The West Gallery Music Workshop will be led by members of Bristol Harmony West Gallery Quire. This year, due to restoration work going on at the barn, it will be held in St Michael’s Church next door.
West Gallery music is the type of music sung in churches during the C18 and early C19, led by the village choir and the village band. Thomas Hardy, himself a fiddle player, wrote about the old choirs in a number of his books, notably Under the Greenwood Tree. You can find extracts on the West Gallery Music Association website (www.wgma.org.uk), along with a mine of information about this type of music.
Above all, this music is FUN! It was such fun that the Victorians strongly disapproved and threw out the choirs and bands in favour of barrel organs, or pipe organs and robed choirs, producing the sort of church music which many of us grew up with.
If you like singing, do come along and join in; the music is accessible to all and you can learn by ear or read the music. The music is sung in four parts, so whatever your voice range, there is a part for you.
Instrumentalists are also welcome – strings and woodwind are suitable, but not brass instruments or guitars. If in doubt, please ask. Instrumentalists please bring a music stand if you have one; a clip-on light could be useful.
Music will be supplied in hard copy on the day but can be emailed if you would like to look at it beforehand.
Tea and coffee will be available from 10am ready for a start at 10:30am prompt.
This year very little parking will be available on site, so please park carefully and considerately in Church Lane.