Thursday 27th March 2014
The Ordinariate's central church, Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London, was the venue for a concert on Saturday, 22 March, performed by the Byron Consort, an elite ensemble of the famous public school, Harrow.
The programme consisted of unaccompanied choral music, interspersed with solos by boys from the school. It included James MacMillan's contemporary setting of the Miserere, as well as music by Thomas Tallis, Gabriel Jackson, Edward Bairstow and Palestrina. The final section of the concert featured three well known pieces for Lent and Holy Week – Lotti's Crucifixus, Casals' O Vos Omnes and Bruckner's Os Justi.
The Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton, was present at the concert, along with the Ordinariate parish priest at Warwick Street, Fr Mark Elliott Smith and the director of music at the church, Keith Brown. Mgr Newton welcomed the choir and gave a brief explanation of the work of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Fr Elliott Smith, himself an accomplished musician, said afterwards that it had been a truly memorable evening. "The repertoire was extremely challenging. Macmillan's Miserare has a very difficult score but it was handled with enormous aplomb". There was a retiring collection for the church.
The Byron Consort - made up of of four adults and about sixteen boys from Harrow School- many of whom are former cathedral and collegiate choristers - is due to leave shortly for a tour of Toronto and Chicago.