After a covid enforced break Cantamus returned to Norton Parish Church to give another Norton Festival Concert on Saturday 27th November. They had previously delighted with a Concert in 2018 and their return did not disappoint.
The Choir perform a magical mix of the very best music from six centuries of composition: Palestrina and Gibbons, Mozart and Mendelssohn, Bob Chilcott and John Tavener, William Byrd and Thomas Luis de Victoria. This year’s Concert, under the general title of ‘O Come, Emmanuel’, had some traditional Christmas music including ‘The Cherry Tree Carol,’ ‘People Look East’ and John Rutter’s arrangement of ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel.’ The Choir also gave the first public performance of Director of Music Peter Nardone’s ‘The Lord will come and not be slow,’ which received very high acclaim.
The Concert was dedicated to the memory of Martin Schellenberg who was, until his sudden death earlier this year, the Director of Cantamus. A Retiring Collection supported the Music Trust, set up in his name to encourage and support young musicians.
OPEN AIR HARVEST
With coronavirus restricting the use of the church the 2020 Harvest Thanksgiving was held in the Churchyard and subject to the constraints imposed by the pandemic.
The Service was conducted by retired Priest the Reverend Richard Terrell who enlisted the help of Martin the Monkey. Martin’s Message, based on the Foolish Rich Man, was to always acknowledge God in our lives so as not to be called ‘a fool’ by God and to make a monkey of ourselves.
THE AVON & SOMERSET CONSTABULARY MALE VOICE CHOIR
SATURDAY 29th FEBRUARY
The Choir, formed in 1971, has a membership of serving and retired Officers, support Staff and guest singers. Under their Musical Director, Marysia Gorska-Saj, they performed a variety of classical male choral music, choruses and songs from stage and screen to the delight and enjoyment of an appreciate audience.
OTHER EVENTS IN 2020
The onslaught of the Coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions it brought led to the cancellation of all further Events planned in 2020. This included Concerts by PARNHAM VOICES, MENDIP SINGERS and CANTAMUS, a series of GARDENS OPEN plus all the monthly COFFEE MORNINGS.
STOKE SUB HAMDON BAND
SATURDAY 23rd MARCH
This Brass Band, with roots going into the 1800’s, has had many prestigious engagements including playing for the Queen, Prince Charles and the Queen Mother. Their programme ranged from traditional marches and classical overtures to modern chart music. Their return to the Festival brought great enjoyment.
FRIDAY 11th to SUNDAY 13th OCTOBER
AN EXHIBITION OF HOBBIES filled the church and portrayed:- Beekeeping; Bell Ringing; Bramley Hedge; Calligraphy; Corn Craft; Cross Stitch Pictures; Cross Stitch Work; Embroidery; Gardening; Little People; Locomotive Modelling; Model Railways; Music; Festival Photographs; Wildlife Photography and Woodworking. Throughout each day informal On The Organ Concerts were given by local organists.
A FOLK CONCERT, featuring The Four Foot Four; Mitchell & Vincent; Jack & Alison was the highlight of the Saturday evening.
SUNDAY SERVICES featured the morning Harvest Communion at which local farmer and Lay Reader preached. The Weekend came to a close with Festival Praise – the singing of many favourite hymns.
THE MILITARY WIVES CHOIR
WEDNESDAY 11th APRIL
The Yeovilton Military Wives Choir formed in September 2012 as a result of the outstanding success of the original Military Wives Choirs from Chivenor and Plymouth, made famous through the BBC TV programme with Gareth Malone. The Choir consisted of military wives, Service women, mums and girlfriends and sings a wide range of musical genres.
2018 was a special year for the Choir as it marked the centenary of the end of World War 1. The Choir joined other Military Wives Choirs in a special commemorative project to create an album with Remembrance at its heart.
SATURDAY 19th MAY
A merry band of musicians performing Medieval and Renaissance music on handmade reproduction instruments
Sine Nomine perform regularly around South Somerset, East Devon and West Dorset and specialize in ‘early’ music both sung and played on period instruments. Founded over thirty years ago and based in Crewkerne and the surrounding villages, Sine Nomine comprises of local musicians. Their instruments were introduced during the performance and they were happy to demonstrate the techniques of playing.
COLOURS OF THE ORGAN
SATURDAY 19th MAY
The Colours of the Organ was an informal demonstration of the sounds and workings of the very fine instrument in Norton Church by the Organist and Choir Master Chris Denman. He played some familiar pieces and demonstrated the capability of the instrument both in terms of sound quality and volume.
THE BRUE BOYS
SATURDAY 6th OCTOBER
The Brue Boys grew out of a desire to give men who wanted to sing the opportunity to do so and somehow, from the original dozen in 2007, they are now nearly 50 in number and reckoned to be one of the best choirs of its type in the County. They had a mixed repertoire – folk, musicals, opera, pop classics, sea shanties and spirituals. It was an evening to remember.
SATURDAY 1st DECEMBER
Cantamus was formed in 2012 and has been performing around West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset ever since, giving concerts in Spring, Summer and Autumn each year. With their exquisite blend of voices, the Choir has established a loyal following across the region among lovers of quality sacred and secular music. They performed a magical mix of the very best music from six centuries of composition: Palestrina and Gibbons, Mozart and Mendelssohn, Bob Chilcott and John Tavener with ‘Music for Christmastide’ including the Coventry Carol and Rutter’s arrangement of the Sans Day Carol.
A FESTIVAL WEEKEND with Floral Displays and Old Norton Exhibition in the church and a Scarecrow Trail around the village. A Folk Concert on the Friday and Stoke sub Hamdon Band on the Saturday. The Saturday before saw a Harvest Hoedown with Fiddlestix.
A SEASON OF GARDENS OPEN. From June to September gardens in specific areas of the village were opened and one provided Teas an @4 entertainment by local performers. Thirty-nine gardens were opened during the season.
THE INAUGURAL FESTIVAL YEAR centred on the church with Flowers, Rxhibits with Promenade Music Performances by local people and a concert by Parnham Voices. On Wednesday there was a Film Night, while Saturday saw an enactment of the Historic Ride to collect the newspaper and a Village Feast. Local artists mounted an Exhibition in the Reading Room.