Steeple Aston Church Bellringers
The aim of the Steeple Aston Church Bellringers is to ring the Church bells on Sundays and for other services such as weddings. They meet in Steeple Aston Church tower for practice every Tuesday at 7.30pm and also on Sundays half an hour before the service.
They also ring the bells on special occasions. Following their successful ringing of a quarter peal to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday on April 21st 2016, Steeple Aston Bell ringers and friends took on the much more arduous task of ringing a full peal for her official birthday on Sunday, 12th June 2016.
The ringers taking part, pictured here, were (l to r): Lawrence White (SA), Malcolm Hensher (SA), Michael Austin (Hook Norton), Daniel Austin (Hook Norton), Sally Austin (Hook Norton), Alan Griffin (Bloxham), Graham Clifton (conductor) (SA), Nicholas Powell (SA).
The Bellringers are a very sociable group and welcome visitors. They also have many social events through the year. Anyone over the age of 10 is welcome to join the group. The only proviso is that you must be able to climb the stairs.
There is no fee to pay but when you are able to handle a bell you may become a member of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers, for which an annual subscription is £9. If you are interested in joining, either give Graham a call to discuss ringing or just turn up on a practice night and have a try.
Steeple Aston Handbell Ringers
The main purpose of the Handbell Ringers is to play Christmas carols door-to-door round Steeple and Middle Aston in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. They choose a different charity to collect for every year.
They meet to practise on Sunday evenings at 7.30pm in a member’s house. Meetings start in September if they have been asked to entertain for a given function, but in late October if they are just practising carols.
The handbells are the property of the parish church and it is traditional that handbell ringers are church bell ringers as well. Anyone over the age of 10 is welcome to join the group. You don’t necessarily have to be able to read music as they play by numbers.
Membership is free. If you are interested in joining the Handbell Ringers, contact Sally or Graham.
Sally Cooper, Handbell Captain
Tel: 01869 347173
Steeple Aston Choral Society
Honorary Patron – Heather Cleobury
Steeple Aston Choral Society was founded over thirty years ago for local singers of all abilities. It is very fortunate to have Paul Badley, a professional solo and ensemble singer and teacher, as its Director, and Paul Herrington, a teacher, composer/arranger and LCM examination local representative, as its accompanist.
It is also honoured to have another local professional musician, Heather Cleobury, as its Honorary Patron.
Currently the Society has about thirty members who perform three concerts a year in either the Village Hall, or the Church.
The autumn and spring concerts are usually standard choral works, while the summer ‘party’ concert also features light music.
Concert rehearsals are on Mondays from 7.45-9.45pm in the Village Hall. Anyone who enjoys socialising and music making with others, is welcome. There are no auditions – just come along and join in.
For more information on concerts and membership go to www.facebook.com/steepleastonchoralsociety/
Ann Livings, Chair
Tel: 01869 233518
Margaret Bulleyment, Secretary
Tel: 01869 347346
SACS Concert Calendar 2020
Thanks to all of you who came to our Autumn A Vision of Angels Concert at the end of November. It was a wonderful start to the choral Advent/Christmas season.
This year we have a varied and exciting trio of performances lined up for you. There is something for everyone, so do join us.
Spring Concert Sunday 29 March – 7.00pm in Church
We are singing two exquisite Classical (from the end of the eighteenth century) works in this concert – Haydn’s, Nelson Mass and Mozart’s, Solemn Vespers. Both works weave the soloist and choir parts through each movement to create a rich and fascinating musical texture.
The original name of Haydn’s Mass was Missa in Angustiis – Mass for Troubled Times – as by 1798 Napoleon had won four major battles over the Austrians, in less than a year. However as the Mass had its first performance, news came of Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile and it was nicknamed the Nelson Mass. Two years later, Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton visited the Esterhazy Palace where Haydn was court composer and the title was set in stone.
Mozart’s Vespers (Mozart did not, understandably, call them ‘solemn’ – ‘glorious’ would be a better word) is the last work he wrote for Salzburg Cathedral, but it will sound just as fine in the smaller space of Steeple Aston Church, with our wonderful acoustics and organ.
Our four professional soloists are Angela Kazimierczuk, Frances Jellard, Peter Wilman and Christopher Foster, with Jon Kingston playing the organ.
Tickets are £10 in advance from any SACS member, or Margaret Bulleyment (347346) They will also be available from the Post Office from the middle of February. Tickets cost £12 on the door.
Summer Midsummer Medleys Party Concert Sunday 21 June – 6.30 for 7.00 pm in Village Hall
This will be a Midsummer party evening of songs from the shows – ABBA, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe etc. – with an audience sing-a-long. It will be table seating (8 to a table.) Tickets will be available in May.
Autumn Happy Birthday Beethoven Concert Sunday 22 November – 7.00pm in Church
In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday anniversary on 28 December, we have a very special autumn concert featuring our guest musician – Dr. Paul Whittaker OBE. He is a profoundly deaf pianist and organist who ‘signs’ music. (He signed Beethoven’s Choral Symphony with the Halle Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder at the Barbican Beethoven Weekend recently.)
The concert will include choir numbers (Hallelujah from The Mount of Olives; Creation Hymn etc.) organ and trumpet solos; tenor and soprano solos; a piano trio; a piano duet and an adaptation of the Pathetique sonata for Power of Voice Silent Moments.
The concert will end with our SACS accompanist, composer and friend of Paul Whittaker, Paul Herrington’s Gloria, written for choir, organ, trumpet, violin and cello. It was written especially for SACS and will be signed by Paul Whittaker.
If you have any deaf or partially hearing friends, do bring them along to this concert. Tickets will be available in October.