Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 11th October

Hello everyone, I hope you’ve had a great weekend. I’m looking forward to another fabulous rehearsal on Wednesday, thank you all for keeping the excellent momentum up.

What We Did – Wednesday 11th October

We started by learning most of the movement Angry Flames from the Armed Man. This is particularly hard movement for finding your notes, but we went through and worked out the best ways to do this, and practiced getting each chord in tune. Do listen to the individual parts of this movement when you practice at home – links to help this are below. After this we split into sectionals, with T/B going through the opening of movement 3 of the Bernstein with Ro, checking the notes were right. Be very careful with these unison bits, and do take the time to listen to it and learn it at home. S/A worked with me on the very opening of the work, making sure we were really happy with the rhythms, text and notes. Altos also went through the edited bars (24 & 26) where I’ve asked you to double the Tenors – you can see this in the marked score below.

After the break, T/B looked at the opening of the first movement of the Bernstein while I went through the S/A section at the start of the 2nd movement. Then Ro worked on the ending of the Armed Man (Letter K of Better Is Peace) with the Sops and Altos, and I worked on the inner part of movement 2 of the Bernstein with the Tenors and Basses. Some very good work, just please keep listening to it at home. We ended the rehearsal in tutti by going through the last movement of the Bernstein, and the last section of the Armed Man.

To catch up: If you missed this rehearsal, please look at the very start of the Bernstein, the last movement of the Bernstein, and the opening of the 2nd movement (S/A) and the rhythmic section of the 2nd movement (T/B). Please also look at Angry Flames from The Armed Man.

What We’ll Do – Wednesday 18th October

With exactly 1 month to go until the concert I’d like to run the Chichester Psalms, so please come prepared with that! We’ll start the rehearsal more gently with work on Letter K of Better is Peace, but will then do the Bernstein. After the break we’ll dive into detail on some of the bits of the Bernstein that need the work following our run-through, and will end with the Benedictus and Agnus Dei from The Armed Man.

Marked Scores

ALTOS – This is for you. I’d like to add you in to a couple of bars with the tenors, just to help out with the balance. We’re lucky to have strong tenors, but we’re still a little low on numbers so I’m hoping this will help out and support our tenor friends. Please make sure it’s all in your scores and that you’ve given it a little practice.

Learning Aids

As I try to do for each term, I’ve provided some learning aids for our programme this term. You can hear the full playlist on Spotify HERE.

As both the Bernstein and Jenkins are still in copyright, practice files are hard to come by free of charge. However, there are the ever-delightfully tinny Choralia links below:
Chichester Psalms
The Armed Man

I believe John Fletcher has rehearsal files for both works on his site, but those are both subscription-only.

We’ll be doing a lot of pronunciation work on the Chichester Psalms over the next couple of months as it’s in Hebrew. Please don’t let this scare you, it’s not too difficult. If you want to get ahead of the game, there are a few pronunciation guides on YouTube, including THIS.
There are even a few helpful recordings such as THIS, for the 3rd movement, where the parts are sung individually.


The poster is below for you to share, and do make sure you take physical copies and plaster them round the local area.

The link to the tickets is also live now, so do share that and encourage a huge audience for this one; it’s going to be so special! The link is HERE.

This Week’s listening

An interesting take on another setting of the text used in Charge from The Armed Man, this time by Handel in his Ode for St Cecilia’s Day. It’s certainly very different to the way Jenkins sets it, but the emphasis on rhythm and repetition is prominent in both examples, and has been pointed out to me that Jenkins may have even been inspired by this setting.
You can listen to it HERE.

I also wanted to share with you a short video of Bernstein, taken out of context, but showing a lighter more silly side of him. The man was a genius, and as well as his incredible understanding of music I hope you can all see playful side HERE.

See you all on Wednesday 18th!