ENGLISH BAPTIST CHORAL ASSOCIATION.|1879-07-12|Pontypool Free Press and Herald of the Hills - Welsh Newspapers Online
Hide Articles List

32 articles on this Page

ENGLISH BAPTIST CHORAL ASSOCIATION.

News
Cite
Share

ENGLISH BAPTIST CHORAL ASSOCIATION. On Monday last, at 4 o'clock, this Association —comprising the choirs belonging to the various Baptist Chapels in Blaenavon, Abersychan, and Pontypool, and having for its object the genera improvement of Congregational singing,—held its First Annual Meeting at Horeb Chapel, Blaen- avon. It appears that it was at first intended to held the meeting at Pontypool, during the month of May; and owing to this postponement and change of place, and partly, perhaps, to the rather inconvenient time for which the meeting was con- vened, the attendance was not nearly so large as might have been expected. The lower part of the chapel was appropriated to the audience, while the galleries were reserved for the choirs taking part in the Service. Mr T. B. Smith, of Pontypool, was voted to the chair; and on the platform, besides the Chairman, were the Revs. W. Rees, John Ed- wards, and E. Jones, of Blaenavon; D. Lewis, Noddfa; J. Evans, Pontypool; and the conductor, Mr D. Bowen, of Abercarne. The Chairman, in the course of a brief speech, having given expression to the pleasure he expe- rienced in being present at their first meeting, to the sympathy he and many others felt for the friends at Blaenavon under the dark cloud that now threatened their district, and to the hope that better times would soon dawn upon them, then ad- verted more especially to the object of the Asso- ciation, and the necessity for some such combined effort to improve and elevate the musical part of public worship. Then, after remarking by the way that the purpose of that gathering" was not speeching but singing," he concluded by intro- ducing the Conductor for the day, Mr Bowen, than whom, he said, few men had done more to raise the tone of Congregational singing, and to foster a taste for music among the working classes. The programme, consisting of a very fair selec- tion of hymns and anthems, was a lengthy one; but as the conductor was obliged to reduce to the limits of one meeting what should have occupied two, it was considerably curtailed. However, the pieces retained gave ample scope for the singers to show how far they were possessed of the power to lead efficiently in the several varieties of music to which Congregational psalmody is of necessity restricted. In order to render them every help,each hymn was headed with directions as to expression and style short speeches were delivered at inter- vals by the ministers present to prevent needless fatigue; and the audience were asked to join in the last two verses of most of the hymns to relieve the tedium of a long meeting. At one point during the afternoon, the conductor took the opportunity of giving a few words of advice that might be helpful towards making the movement a success. He advocated perseverance in the work they had begun, greater musical enthusiasm, a greater number of rehearsals, and rehearsals under the same leader. To their neglect of some of these points he attributed the fact that their singing was below par; a more thorough organisation, better training, and more frequent rehearsals would make it more creditable to them as a united body and a blessing to the churches to which they belonged. He also bespoke the consideration, respect, and help of churches and ministers for the leaders of psalmody in this useful but sometimes slighted work. As to the character of the singing, it mani- fested in a most marked manner the excellencies and defects common to much of the singing in our places of worship. Fulness, force, strength, and, at times, enthusiastic rendering of favourite pas- sages; these were conspicuous enough even to the most unobservant; but there was a want of many other qualities which, by means of contrast and variety, are requisite to balance and give these proper charm. In sustaining key, in precision and unity of stroke at the commencement of important lines, in lightness of touch and movement, in all points that have to do with the many and subtle varieties of expression, and with what is indicated in the word taste," they were must certainly far from perfect; while piano passages seemed for the most part disregarded, a proceeding which, in the more solemn or more tender parts of some of our most beautiful hymns, could not have any other than a most unpleasing effect upon the ear. Still, it must not be supposed that, because the singing was not artistically perfect, the meeting as such was a failure. Far from it. The very defects of the singing on Monday show the need and jus- tify the existence of an Association designed for their removal. And the first annual meeting was not to be regarded as a sacred concert where the most finished execution was to be expected, but rather as an experiment having the above-men- tioned design in view. And considered in that light, the committee and friends of the Association (an Association still young.it mnst be remembered) have every reason to expect that. if continued with energy and perseverance, the work they have now commenced will be rewarded with commendation and success. It must certainly be a strange thing, and nothing short of a disgrace, :1.. oÃŹ the speakers said, if the high and noble motive of loyalty to the Saviour, and concern for His wor- ship and service, be not as powerful as a .£10 or .£20 price at any forthcoming Eietedfodd to com- mand the time and aevelope the musical taste of our several ciioirs After a vote of thanks to the chairman, the con- ductor, and Mr E. (1-. Morgan/who presided at the harmonium, the singing of the anthem Open ye the Gates" brought to an end what is hoped will be only the first of many such annual meetings of this Choral Association.

ZULU MILITARY ORGANISATION.

ABERBEEG.J

ABERTILLERY.

CAERPHILLY.

COUNTY RIFLE COMPETITION.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE BODY OF…

THE AFGHAN WAR.

LORD HARTINGTON AND THE ELECTORS…

LATEST MARKETS.

-------The RICHMOND MURDER…

[No title]

LOCAL PBIZE WINNERS AT USK…

Advertising

- ATTEMPTED MUEDEK AND SUICIDE…

PAOTEGR LOCAL BOARD.

CHARGE AGAINST A PUBLICAN…

-!PARLIAMENTARY SUMMAKY

THE LATE PRINCE NAPOLEON THE…

[No title]

LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS.

BLAENAVON.

ABERSYCHAN.

GLASCOED.

USK.|

CWMBRAN.j

I PONTHIR. !

NEWBRIDGE.j

THE HANBURY CUP.

LATEST NEWS.

BRITISH TROOPS NEAR CETEWAYO.

THE COURT MARTIAL ON LIEUT.…