Dear Friends, Thank you for the very warm welcome that I have received since arriving at St Mark’s. I am delighted to join you as Organist and look forward to maintaining and building upon the proud musical tradition valued at St Mark’s through the development of a wide range of singing opportunities for parishioners of all ages and backgrounds.
My experience as a performer, scholar and educator has been shaped through working with leading experts in their fields and include Joyce Jones and Joe McKee (organ); Vladimir Viardo (piano); and, Ian Bent (historical musicology; theory and analysis). Decades of practical experience leading and developing choirs (including choristers at King’s College) performing Parry to pantomime have somehow landed this Schenkerian scholar onto Sydenham Avenue. As a participant in the Dioceses’ Organ Scholarship Scheme, my commitment to creating excellence as a church musician has been reaffirmed and, having spent nearly five years in post as Organist and Choir Director at St Bride’s Parish Church, Doagh, I am looking forward to helping St Mark’s continue on its sacred journey.
Favourite Hymns of St Mark’s One of my first initiatives was to undertake a survey to discover which hymns you really enjoy singing so that we could include these throughout our weekly services. I was delighted with your enthusiastic responses and can reveal that your top three hymns are: 1 Guide me, O thou Great Jehovah 2 Be thou my vision 3 Be still for the presence of the Lord
Make a Joyful Noise’ Singing Sessions Thirty parishioners attended our first event, ‘An evening of singing: Your favourite hymns’. Based on popular demand, these singing evenings of fun music-making and fellowship over a cup of tea will continue monthly on the first Wednesday from 8.15 to 9.15 pm in the Parlour. 6 March Make a Joyful Noise: Sing the hymns of Cecil Frances Alexander 3 April Make a Joyful Noise: Sing the Psalms, part 1 1 May Make a Joyful Noise: Sing the hymns of Charles Wesley 5 June Make a Joyful Noise: Sing the Psalms, part 2
Open Choir Building upon the success of our February singing evening, to support hymn singing in the weekly 10.45 am service, interested parishioners are warmly invited to meet in the Choir Vestry at 10.00 am on any Sunday. No previous experience or musical ability is required, and everyone is invited to give it a try! I would be delighted to hear from anybody about how we can continue our journey together. Yours, Beth Aiken BM, MM, MPhil (Cantab) PGCE Contact : 07874 044317