St Martin's, Brasted


REPORT for 2018

The music at our church makes an important contribution to services and the choir continues to work hard at the job of leading the singing. We meet on Thursday evenings to rehearse and warmly welcome anyone who would like to join us or just sample what we do (further details from Director of Music Gloria Toplis, We are fortunate that St. Martin’s has an excellent acoustic and a very fine organ. Our performance space is often used by local choirs and instrumental ensembles for their own concerts.

Church music repertoire constantly changes and we have now become accustomed to a new setting of the sung parts of the Common Worship service, written for the Brasted choir and congregation. Recently, through the Pew News our Rector Linda has asked people to let us know of particular hymns which they would like to sing, and we look forward to receiving suggestions.

As in previous years, we were grateful for the support of visitors who augmented our numbers for the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols in December and made it possible for us again to perform some of the choir carols traditionally associated with it which involve larger forces than we have in-house. In the evening of Good Friday of this year, as last year, we invited anyone who would like to join us to rehearse and sing a choral work appropriate for the occasion – this year the Fauré Requiem. The result was that around fifty singers responded to our invitation and, together with our own choir gave a creditable performance to the accompaniment of organist Marilyn Harper. We were grateful to Sarah Fenn and Paul Weaser of the Cantate choir who sang the solos so beautifully, and to all who came to enjoy Fauré’s music with us that evening as singers or listeners.

Following the success of the organ recital held in December 2017 to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the installation of the instrument and the rededication of the church, another was planned for 1st December 2018. Stephen Davies performed a well-varied programme and introduced each of his pieces to the audience in a pleasant and relaxed manner, which was much appreciated. During January of this year Stephen recorded some music of Bach and Brahms in our church; the recordings are being processed and we eagerly await the CD which will be released in due course. The next recital is to take place on Sunday 4th August 2019 and will be given by Alex Trigg, a highly talented young organist who is a music scholar and member of the sixth form at Tonbridge School.

REPORT for 2017

Music at Brasted Sunday morning services, as well as the monthly services of Evensong, are led by our choir which rehearses on Thursday evenings between 7.30 and 8.30p.m. Our music is largely traditional, consisting of hymns and some psalms and canticles, and we have a repertoire of anthems which we sing at some of the evensongs, and as appropriate for particular services such as the Harvest Festival. We are few in number but a jolly group, and would offer a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us.

At Christmas and Easter the choir is augmented by visitors so that we are able to perform special music. On Easter Sunday of 2017, we sang movements from a Haydn mass to the accompaniment of a string quartet and timpani. At Christmas of that year a choir from Bromley sang with us for our Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. On Good Friday of 2018, in addition to two visiting soloists a large number of singers joined us for a ‘come and sing’ performance of Stainer’s The Crucifixion.

Our fine mechanical-action organ, built by the firm of J.W.Walker and Sons Ltd., was installed in 1992. To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of its inauguration, in December 2017 a recital was given by international organ recitalist James McVinnie. James’ programme, which contained pieces taken from the organ repertoire of the renaissance to the present day, allowed the many different tone-colours of our instrument to come to the fore and delighted the large audience.

Many visitors to our church comment on its excellent acoustic, the large performance space in the chancel and the fine instrument. Within our area our church is in a unique position to host musical events. We welcome visitors who wish to join us in providing the music for our worship, and we welcome performing groups who would like to hire the church for their own concerts.

Gloria Toplis (Director of Music)