Reproduced here by kind permission of the Windsor Express, this report
appeared in the week ending MAY 14, 2006 edition of the paper.
Words by Francis Batt, assistant editor, pictures by Neil Sainsbury.

Above and below, Oliver Gooch takes the Pepys Consort singers and Pepys Ensemble, featuring the long necked period lute, through a rehearsal of Bach's St John Passion.

The Pepys Consort Singers

St Michael's Church Choir


A packed church full of people watched their past and present choirmasters working together, to bring to life one of Bach's most beautiful works on Sunday.

The performance of Bach's St John Passion was held in St. Michael's Church, Bray on MAY 9, 2006

It was conducted by the church's current choirmaster Oliver Gooch, while his predecessor Mark Wilde sang the part of the Evangelist.

Church member Veronica Robinson said: "Oliver is a rehearsal conductor at the Royal Opera House and is building quite a career for himself. We were delighted to welcome Mark Wilde back to the village, he is making quite a mark on the world of opera. I did not see a single spare seat at Sunday's concert. There must have been 200 people there."

It is small wonder that St. Michael's has built a reputation for the quality of its traditional church music.

The choir was accompanied on Sunday by the Pepys Consort singers and the Pepys Ensemble, friends and colleagues of Mr. Gooch - the Ensemble playing on genuine period instruments.

Sunday's concert was a special event. But the church hosts monthly recitals which are free and provde exposure for young up and coming musicians.

Francis Batt
Copyright ©2006 Windsor Express.

J S Bach