Page 25 - Church Music Quarterly June 2019
P. 25

St Oswald’s Church and RSCM Cape Town were privileged at the end of last year to welcome conductor, musician and musical entrepreneur, Richard Cock, to St Oswald’s for a benefit concert called ‘12 Days till Christmas with Richard Cock’. The purpose of the concert was to promote awareness of the RSCM locally and to raise funds for its work in the neglected area of musical education in our churches.
A highly entertaining evening was presented with readings, light-hearted anecdotes and fun interspersed with musical interludes which were sung by Siyabonga and accompanied on
the piano by Richard.
The audience were not left out.
They participated enthusiastically
in the programme by joining in and heartily singing favourite Christmas carols. We were also privileged to have Colleen Hart (ARSCM) and Cedric Williams (St Oswald’s organist) assist with accompaniment on the organ.
In a wonderful coincidence Richard unwittingly chose to read from the writings of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and found that he was reading to the man himself, who graced us with his presence at the concert that evening. There were Christmas mince pies and wine afterwards, where audience and performers mingled and continued the evening with the spirit of good Christmas cheer begun earlier. Deirdre Russell
 Over the past two decades it has become increasingly evident that
the Anglican Church of South Africa needs a supplementary hymn book that includes a rich variety of local languages and musical styles. A South African Multilingual Hymn Collection, edited and compiled by Andrew-John Bethke, is a response to this need.
An important aspect of this collection is a number of newly composed hymns that embody contemporary theological understandings of rites such as baptism and confirmation. For example, confirmation is no longer seen as the completion of baptism, allowing candidates admission to the Eucharistic table, but rather
as a commissioning to Christian discipleship. Thus, baptism becomes the principal entrance rite to the Christian community, allowing full access to Eucharistic fellowship.
By and large, the newly composed hymns are written in modern English and are often sensitive to issues of gender equality and the gender of God. Naturally, this is a gradual process, and in time newer ideas of equality
will reflect in more modern hymns. What will be of interest is a new hymn about the feminine qualities of God. It sits among a great many hymns which reference God in masculine terms.
Significantly, a number of hymns have been written to address specific Southern African situations. Take, for example, hymn 35, which is a response to the xenophobic attacks that rocked South Africa in 2008 and 2015.
The collection includes a selection of local choruses for liturgical use. Many parishes use choruses already. In this collection they have been ordered according to the church seasons along with the other hymns and songs.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) covers several countries, all with languages and traditions of their own. This has been reflected through the inclusion of songs and hymns from all the countries that comprise ACSA. While a collection like this only offers a small sampling of the rich heritage we have at present, there is no reason why future editions cannot include more and more local texts and music. Andrew-John Bethke
RSCM New South Wales is hosting a national winter school called SydneyinSpires 2019. Information about this is available at id=3385. The dates are 6–14 July. Registration is done by members independently of the local Branch, but it would be helpful if you could let us know that you plan
to go by emailing Ken Taylor at

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