What We Did On 22.01.20

Great rehearsal everyone, thank you. We covered Cume Sancto pages 94-105. BASSES please shorten the ‘-men’ in bars 2 & 4 on page 103 (to match bar 6). SOPRANOS be careful bottom page 94 – you sing below the altos! We also pretty much learnt the Sanctus (p 180) – a lovely rich melody, bringing to mind a romantic Gondolier! 

The Nail Parlour was opened to explore Time Signatures and introduced the American system for naming note lengths – very sensibly Whole (Semibreve), Half (Minim), Quarter (Crotchet), Eighth (Quaver) and Sixteenth (Semiquaver). 

Next week’s Parlour session: Pencils – What’s the point? – considering effective ways of marking your scores. Um….please bring one!

What we will do on 29.01.20

Kyrie; Credo (p106); Sanctus recap (p180)

Continue Reading What We Did On 22.01.20

What We Will Do On 22.01.20

Cum sancto pages 94-105

Sanctus pages 180-184 (What does ‘tutti’ mean?)

Possible recap of Kyrie and opening of Cum sancto

Re: Peter’s ‘nail’ parlour There is a small correction to make from last week about ‘-issimo’. Well done if you spotted my mistake!

This week: A brief History of Time (signatures)

Continue Reading What We Will Do On 22.01.20

Happy New Year!

Welcome back and thank you all for a splendid Christmas concert, crowning a very ambitious and exciting year for the choir.

A warm welcome to new members who joined this week, I hope you enjoy singing with us. Please talk to me if you have any challenges or concerns, we’d like to you to be happy and confident!

Rehearsals for making the music happen and preparing a performance. The more everyone can do independently to learn their notes the better, so please do what you can. The following are helpful:

* Listen to a recording and follow with your score. This will help the ‘bigger picture’ when you rehearse.

Choraline is the clearest – each voice is represented by a different instrument and the rehearsal figures and entries are indicated by voice:


Cyberbass is also good, with the advantage of being able to alter the speed of the music – handy for the fast movements! It is also FREE. However, the sound is all electronic and the individual parts are not quite so clear – your call!


*** If you are able to play or sing your own part – do it, lots!

 Kyrie and Christe pages 2 – 18

Good practice and self help: Bring a pencil to rehearsals – we will examine signs/symbols that are useful for reminding you about musical expectations as you are singing – many are not ever printed in the score. We will also cover some basic music theory on our travels…..

Kyrie pages 2-18

Cum sancto pages 77-90

Cum sancto pages 77-90

Continue Reading Happy New Year!

Thus Spoke 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

Continue Reading Thus Spoke the Choir!

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)

Continue Reading Welcome Back to the Feast!


Summer term rehearsals [Belshazzar’s Feast]                                         Wednesdays 1, 8, 15, 22 May                                                                                   (No reh on May 29)                                                                                                      5, 12, 19, 26 June

Autumn term [Belshazzar’s Feast & Christmas programme]                      Start: Wednesday 4 September                                                                  Saturday 5 October – Belshazzar Day Workshop – Robert Dean                                  (YES reh on Oct 30 – half term)                                                                    Belshazzar concert Sunday November 3 – Cheltenham Town Hall (Transport arrs to be advised)                                                                 Wednesday 6 November – Rehearsals continue [Christmas programme] Christmas concert Saturday 21 December – St Mary’s Church

Continue Reading DATES LIST TO DECEMBER 2019

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