What we’ll do on 20.11.19

Great to see everyone again this week and welcome to three new members!

Last week we worked on the two ‘modern’ carol settings – Bleak Midwinter and Joy to the world. Recordings of these can be found at http://www.oup.com/popvwchristmas

They are in a new collection called Popular Voiceworks at Christmas, published by OUP this year. You might enjoy listening to some of the other pieces while you are on site!

I am away next week, so the rehearsal will be taken by Terry McNamara from Witney. He has helped us out before – please give him a huge CNCS welcome.

Terry will start work on On Christmas Night by Bob Chilcott, hopefully singing through all of it (that’ll be you!) and picking apart some moments as required. Nick will forward a link to rehearsal tracks so you can do some homework – thank you.

What we will do on 27.11.19

It is the AGM this week. We will rehearse as normal until the break then stop for the AGM.

MUSIC: On Christmas Night – Highlights. Bleak Midwinter and Joy to the world (pop) to keep them ticking over and Ring the bells. Sopranos and Altos will also sing through When the sun’s reborn.

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Thus spake the choir!

Congratulations everyone for a brilliant performance of Belshazzar’s Feast in Cheltenham last Sunday and thank you ALL for believing in this project and working SO hard to make it happen. You can be very proud of this achievement – one of the toughest pieces in the choral repertoire, rarely attempted by amateur community choirs. You have my full admiration.

We can now relax a little as we prepare for the Christmas programme on December 21st. Thank you Chris for taking this week’s rehearsal and on your debut as accompanist and assistant conductor! Welcome aboard, now with your own cabin,


From the booklet: Ring the bells, Holly and the Ivy (folk version), Bleak midwinter & Joy to the world

On Christmas Night – Chilcott score – various movements

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Welcome back to the feast!

It’s September already and we resume our hard work on Belshazzar’s Feast next Wednesday 4th. A warm welcome back to everyone and anyone joining us new this term. We have NINE rehearsals before the concert in November plus the exciting Singing Workshop with Robert Dean on October 5.

Each week we will tackle a new section, consolidate recent work, and as time allows, sing through something from last term to stir the memory!

Score page numbers – Please remember that we are using two OUP editions – the new edition (2007) is the larger of the two. All PAGE REFERENCES are indicated with the large score nos first, with the small score numbers in brackets.

HERE ARE THE SECTIONS REHEARSED THOROUGHLY IN MAY & JUNE:  Pages 11-18 (12-19), Pages 19-31 (20-31), Pages 42-55 (40-53), Pages 76-83 (70-79), Pages 103-107 (98-102)  48 pages (out of a total 121!!)


Recap In Babylon Pages 25-31 (small score pages 26-31), then look at Babylon city Pages 58-65 (small score pages 55-61). Note that the music is almost exactly the same, differing only towards the end.

Sing aloud, starting page 76 (small score page 70) and focusing on new material from page 79 (74) to page 83 (79). Finally, the short section pages 87/88 (83/85). We will attempt to join all of this up, including the 2-choir section pages 83 to 86 (79-82)!


By the waters of Babylon Pages 3 to 6 (both scores) then pages 7 to 10 (6-11).

Sing aloud Pages 120 to end (111 to end)

Recap Daughters of Babylon Pages 19-24 (20-25)


We will start with SECTIONALS: Tenors & Basses will tackle the opening Pages 1/2 which, although short, must be very dramatic! In the concert these pages must be sung from memory please, which will add to the drama and impact. Sopranos & Altos will look at While the kings Pages 89 to 97 (85-92)

Together we will then look at a 2-choir section on pages 32 to 38 (31-38)

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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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