The Technical School's Hymns Recording Commission


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    To discuss the commission please contact the Webmaster.

    The school has had three hymns remembered as "The School Hymn".
    Click the hymn title for a description - or just play the tune from the web:

  • Jerusalem the Golden
    www.cyberhymnal.org has the tune at the School's tempo.

  • When through the whirl of wheels and engines humming
    www.cyberhymnal.org has the tune at the School's tempo.

  • These things shall be!
    MIDI files of the non-standard tune, at the School's slow tempo, of the plain melody and with the soaring treble descant.
    ...and here's an experimental "Symphonic Choirs" synthesised rendering of the first two verses' melody line as an MP3 file.


    School Hymn Re-recording Commission

    The project to commission a re-recording of the three hymns by a choir with the right boy-treble dominated sound is still alive. After five years of searching it is starting to feel like the task of Sisyphus.

    The latest strategy is to try to obtain just "raw" tracks for the parts of boy-trebles, descant-boy-trebles, possibly boy-altos, senior voices, a few "masters", and the piano accompaniment. These will require less time from a commissioned choir - as "time" appears to be the oft-repeated constraint. They will also have the advantage of being able to "sight sing" instead of our old choir's method of "learning by ear".

    Even modern "home" recording is probably superior to the results on the mono reel-to-reel tape-recorder used by the School in the early 1960's. These "raw" tracks will then be multiplied and mixed with older voice parts using a computer.

    To discuss the commission please contact the Webmaster.

    With hindsight it is amazing what Mr Light and Mr Capey achieved with the very limited choir practice time. The afternoon dress-rehearsal in the venue, while the rest of the School enjoyed a half-holiday, was well worth the sacrifice for the unforgettable experience of a successful evening's performance.

    Unfortunately boy treble dominated choirs have almost disappeared from everyday experience but the boy choir Libera is going from strength to strength. Listen to some of their choir en masse pieces - close your eyes and you are back in the Queen's, or Victoria, Hall on Prize Day - although the setting is often more like St John's, Hanley.

    Jerusalem the Golden
    Songs of Praise 198
    (First tune - Ewing)

    John Whitmore (who was at the Junior Technical School from 1940 to 1942) says "What I do remember most clearly is that we used to sing at Morning Assembly with great gusto.... Even Mr Thomas used to half stand as he pressed with all his might on the loud pedal."

    www.cyberhymnal.org has the tune at the School's tempo.

    The words to "Jerusalem the Golden"
    Note these are the only four verses sung at school.
         Jerusalem the golden, 
         with milk and honey blest,
         beneath thy contemplation
         sink heart and voice oppressed:
         I know not, oh, I know not,
         what joys await us there;
         what radiancy of glory,
         what bliss beyond compare!
    
         They stand, those halls of Zion,
         all jubilant with song,
         and bright with many an angel,
         and all the martyr throng:
         the Prince is ever in them,
         the daylight is serene;
         the pastures of the blessèd
         are decked in glorious sheen.
    
         There is the throne of David;
         and there, from care released,
         the shout of them that triumph,
         the song of them that feast;
         and they who with their Leader
         have conquered in the fight,
         for ever and for ever 
         are clad in robes of white.
    
         Oh, sweet and blessèd country,
         the home of God's elect!
         Oh, sweet and blessèd country,
         that eager hearts expect!
         Jesus, in mercy bring us 
         to that dear land of rest,
         who art, with God the Father,
         and the Spirit, ever blest. 
    
          Words: Bernard of Cluny, 1145;
          trans. John Mason Neale, 1851, 1859 
          Music: Ewing Meter: 76 76 D 
    


    When through the whirl of wheels and engines humming
    Songs of Praise 698
    (Lombard Street)

    This was the "informal" School hymn from some time in the 1950s.

    www.cyberhymnal.org has the tune at the School's tempo.
         When through the whirl of wheels, and engines humming,
         Patiently powerful for the sons of men,
         Peals like a trumpet promise of His coming,
         Who in the clouds is pledged to come again.
    
         When through the night the furnace fires aflaring,
         Shooting out tongues of flame like leaping blood,
         Speak to the heart of love, alive, and daring,
         Sing of the boundless energy of God.
    
         When in the depths the patient miner striving
         Feels in his arms the vigor of the Lord,
         Strikes for a kingdom and his King’s arriving,
         Holding his pick more splendid than the sword.
    
         When on the sweat of labor and its sorrow,
         Toiling in twilight flickering and dim,
         Flames out the sunshine of the great tomorrow,
         When all the world looks up because of Him.
    
         Then will He come with meekness for His glory,
         God in a workman’s jacket as before,
         Living again th’eternal Gospel story,
         Sweeping the shavings from His workshop floor.
    
    
         Words: Geoffrey A. Studdert-Kennedy 1883-1929
         Music: Lombard Street, Frederick G. Russell 1867-1929
    
    

    These things shall be!
    Songs of Praise 312
    (set to the music of "Winchester New" - Songs of Praise 137
    using the Geoffrey Shaw descant alternative setting)

    The choir's trebles used to show off by using the Geoffrey Shaw descant arrangement on the second, fourth and last verses.

    The tempo was relatively slow so the descant line's highs could be held for impressive periods. This was especially true in the final verse. Then the tempo of the last line, and particularly the last few words, slowed right down to build maximum volume into "...Wheen aaall theee earrrth iiiis paa-arra-diiiiise" ..and a clean-cut stop!

    At Prize Day - new boys' parents who were familar with the tune, but not these words, would be heard to start confidently - then falter with a strangulated gasp in the middle of the relentless third line. Mr Capey had to teach the school assembly how to take the sustaining breath "on the comma" in the second line - causing a perceptible off-beat start to the following word.

    Here are MIDI files, at the School's slow tempo, of the plain melody and with the soaring treble descant.

    ...and here's an experimental rendering of the first two verses as an MP3 file.

    The Songs Of Praise words are a derivation from the poem "A Vista"

         These things shall be! a loftier race 
         Than e'er the world hath known, shall rise 
         With flame of freedom in their souls, 
         And light of science in their eyes. 
    
         descant
         They shall be gentle, brave, and strong 
         To spill no drop of blood, but dare 
         All that may plant man's lordship firm 
         On earth and fire and sea and air.
    
         They shall be simple in their homes
         And splendid in their public ways,
         Filling the mansions of the state
         With music and with hymns of praise.
    
         descant
         Nation with nation, land with land, 
         Inarmed shall live as comrades free; 
         In every heart and brain shall throb 
         The pulse of one fraternity. 
    
         descant
         New arts shall bloom of loftier mould,
         And mightier music fill the skies; 
         And every life shall be a song 
         When all the earth is paradise. 
         
    
         Words: John Addington Symonds 1840-1893
    

    For general information:

    Go To STHS Memorabilia Home Page
    Go To STHS School Hymns' Memories Page

    To discuss the commission please contact the Webmaster.


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