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


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.


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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?!



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