The Nine Days Wonder

... logging the events of the days leading up to the BBC recording sessions.
A second page opens via the link below the photos.

The First Rehearsal

Last Saturday most of the congregation for the two services, together with the Church Choir, experienced three hours of rehearsal of the hymns and music to be used in the forthcoming televised services. BBC producer Claire Campbell-Smith ran the show, and Fr Neil Kelley, followed eventually by BBC man David Laurence, who had been  held up for the first hour or so on the M6 from Birmingham, rehearsed us.

There were no cameras, lights or sound equipment yet, but we were subjected to constant exhortations to look bright, even startled, not to bury heads in service booklets and, above all, to get the music, the emphases, the pauses and the volume exactly as required. The conductors cajoled and waved their arms, our musical director Ged Callacher relayed the tempo to organist Stephen Hargreaves up aloft, and the people in the pews did their best to sing up, sing in tune, sing in time and look joyful. It was all very professional and intensive, and proved a fascinating if demanding afternoon.

The music for the first service (the Sung Eucharist for Advent 3) was gone through first, then after a tea break, we had a go at the music for the Carol service for Advent 4. Released at last, we were bidden to return on the following weekend for the real thing, which would consist of two sessions, each more or less twice as long as this first one!

Transforming Saint Faith's

The pictures show something of the events in the days after that first rehearsal. The first shot, taken earlier, shows two brave men risking life and limb to erect a row of colourful decorated garlands across the back of church, where they will be the background for footage of Advent candles being lit by some of our church children. The rest in this first batch, taken on December 1st, show the scaffolders at work inside and outside the church, in preparation for the rigging of batteries of lights to illuminate the otherwise rather dark interior of our church. That day saw the arrival of the big BBC Outside Broadcast vans, now parked outside church.

Go to Thursday and Friday's words and pictures

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