Author Archives: Peter Hunt

What we did on 13.02.19

We covered the following:

  • Sanctus
  • Credo – more good work on this
  • Sectionals – T/B Finale,  S/A Et in spiritum
  • Sang through Dona nobis pacem with the chamber choir!

What we will do on 27.02.19:

  • Sanctus
  • Kyrie
  • Gloria – first look at this. There are a few note changes to make it a bit easier to sing!
  • Lord’s Prayer and Dona nobis

NOTICES:

  • North Cotswold Chamber Choir concert on 2nd March in Deddington Church. A lovely programme of English and Italian Renaissance music with lute and organ accompaniment
  • Music Festival – Concert by Oxybaroxy in the Town Hall on 10th March, featuring concertos and Vivaldi Gloria
  • Festival Folk Night – Chequers Pub on Thursday 21st March. Come and listen and/or join in!

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What we did on 06.02.19

Excellent rehearsal again, thank you. We sorted out the detail in Dona nobis pacem in sectionals and it’s now really coming together well. The CHAMBER CHOIR AUDITIONS were not necessary as there weren’t enough volunteers so I am inviting some singers to form a small group.

The S & A started work on Et in spiritum sanctum and the T & B looked at The Lord’s Prayer and Sanctus from AS.

What we will do on 13.02.19

Opening Sanctus movement

Sectionals: S & A continue Et in spiritum; T & B the Finale from AS

Credo – more work on putting together plus the opening

Dona nobis pacem and Lord’s Prayer sing through

REMINDER that there is no rehearsal on 20.02 as it’s half term. The two big movements to get on with from 27.02 are CREDO and CRUCIFIXUS

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What we did on 30.01.19

Warming up – Sansa kroma, a children’s song from Ghana Sansa the hawk, you are an orphan and you capture the little chicks. This is a mmoguo song, an interlude related to a longer story. In nature, an orphaned bird or animal must fend for itself. For a hawk, survival includes wandering across the sky looking for smaller birds. Akan children singing this song (Akan is spoken by 80% of Ghana) are reminded that if they were orphaned they would not have to provide for their own needs because they would be taken in by relatives or another family.

The Lord’s Prayer – we worked on the middle section and got the rhythms pretty tight. The singing plan is this:

  • Start – Sopranos sing the tune, altos join as written
  • Tutti (everyone!) middle section p75
  • Return of tune (p77) sops and tenors, basses join the altos from the last note of p77
  • Basses switch back to your own line at the bottom of p78
  • Tenors rejoin your own part on p79
  • We will sing the repeated bars 6 times

Credo – Excellent work on this, starting on p35 (‘Good King Wenceslas’!). We made it to the end then returned to p31, which is the Wenceslas tune, so we pretty much covered the whole movement apart from p29

Sanctus – from p5 to the end

Dona nobis pacem – Revised the main tune on p6 then ran pages 7-9. Please note where parts divide:

  • Sops p8 bar2 and p9 bar 2 (‘pacem’) – S2 sing the lowest note, S1 with birthdays in January to June sing the middle and the rest of S1 sing the top note
  • Altos p8 bar 3 – A1 sing the top note and A2 split – A1 Jan to June lowest note, July to December middle note
  • Altos p9 bar 3 – This is not the same as page 8! Please remove the top ‘e’ completely and divide 1 & 2 as normal for the remaining notes

What we will do on 05.02.19

Auditions for the ‘chamber choir’ for Dona nobis pacem will take place this week. We need 12 singers (6 each S & A). Note that on page 7 fig E only the sops will sing these 6 bars!

7.30  Warm up with Sansa kroma

7.40  Sectionals for DNP

8.10  Stay in sections: S/A Et in spiritum sanctum (p39), T/B Opening Sanctus and Lord’s Prayer

8.40  Break

8.50  Auditions in H1. Everyone else Credo (from p31)

9.20  Sing through DNP

 

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What we did on 23.01.19

Thank you everyone for taking the trouble to come in concert dress, capturing some formal pic was a necessary addition to the archive.

We had a good workout of the Sanctus movement, particularly from pages 5-8. We are discovering that the way the Latin text is set is quite a challenge. Fanshawe’s intention here is to fuse it with the guttural and rhythmic sounds of the Bwala dance, so to bring them together he repeats syllables, making them ‘vocalisations’ rather than parts of a word. They just need conviction and energy!

BASSES PLEASE NOTE: Page 1, bar 10 (‘Sabaoth Ple-…’) should match page 3, bar 12. First basses need to add 5 Cs so they can divide here.

2ND TENORS therefore please join the firsts at this point (Page 1, bar 10 – ‘Sabaoth Ple-…’)

We sang through the Kyrie and it was pretty good, well done.

