Come and Sing/Play 2023

Come and Sing/Play Workshop

J S Bach: Magnificat & Cantata 21


Director: Richard Roddis
Organist: Michael Overbury
Instrumental Specialist: Nicolette Moonen

took place on

Saturday 21st January 2023

The Music

Bach’s music represents the pinnacle achievement of the Baroque era – many would say of all musical history. This was an opportunity to spend a day in the company of the Master Cantor of Leipzig. So consistent is the music in quality, that these works just can’t be bettered!

The Latin Magnificat is well-known for its vigorous celebratory style, originally written in 1723 with Christmas hymns interpolated – a rare chance to experience one of these extra movements as well as the more familiar parts. We used the key of the later version: D major.

Cantata 21, Ich hatte viel bekümmernis (I had great sorrow), is seen by some as one of Bach’s greatest cantatas, despite being so much less well-known. It is a substantial work in two parts, with four meaty choruses, and overall journeys from darkness to light. Or to borrow part of the text, from ‘weeping to wine’. No actual wine was on offer here, but plenty of intoxicating music!

Sinfonia Chorale Director

Director Richard Roddis is well known throughout the East Midlands for his work with choirs. His conducting experience stretches back more than a quarter of a century and, as a professional singer and a member of several top choirs, he brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to choral conducting. He was appointed Director of the Sinfonia Chorale in June 1991.


Organist and harpsichordist Michael Overbury’s early musical influences centred on Farnham and London, where he was introduced to the glories of the English liturgical tradition, and it was here also that his organ teacher Stephen Thomson inspired in him a love of the harpsichord.

Horizons broadened with an Organ Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. After graduating he held a number of posts including deputy organist and choir master at the Cathedral and Abbey Church at St Alban’s. After winning First Prize in the 1982 Manchester International Organ Competition, he appeared twice as soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and has continued to play with many choirs and orchestras.

He is currently accompanist to Ruddington and District Choral Society, and to Sinfonia Chorale.

Instrumental specialist

Also in attendance was instrumental specialist Nicolette Moonen, Professor of violin and viola and renowned Baroque violinist, who has performed with most of the country’s leading period instrument ensembles and has been increasingly in demand as a leader and teacher. She teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London and is the Artistic Director of The Bach Players.

Venue for the 2023 Come and Sing event :

St. Michael and All Angels Parish Church, Church Street, Bramcote, Nottingham, NG9 3HD.

Concert : Bach Magnificat & Cantata 21 - Saturday 25th March 2023

The Sinfonia Chorale will perform in concert on Saturday 25th March 2023, at Beeston Parish ChurchMiddle St, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1GA some of the works which were studied during the 2023 workshop 

Comments from the 2022 workshop:

"Really enjoyed singing today - thank you Pam and well done Team"

"Many thanks for a very enjoyable day yesterday. The music was interesting and not too hard to sight-read, the organisation was good, Richard and Michael of course were both excellent.
It made a real difference having a meal provided, and special thanks to the person who produced such nice shortbread."

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