down the aisle. During its life it has been re-positioned and turned around several times, always within the north-east corner of the church. In the 1980s the pneumatic action was replaced by electric action, some tonal alterations were made, and a new detached console was installed (the console had always been detached).
St Stephen's, Kingston Lacy
The current 3-rank, 2-manual Walker organ (1969) was installed in St Stephen's about six years ago, having previously been resident in a chapel in Wales. The detached console sits on the floor of the south transept and the organ case is in a recessed gallery in the north transept.
St Bartholomew's, Shapwick
The organ in St Bartholomew's is a sweet-toned and surprisingly powerful one-manual chamber organ, probably 19th-century, situated between the nave and the chancel. It speaks extremely well into the main body of the church. It has a 2-octave, straight, flat pedalboard which has no independent stops - it is connected to the manual keys by metal rods.
Please get in touch if you would like to try any or all of these instruments. We will be happy to arrange for you to come and play them anytime.
We love these beautiful churches, and we would love you to love them too! They are a focal point of the communities they serve, and we welcome anyone - individual, group, organisation - to use them. If you would like to put on a recital, concert, exhibition, play or any other event, then please contact us to arrange it.
St Stephen's, Kingston Lacy
St Stephen's does not have a piano, but within the raised chancel area the fronts of the choir stalls are removable, thus creating more 'performance' space at the front of the church. It is then wide enough to accommodate a grand piano. When the church's new extension is built, there will be toilet and kitchen facilities, as well as a place for changing and 'green room' use.
St Bartholomew's, Shapwick
This building has a wonderful acoustic: clear, sympathetic and unobstructed. All the furniture in the raised chancel area is removable, thus creating a wide, open performance space. Toilet and kitchen facilities are at the planning stage, but we can negotiate the use of facilities at The Anchor pub, just down the road, we just ask that performers purchase their refreshments there.
St Mary's and St Bartholomew's are open during daylight hours, so please come and have a good look round. St Stephen's is open occasionally, but please check this in advance of your visit, or contact us to arrange for the church to be opened for you.
GETTING IN TOUCH
Director of Music
Dr Sally Plowright 01258 857528
I'll be delighted to answer your questions and help you in any way I can. So please do get in touch!
Choir Information - authorised personnel only!
Following the success of our last concert, and by public demand, we planned to stage another concert in 2020. Due to current circumstances this wasn't possible, but we really hope that it will take place in 2021. On Sunday 26th September 2021, to be exact. So please do put that date in your diaries! The concert will probably be early evening (7.00pm) in St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall.
For singers who will be taking part in this project, the dedicated page can be found here:
If you would like to be involved in the performance, please phone the number above. You will be made very welcome.