The word FEAST conjured up diverse images for me: Feasts in the Church calendar; recent family wedding feasts, as well as, oddly enough, one of Queen Victoria’s banquets….. Most especially this last week has been a musical feast, starting with the moving Confirmation Service at St Paul’s, presided over by Bishop Viv. I was privileged to join with our University Choir in singing the chants, hymns and William Byrd’s ‘Ave Verum’. Lucy from the choir was confirmed, joining us for part of the service with such a shining expression on her face.

The following day began with stirring music relayed from the 75th Anniversary D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth and Arromanches, in Normandy. That same evening, however, it was a question of the sublime to the ridiculous: Tim Riley, Michael (H) and I went to our Treasure Island pantomime rehearsal, practising such SATB gems as ‘Sloop John B, The Wild Rover and Run, Freedom, Run’. Friday night saw us back at St Paul’s for Philip Dixon’s evening entitled ‘The apple holds the seed will grow’, also termed ‘The Apple Gig’ by the poet himself and featuring a real, polished pendant red apple. This was a true feast of poetry, so much of it original, interspersed with Margaret’s beautiful rendition of Butterworth’s ‘Loveliest of Trees’, King’s College’s ‘Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree’ and versions of ‘Autumn Leaves’ (‘Les Feuilles Mortes’ courtesy of Michael (H).

This morning at the final service of the academic year we were treated to Esther’s ‘If you love me’, Elgar’s ‘The Spirit of the Lord’ and Isaac’s postlude of Widor’s Toccata. This afternoon I was with Chris and Helen Parker and a small group of residents from Royal York Crescent in their English ‘Urban’ Garden singing everything from The Hippopotamus to the Floral Dance, the Irish Blessing and Linden Lea. The heavens opened on cue, just as we were finishing, so of course our encore had to be ‘Singing in the Rain’……

Tomorrow morning will be ‘Row, row, row the boat’ and ‘Here we go Loopy Loo’ on piano and multi-coloured xylophone with my toddler granddaughter – always a very special feast. The afternoon will be spent with fellow Move Makers at Southmead Hospital, where we shall be singing Songs from the Musicals on the two geriatric wards of Elgar House. What a feast of a musical week!

Jan Bartlett