Good Friday Music – The Hub

Regular contributor Baron Armah-Kwatreng lets us in on some delightful Easter tunes! Original article featured on thehubcast.co.uk

Three Recordings for Easter

Image: Salvador Dalí, Christ of Saint John of the Cross, c. 1951

Oil on canvas 204 x 115.9cm. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

/ Credit: © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Easter is arguably the most important occasion in the Christian calendar as Christians everywhere celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Hub marks this most important occasion with three recordings that in their different ways reflect the spirit of Easter.

Duo Scott and Vince return with another selection of five seasonal songs. Charles A Holme reads his reflective poem and the folk choir from St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Epsom provides its own offering in song.

Scott and Vince’s Easter Special

Picture: Scott Swift and Vince Yearly singing in harmony / Credit: The Hub

Epsom Catenian Circle‘s answer to Simon & Garfunkel – Scott & Vince – return after their successful Christmas Special with a selection of five songs at Easter time.

The songs reflect the duo’s differing tastes with Scott drawing on perennial favourite Stevie Wonder with Lately from the iconic 1980 album Hotter than July . Vince adds a floor-filler from his wedding band days, Van “the Man” Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl from 1967 album Blowin’ Your Mind!. Among three other songs.

The songs were recorded in the Epsom Hospital Radio studio and were then edited to intersperse a Zoom interview with the duo on the inspiration behind each song choice. The interview concluded with a Q&A on what Easter means to each man.

You can listen to the interview and to the songs by clicking on the link below.

Christ of St John of the Cross: A Reflection

by Charles A Holme

Lifted high above an idyllic country view,

A lake, mountains, an empty fishing boat,

Against a menacing black sky. One man crucified.

Viewed from close overhead. A notice on the cross.

He is a carpenter who loved wood. Knew its grain

And strength. Chose it, shaped it, smoothed it

For village life. Seen here, ironically, hanging

From the rough beam of Roman justice

Below a notice.

No crowds passing by busy with their daily lives,

No jeering religious leaders, cowering disciples,

Distraught mother, gambling soldiers or penitent thief.

Alone. Raised against the engulfing black of this world

Below a notice.

Lit to show his Healing Hands, fractured, bleeding, torn,

By hand crafted, hand piercing, second-hand nails.

Shoulder muscles weakening, each shallow precious breath

Sighing blessings, forgiveness, love for Mary, a psalm

Below a notice.

That notice. Is it his name and crime?

A curse or a blessing? About victory or defeat?

Or, like on a parcel, delivery instructions

Sending him to some distant realm to be forgotten?

Or as an unwelcome, uninvited gift,

A ‘return to sender’ address?

It is all of these at the same time.

By his water and blood on that cross

Past and present linked for ever to my future.

Headley-based poet Charles A Holme offers a reflection on Salvador Dali’s arresting painting Christ of St John of the Cross. Piers Townley, a senior PR & Media Officer at The Brain Tumour Charity responded to this post, saying: “I’ve seen that St John of the Cross in real life in Glasgow. It’s an incredibly powerful piece of art up close. It’s huge and really intimidating. In a good way.”

Travel consultant and cricket fan Paul Movel, an interviewee in The Hub’s Test Match Special blog, agrees. “I am not into art, but when in Glasgow I went to see that ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ picture. It’s quite impressive.” You can find out about the painting by listening to a Royal Academy of Art podcast of Dr Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh presenting on “A closer look at Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of St John of the Cross'”.

You can listen to Charles A Holme reading his poem by clicking on the link below. Charles is a lay preacher and worshipper at St Mary the Virgin Church of England church in Headley, Surrey.

St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Epsom – Folk Choir

Picture: The St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Epsom Folk Choir in full voice

/ Credit: The Hub

On Palm Sunday The Hub was privileged to be given a private concert by the folk choir at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Epsom.

Choir leader Emma Swan invited The Hub to the group’s rehearsal session before the Palm Sunday service. The choir – from left: Kathy Maskens, Emma Swan, Emma Smith, father and son Vince and Scott White – sang five hymns. Jonathan, the drummer, is in the background.

Kathy Maskens is a regular feature of this site and is the inspiration behind The Hub’s Friday 2-4pm show on Epsom Hospital Radio. The A Team is a patients and staff requests show for the Alexandra Frailty unit where Kathy is the Community Matron. Kathy and Emma Swan share the distinction of performing in the lead role in the musical Godspell.

The first hymn sung by the group, Prepare Ye The Way of The Lord, is from Godspell. After the service, Emma Swan talked to The Hub about the choir’s choice of hymns. You can listen to the conversation with Emma and hear the hymns by clicking on the link below.

After listening to the interview, singer and guitar player Emma White added: The folk group has been going for nearly 40 years! I was born in 1978 and have been in the parish all this time. The group was going since I can remember in the 80s! I have been involved with it since the late 80s, early 90s with a few breaks here and there. How scary is that?!!

Read more from Baron for Epsom & Ewell Times here!