We looked at the new Dona nobis pacem and put a lot of it together – good sight reading. There are some decisions to be made about the occasional divisi in sops and altos – for next week. The word underlay is a little confusing in places and just needs practice.

Selected voices – We need a group of about 12 mixed sops and altos for this, to sing the ‘Children’s Choir’ line. Anyone interested should be prepared to stay for a short audition on Feb 6 (we will end the rehearsal at 9.15). With fewer singers everyone must be confident they can hold the line and be prepared to do some extra work on learning it.

What we will do on 30.01.19

Lord’s Prayer, Credo (p35 to end), Sanctus opening and Sing through Dona nobis pacem

 

 

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What we did on 16.01.19

Great rehearsal, thank you everyone. We did a lot of detailed work on the Kyrie. The important thing about this movement is to make it sound like a 16th Latin motet – sustained, well phrased, good consistent vowel sounds etc, to contrast with the Islamic Call to Prayer.

We also started the Sanctus and worked hard on the rhythms, getting to grips with the unusual way DF has set the Latin text here e.g. Gloria in ex-ce-eh-eh-el-sis!

What we will do on 23.01.19

** REMEMBER TO WEAR CONCERT DRESS PLEAS FOR A PHOTO SESSION!!!**

Continue with the Sanctus, start the Credo and revisit the Lord’s Prayer.

Copies of Dona nobis pacem should be available at a cost of £2, and we will look through this too.

Many thanks.

Peter

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09.01.10 Welcome back & Happy New Year!

Good to see and hear you all again and a very warm welcome to new members; I hope you enjoy the journey with us, great to have you on board.

After the triumph of the Christmas concert, which was very special and truly spectacular, we now have a very different and exciting term ahead. Key things:

  • The programme for the term is an African journey built around the amazing African Sanctus by David Fanshawe, composer and explorer. The concert will also feature a collection of African songs and short pieces plus the addition of his short Dona nobis pacem. We will be accompanied by piano, guitars, timpani, percussion, drums and hopefully some African percussion too!
  • Concert date: Saturday 6 April in Sts Peter & Paul Church, Deddington
  • Other performances: As usual we will perform in the Chipping Norton Music Festival Choral Class on Saturday 9 March in the afternoon and will sing the Lord’s Prayer (from Sanctus) and something else from our concert programme

What we did last week:

This was a great start to the term, thank you. We sang Hey ungua (African welcome song) and started on the Lord’s Prayer and Kyrie from the AS. We soon discovered that we are required to sing in our normal choral style – pure tone, matching vowels and sustained sound – and also in a more relaxed and direct way – letting go of the notes and sustaining the ‘n’ and ‘m’ consonants when required! We all have a bit of ‘unlearning’ to do about the way we sing and it’s going to be fun!

What we will do on 16.01.19

The opening Sanctus; more detail in the Kyrie, and another African song surprise. We will also explore the rhythms of the Credo (p29+)

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Warming up and voice training

Work your way through this short video to develop your technique and sound….

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Parking advice for St Mary’s Banbury

These instructions were sent to the orchestra for Saturday 15th parking:

Assuming that you are coming to Banbury from the Chipping Norton direction – you will be entering Banbury via the A361. This is also called the Bloxham Road. This leads straight into Banbury, until eventually it reaches a T-junction controlled by traffic lights, where you should turn LEFT (continuing on the A361, now called South Bar Street). The church is across the roundabout at Banbury Cross, on the right. Post code OX16 0AA on SatNav is close to the venue. For parking, continue past the church and turn right – see ‘Long term parking’ below.

Long-term parking: Having turned at the major traffic lights you are in Castle Street and there are 3 options:

* Shortly on the right is the site of the multi-storey car park, now reduced to ground level only

* Continue straight on to a new multi-storey (Castleside) – enter at the mini roundabout

* Turn left at this mini roundabout into Cherwell Street, follow the road round to the next roundabout and turn right

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African Sanctus video posted on 07.11.18

This term – We are preparing the African Sanctus by David Fanshawe. This is an interesting, rather quirky but seminal piece of 20th cent choral music, an early attempt at ‘fusion’ – mixing extracts of recorded music from Africa with composed ‘western choral style’. It predates the explosion of ‘Roots music’ – the shared interest and familiarity with indigenous world music and ‘crossover’ styles which mix it together. Below are links to a rather wooden performance from Poland which clearly shows what the set up is and how the choir sings with the recordings and the 1975 BBC documentary about the making of the piece – the quality is very poor but it gives some insight to David Fanshawe’s mission. There are a few decent CDs of the piece too.

African Sanctus links

Whole performance – Music starts at 7′ 30″!:

BBC 1975 Omnibus TV documentary. dreadful quality (bootleg recording probably) but shows how Fanshawe collected his material and inspiration. If you get as far as his comments about English traditional music (i.e. we’re losing it and no one knows any) – is he right?!

Enjoy!

Peter

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