Michael was our music director and chairman for far more years than most us us can remember and sadly he passed away last month. Choir members were well represented at his funeral service this week at a packed St Leonard's, Shoreditch, a church where he was organist and lay reader for many years. We heard about his early life in Chipping Camden, his love of steam locomotives and music, his deep faith, and his studies at Trinity Music College in London. In retrospect it was no surprise to learn that he left college with a music degree to become a bus driver with LT, progressing (if that is the word) to a desk job and teaching and leading musicians at all levels. It was reckoned that he had conducted 'our' service at St Martin-in-the-Fields more than twenty times and we all felt part of his musical family.
We also heard about his family life and long-term friendships and sang some rousing hymns including The Lord is My Shepherd (Crimond) where suddenly some LTC sopranos and friends burst into a tuneful and exuberant descant.
I first met Michael in the rehearsals for the service at St Martin's in 2004 and according to my notes. last sang under his direction in October 2010 at St Nicholas, Poplar, when, I remember, we sang Bruckner's wonderful motet Locus Iste. His obvious musicality and strong faith was always accompanied by a kindness and patience which was such a help for those of us learning our parts and working together to sing as a choir.
Our forthcoming Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Wednesday 12 December, for which we are already rehearsing, will be dedicated to his memory. We will miss Michael but remember all the kindness and support he gave us.
It has been a great few weeks for the choir. The “European Choirs in Concert” event at St Johns Wood carried on the Paris-London-Brussels tradition, which is now in its fifth year.
I thought you might like to see messages I’ve had from the other chairs- see below.
We’ve now started preparing for Christmas and I’d like to welcome our interim Musical Director, Merel van der Knoop. Rehearsals got off to a good start last week.
Please do make every effort to attend the AGM which will be on Tuesday 27 November, 6pm at 55 Broadway. It’s for all, not just committee members, and is incredibly important as it sets the scene for everything we hope to next year. No meetings - no choir!!!
Lastly, I write in the week of the funeral service for Michael Keyte – longtime leader of choral music in London Transport and elsewhere. Many members are attending, which is very fitting given that our current organisation and tradition owes an immense amount to Michael. RIP.
Have a great week!
Dear Sylvie and Cedric
It was a great pleasure to welcome you and your colleagues in London. We very much enjoyed every moment!
Don't hesitate to be in touch about future events your choirs are involved in.
To the next time!
It was also a great pleasure to sing with you in London !Thank you for your heartwarming welcome !
We are looking forward to restart.
AkoeSTIB would like to thank you for the wonderful weekend we spent in London. Your team was a great help and a constant support, and Nina’s organization ran very smoothly.
It was interesting to sneak a peek at the TFL headquarters with their London view, and Saint-John’s was a great venue to host our concert. And of course, we really enjoyed of the post-concert piano and singing session during which we had a lot of fun.
NavigaVoce was a welcome addition to our adventure. They are quite the dynamic group and we’ll be happy to sing with them again at any coming event. I’ll second Nina in expressing our disappointment that Do Bel Canto couldn’t make it, although we hope to cross paths with them soon (next year in Paris?)
Once again, heartfelt thanks from all our choir members. We made a lot of good memories.
Have a nice day !
It was a pleasure to meet you at the recent concert in London. We greatly enjoyed our first event with NavigaVoce and hope that there will be many others. ... Thank you also for the gifts. I have been studying with interest the map of IdFM projects for the Greater Paris area.
Chair, London’s Transport Choir.
... It was a pleasure to meet you too and share this wonderful moment with you. I look forward our next meeting and I hope we can make it in Paris next year. Anyway we will stay in touch with Nina and Lénaïc for further exchanges.
Meantime there is the link for the soundtrack of our concert.