Welsh composer Christopher Wood is an intriguing character. In his day job, he has worked as a surgeon and Professor of Medicine and now runs several pharmaceutical companies, developing medicines for the third world. He has also had a life-long interest in music and has composed a lyrical setting of the Requiem Mass, which was premiered in 2012. LCS were delighted when Christopher and his team invited us to hold a workshop to learn the Mass.
We duly gathered at St Laurence, Catford, in November and spent the day rehearsing, led by our Musical Director, Dan Ludford-Thomas, ending with an informal performance before a small audience of supporters. We enjoyed the Mass, written in a traditional choral style, with some lyrical melodies and rich harmonies. The production team were so impressed by our excellent sight-reading ability that we finished the rehearsal in record time and brought the performance forward by an hour. It is not often that a composer is present at a choral workshop, so we felt privileged to learn first hand from Christopher about the background to his composition.
The day was useful preparation for a potential concert performance to be given in central London in 2015, which will feature a large choir, including many LCS members. Apart from the pleasure of spending a day singing together, an added bonus was the appearance of eight young talented soloists, who sang alongside the choir in addition to their solo sections, causing St Laurence to reverberate with the rich sound!