Hymn Festival at the American Church, Paris
Organised jointly by the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland and RSCM France
The purpose of the Festival was to sing some favourite hymns and learn some new ones, having received background information about how the hymns and tunes came to be written. The Presenter was Revd James Dickinson from Chesterfield in the UK who is an authority on various aspects of English-language hymnody. The singing was led by a section of the RSCM France Singers under the direction of John Crothers and the organ accompaniment was provided by Malcolm Wisener in his usual inspiring way. We were welcomed most warmly by our hosts, the American Church, and their Director of Music, Fred Gramann.
However, great plans can be thwarted by circumstances beyond our control and that weekend Paris received the heaviest consistent rainfall for a long time, and the “Gilets Jaunes” protesters were out in force again, so all the metro stations and buses in the area were closed and cancelled. This reduced the number of attenders considerably, but those who arrived battled their way through the elements to enjoy an uplifting Festival – thank you all for your faithful support.
Thanks to all those who led, directed, accompanied, sang, hosted, and prepared refreshments. The success of the event can be seen in the comments received:
“James Dickinson chose a brilliant programme and gave an exceptionally interesting commentary on the hymns.”
“It was a special day and I loved every minute of it.”
“It was a very successful first effort, all things considered.”
“I thought it was a brilliant idea and would love to do it again, particularly if there are more familiar hymns.”