Conductor’s Notes – 25.05.22

Not long to go now until our concert – it’s come around very quickly! We have just 2 Wednesday rehearsals left, as well as the Friday rehearsal, so I’m incredibly grateful for all of the work I know you’re all putting in at home. It’s going to be a fabulous concert.

Slightly longer post this week so thank you for reading it all!

What we did on 25.05.22

A great ‘warm up’ in Old Hundredth – yes, the notes are easy, but we managed to put in lots of musicality and meaning to the text; this is what will take it to the next level, so make sure we’re keeping confident with what we covered.
The majority of the rehearsal was on Stanford’s Te Deum. Not only did we correct notes and build confidence, but really started to put some expression into the music, and create some excellent colours and contrasts to the sections. A little reminder to watch the rhythms...
We finished with Rutter, and I can tell you all enjoyed singing the cheese. It’s just the smallest details to work on with this now, so keep up the good work, thank you!

What we will do on 01.06.22

Oh gosh... June already!
This week we’ll be welcoming back the wonderful Chris Brown, who’s depping for Rowena this week. We’ll be doing sectionals, as below:

19:30 – Tutti warm up.
19:40 – Tutti Blaenwern (Love Divine).
19:50 – Sectionals on Zadok the Priest. Tenors and Basses downstairs with Chris, Sopranos and Altos upstairs with me.
20:25 – Break.
20:35 – Sectionals on I Was Glad (same as before).
21:00 – Tutti run of Zadok, I Was Glad, and Te Deum.

Lots to cover this week, but I know we’ll do some brilliant work on this all.

Spotify Link

The Spotify playlist for the term is HERE. Keep listening as helps in learning and internalising the music for this term.

Marked Scores

Here’s the marked booklet for this term. I hope everyone has got the markings in by this point – we need to make sure breaths are in the right place from now on.

Concert Details

We firmed up the concert details the other day in the committee meeting, and I’m sure Eric will send these out in an email too.

Time and Location
The concert is at St Mary’s Church, Chipping Norton on Saturday 11th June, starting at 19:30.
– Friday 10th rehearsal is 19:30-21:30.
– Saturday 11th rehearsal is 15:00 – 18:30, though this will be very flexible as there’s a wedding in the church prior to the rehearsal, and we may finish sooner to give a bigger break for the picnic.

The audience will be invited to join us at 18:30 for a picnic outside the church before the concert, with refreshments being served then (and in the interval, of course).

All black, either a long-sleeved shirt, dress or blouse, skirt or trousers (i.e. usual concert dress), but with a splash of colour.
Or: DJs – White shirt, dinner jacket and black trousers, also with a splash of colour (coloured cummerbund and bow-tie).

Any questions, please do get in touch.

Concert Publicity

The poster is below, so share it far and wide!

Also, here is a photo from Eric of the banner outside of St Mary’s, advertising the concert.
As well as this, Charlotte is doing an excellent job on the Facebook page, and has even created an event for our concert, which you can access HERE.
I’m so grateful for all the work our team does towards advertising our concerts, but it also takes all of you – selling tickets to friends, loved ones, and even strangers on the street – to pack the venues. Let’s all push to sell as many tickets as we can!

This Week’s Listening

As I was driving back through the countryside on Wednesday, I noticed how clear the sky was, so stopped to admire the stars. Immediately, I was reminded of a piece I sang at University by Ēriks Ešenvalds called Stars. Written in 2011 for Salt Lake Vocal Artists/Salt Lake Choral Artists, the words are written by Sara Teasdale. Tuned wine glasses are a constant presence in the piece, a glistening accompaniment to the glowing simplicity of this vision of ‘beating hearts of fire’ seen overhead on a still, dark night. The wondrousness of a ‘heaven full of stars’ is evoked by a radiant chorale before a repeated oscillation of a pair of chords, adding to the magic, recedes into silence. Listen HERE.

Tara’s Fundraising

As you’ll hopefully know, one of our lovely altos, Tara, is raising money for Cancer Research. In her own words:
“This June, before the end of the month, I will complete 300 miles on my bike for Cancer Research UK. 10 miles per day, every day in June. I will be pedalling harder than ever because I want to raise money for life-saving research and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
Every penny makes a huge difference to vital cancer research so please show your support with a donation to my page.
Thank you so much for your generous support.”

You can support Tara HERE.

Thanks for reading, see you all on Wednesday!
– Ben