At Choral Evensong on Sunday 3rd May, the Choral Scholars will sing the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis from the Short Service by English composer Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623).
He is known mainly for his madrigals. He wrote his first book of madrigals for 3-6 voices in 1597. Weelkes followed this up with 2 further volumes in 1598 (5 voices) and 1600 (both 5 and 6 voices).
Weelkes studied Music at New College, Oxford and then was appointed organist of Winchester College in 1598, and Chichester Cathedral from 1601 until his death.
As the anthem, they will sing Rejoice in the Lord alway by Henry Purcell (1659-1695). Purcell came from a musical family. Both his father and elder brother were musicians under Charles II. He was a chorister at Chapel Royal until his voice broke. He then became assistant to the Keeper of Wind Instruments to the King.
He became organist at Westminster Abbey in 1679 following in the footsteps of his mentor Dr John Blow. He was later appointed organist at Chapel Royal and he fulfilled these duties in addition to his work at the Abbey.
As he was a court-appointed composer, Purcell wrote numerous works for royal occasions including the coronation of James II (I was glad and My heart is inditing) and the coronation of William and Mary.
He also wrote several pieces for the funeral of Queen Mary and these were played at Purcell’s own funeral just a few months later. Purcell is buried in the north aisle of the choir at Westminster Abbey.