Elvet choir

Elvet Choir, June 2011

Elvet choir has always played an integral part in the life of the church, maintaining the high standards of a long musical tradition, which is our heritage. When the present building was opened in 1903, the choir sang Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, and a choir was active in the former Wesleyan Chapel, built on land which is now part of the Marriott Royal County Hotel. Referring to the introduction of an organ in l840, the Rev'd Thomas Collins wrote: "Not without need, for the choir was the most pitiful I ever knew". Happily, things improved. Our present Minister, the Rev'd Shaun Swithenbank is very supportive of the choir, and sings with us when he is able. Shaun’s wife Jane is also a choir member.

Our choir consists of about 20 singers: soprano, alto, tenor and bass, and we are always glad to welcome new members. We sing mainly during morning services (10.45 a.m.)

We rehearse in church on Sunday mornings, from 9.45 a.m. till 10.30 a.m., preceding the morning service. We have a wide repertoire of music, ranging from renaissance motets through to works by contemporary composers.

We join with St Oswald's Parish Church choir to sing for the annual Covenant service, and on other occasions, and we sometimes form the nucleus of a 'Circuit Choir'. The latter comprises choirs within the Durham and Deerness Valley Circuit of the Methodist Church, which sing at circuit services and festivals.

Elvet choir is directed by Brian Tanner and Hilary Phillips, and works well, both musically and socially.

New members will be warmly welcomed.

Contact: Ann Bradbrook, Choir Secretary

Rehearsals: Sunday mornings, 9.45 am. till 10.30 a.m. (preceding morning service)

Place: The choir vestry (room 1) at Elvet Methodist Church

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Elvet's organ

Elvet's Organ

Organ console

Elvet's organ console

Elvet Methodist Church possesses a fine 3 manual pipe organ, built in 1934 by the Durham firm of Nelson and now maintained by the famous Durham organ builders Harrison and Harrison. It has electro-pneumatic action, balanced swell and choir box pedals, and a radiating concave pedal board. The specification is:

Great Choir
Lieblich Bourdon16' Viol d’Amour 8'
Open Diapason I8' Lieblich Gedeckt8'
Open Diapason II8' Concert Flute4'
Höhl Flute8' Piccolo 2'
Principal4' Tierce1 3/5'
Harmonic Flute4' Clarinet8'
Nazard2 2/3' Trumpet (from Great)8'
Flautina 2' Swell to Choir
Mixture II [12-15] Octave
Trumpet 8' Tremulant
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Violin Diapason8' Harmonic Bass 32'
Röhr Flute 8' Open Diapason 16'
Viol d’Orchestre 8' Bourdon 16'
Voix Celeste 8' Echo Bourdon (from Great)16'
Gemshorn 4' Bass Flute (ext Bourdon) 8'
Fi'eenth2' Trombone (ext Gt Trumpet)16'
MixtureII [19-22] Great to Pedal
Contra Oboe 16' Swell to Pedal
Oboe8' Choir to Pedal
Cornopean8' Great & Pedal Combinations
Octave   Coupled
Unison Off
5 thumb pistons to Great
5 thumb pistons to Swell
4 thumb pistons to Choir
5 toe pistons to Pedal
5 toe pistons to Swell
Reversible thumb and toe pistons for Swell to Great, Great to Pedal, Trombone
Balanced expression pedals to Swell and Choir

Organists wishing to use the instrument for practice or to volunteer to play occasionally for services, weddings or funerals should get in touch with the Organist, Professor Brian Tanner.

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