‘Somehow we even managed to fit in free time and a Saturday evening entertainment.’

Lady’s chamber: Barbara Parry attends a Friends’ musical weekend

‘Singers were united in the joy of working on some of the best examples of choral repertoire, ranging across many centuries and styles.’ | Photo: Jonathan J Castello / Unsplash.

It must be more than twenty years ago that I first took part in the annual Quaker Choral and Chamber Music weekend at Charney Manor, where singers and instrumentalists of all ages gathered to sing, play and live together for a weekend of intensive musical and spiritual fellowship. A lot of serious work goes on behind the scenes to make these weekends a success: accommodation for living, singing, playing and worshipping is carefully arranged; applications are monitored to ensure a good balance of voices for the choir, and instruments for the chamber groups; choral music is prepared with attention to quality, variety and a sense of what can be achieved in one short weekend; and the instrumentalists are allocated to a different group for each ninety-minute session, so that the overall experience of each participant is as varied as possible.

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