St Augustine’s newest choir had its first outing on Sunday 25th January. The Schola Augustini is a voluntary choir dedicated to singing Gregorian chant, and especially to providing music for Vespers and Benediction once a month.
The liturgical and musical life of St Augustine’s are flourishing under Director of Music, Tom Neal, who directs The Victoria Consort (Artists-in-Residence) and the smaller Schola Cantorum as well as the Schola Augustini. The new Schola Augustini is made up of enthusiasts from Ramsgate, Thanet, Canterbury, and other places in east Kent.
Tom Neal ran a workshop on chant on Saturday 24th January, the day before the Vespers. Photographs and an account of the service are available on Fr Tim Finigan’s blog here.
Gregorian Chant is the traditional music of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and was familiar to many famous composers. Famously it is named after Pope Gregory the Great, who sent St Augustine to England.
It is most appropriate to sing chant here. Not only was it brought here for the first time by St Augustine himself when he landed nearby, but Pugin was a great fan of this style of singing. He wrote fondly of how he had a band of people singing Gregorian chant in St Augustine’s, and how his family would join in too. This Schola Augustini is keeping a long tradition here.
The choir is voluntary, with singing commitments of the afternoon of the last Sunday of the month. If you wish to join, please contact Tom Neal at thomas.neal-at-cantab.net