AN ANDOVER couple have scooped gold for their church music.

Wendy and Reg Wood, of Suffolk Road, were presented with the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) gold award by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, on Sunday, 22 June.

The presentation happened during the Salisbury Diocesan Choral Festival Group ceremony in Salisbury Cathedral.

The gold award is the highest accolade and follows the couple achieving bronze and silver over the past six years.

Wendy and Reg were loyal members of Andover St Mary’s church choir for more than 16 years until it disbanded in 2006.

Looking for an alternative, Wendy found a traditional Anglican church that was advertising for choristers in the Abbey Church of St Mary and St Melor, in Amesbury.

And they have worshipped and enjoyed singing there ever since under director of music, Alison Malcolm.

As part of the RSCM exam, candidates sing selections from the syllabus, including a psalm, an Anglican chant or plainsong, a prepared solo item, anthem and a liturgical setting, all under exam conditions.

It also includes tests in sight-reading, rehearsal and interpretation of three musical pieces.

The submissions were testimonials and comprised repertoire notes, preparation for the oral delivery of the candidate’s prayer and bible reading, and a written evening service, complete with music suitable for a specified Anglican Festal Day.