Barry Rose 80th birthday celebrations – reminder

Dear Members,
As you will be aware, former Master of the Music, Barry Rose, is celebrating his 80th birthday at the Cathedral on Saturday 14th June.  There will be a Service of Choral Evensong at which Barry will conduct the canticles and anthem; this will be followed by a post-Evensong reception in the retro-choir and a dinner at Cafe Rouge.

I shall be closing the guest list at the end of this weekend (Wednesday) so if you have not already done so please return your ‘Invitation Reply Form’ to me, together with any appropriate payment, by next Wednesday 28th May.  Alternately you can return the for as an email attachment and make an online payment. The ECA’s account details are available on request.

Peter Knapp presents.. Opera AGAIN!


Ex-choristers in the SW/ W London area might be interested in this extremely jolly evening in July.

Peter’s incredibly successful show “All you ever wanted to know about Opera! ” – which takes a light hearted look at my life in opera – is on at the Rose Theatre, Kingston on 3rd July 2014.

Peter Knapp was a chorister and lay clerk between 1958 and 1970 and went on to a successful career in opera.

Ex-Choristers in Singing Masterclass

An exciting initiative is being started this summer by the Lea Singers Chamber Choir in Harpenden, whose conductor, Benjamin Goodson, sings in the Cathedral Choir. On the 28-29th June takes place the first ever Summer Singing Festival at the beautiful Rothamsted Manor, Harpenden. The Festival aims to bring together the huge number of singers between St Albans and Harpenden, and the weekend includes a vibrant series of workshops, masterclasses, recitals, and more.

Marcus Farnsworth
Marcus Farnsworth

In particular I would like to draw your attention to Sunday 29th’s recital and masterclass. Marcus Farnsworth (see picture), one of the country’s leading baritones, will sing Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, after which he is giving a masterclass to four talented young local singers. I’m delighted to say that the St Albans Cathedral ex-choristers are very well represented, and that three of the four young participants were in either the Cathedral Choir or the Abbey Girls Choir. This is sure to be an exciting and formative opportunity for them, and it would be wonderful if we could help to ensure they have a good audience.

For more information about Marcus, visit

The details are as follows:

Sunday 29 June 2014, Rothamsted Manor, Harpenden

1pm – Lunchtime Lieder

Schubert Die schöne Müllerin
Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) and James Cheung (piano)

2.30pm – Young Singers Masterclass

Marcus Farnsworth coaches:
Helen Charlston, Nina Vinther, Caspar Singh, and Hannah Bennett
in song repertoire ranging from Handel, Schumann and Schubert, to Respighi and Geoffrey Bush.

A ticket for Marcus’s recital is £15 – a real bargain to hear one of the most sought-after singers of his generation – and this ticket also gives you free entrance to the masterclass.

Tickets are available by phoning George Darley on 07766 238416, by emailing or online

Music in Bloom

A Flower Festival in the Abbey – 25th to 28th September 2014

The ECA has been asked to contribute an hour of musical entertainment at Music in Bloom on Saturday 27th September. We are therefore looking for about 10-12 singers (SATB) to form a small group under the direction of David Ireson to sing light music and madrigals, some with a “flower” theme.

The idea is that we sing for four 10 minute slots or so, firstly from the Presbytery steps then again from a platform in the Nave. It is hoped that each short session will be interspersed by an instrumentalist. If you would like to sing with this small group, or be one of the instrumentalists please contact Malcolm Bury on as soon as possible.

Thank you.


At the Annual General Meeting our Honorary Secretary, Maureen Adams, stepped down after five years loyal and valuable service to the Association. There were no nominations for the advertised vacancy and therefore we need a full member to volunteer as soon as possible – it is open to any member but they must have internet access.

The job is not onerous, the main responsibilities being:

  • Attend ECA Committee Meetings (2 per year) and General Meetings (1 per year) and take the minutes of the meetings
  • Assist in the compilation of the monthly newsletter, Alban Notes, and liaise with the IT Manager for postal communications to members
  • Review documentation produced by the chairman – e.g. Members’ Year Book, Annual Reports to the FCOCA – All ECA documentation being distributed to members and externally is submitted to the Chairman for review and approval.
  • Attend ECA events

The position of Honorary Secretary is specified on our constitution and must therefore be filled as soon as possible. If you are prepared to take on this role, please contact the Chairman, Malcolm Bury on

Thank you

Barry Rose’ 80th Birthday Celebrations

From the Chairman –

Saturday 14th June 2014 is an important date for your diary

Dr Barry Rose

Former Master of the Music and ECA Vice-President Dr Barry Rose OBE celebrates his 80th birthday on 24th May and to mark this occasion there will be a Service of Choral Evensong in the Cathedral on Saturday 14th June at which Barry will conduct the canticles and anthem. ECA members who sang in the Cathedral Choir or Abbey Girls Choir during Barry’s era (1988 to December 1997) are invited to attend this service and sing along side the Cathedral Choir.

There will be a post-Evensong reception in the North Transept and plans are being developed for a dinner at the Cafe Rouge after the reception.

Some of Barry’s friends and colleagues from Guildford and St Paul’s Cathedrals will also be participating in the celebrations.  Specific invitations will be sent out shortly but if you wish to attend these celebrations then please register your interest with the Chairman either by email or via the website contact address as soon as possible.

This promises to be a memorable and enjoyable occasion.