Conductor’s Notes – End of term

Hello all, I’m writing this in advance of our rehearsal this evening to give you an update and a reminder in case you have time to read this, but it’s still all relevant after the rehearsal, so no rush to get through it!

What We’ve Been Doing

  • We’ve now looked at all of the Todd and the Shearing, learning the structure of the pieces, and some fine details.
  • We’ve already put some good work into understanding the rhythms and text, and some of the harmonies, as well as learning the melodic lines.
  • We’ve seen how a lot of the music in the Todd comes back from previous sections, helping us understand the music and making it slightly less intimidating to learn.

To catch up: If you’ve missed the rehearsals up to this point, please give the Shearing Songs and Sonnets and the Todd Mass In Blue a listen.

What We’ll Do – Wednesday 13th December

This is the last week of rehearsals before we break for Christmas. In this rehearsal we’ll cover the first two movements of the Todd and of the Shearing, refreshing what we did in those opening weeks and continuing our learning of the opening of the works.

Marked Scores & Learning Guides

As expected, this is a busy time at the moment, so I haven’t finished the marked score yet, but it will be available before Christmas. Thank you for your patience.

You can hear the pieces here:

There are a couple of places that offer learning guides for these songs. The ones I’ve found are:


Todd – OUP
Todd – Choralia

Christmas Come-and-Sing

Please do come to our Christmas Come-and-Sing this Sunday (17th December) at the Town Hall! It’ll be a lovely occasion, and great to sing some familiar favourites alongside some interesting new works. Keep sharing it among family and friends! You can get tickets HERE.

Future Events

This weekend is a good one... you can see the Cherwell Choral Society sing on Saturday 16th, getting you in the mood for our Come-and-Sing the following day!
Then, next week, Jane in the tenors has asked me to share the carols singalong at the Chequers from 8pm on Thursday 21st. They’ll supply word sheets, so all you have to do is turn up. It can get quite busy so it’s worth getting there a bit early. The Chequers will also be doing their raffle that evening. Not one to miss!

This Week’s Listening

This week’s listening is actually a documentary on Bernstein that the BBC broadcast the other day. In fact, it was an entire evening of Bernstein! We went to see the new biopic Maestro the other week, and it was fantastic – we both cried for the last 30 minutes or so... Bernstein fever is still alive! Check out the BBC stuff HERE.

Thanks all, see you later!