Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 6th March

Good evening friends, I hope you’re all well and had a lovely weekend if I didn’t see you. Lots of good things from the rehearsal, feedback from our excellent performance on Saturday, and a load of forthcoming events... do read on...

What We Did – Wednesday 6th March

  • We started with some tutti ‘spot-checks’ of the Benedictus in advance of the Festival. This mainly consisted of the groupings of voices which sing together from figure 76 to the end, especially the Alto line at the top of page 67. We also ensured the confidence with some of the key changes.
  • Following this we did some work on the blend of sound in Who is Sylvia by mixing up in pairs to hear other parts. Well done with this exercise.
  • Then we split into sectionals to go through the Gloria from page 24 to the end. Very important to ensure notes and rhythms are secure at this stage.
  • After the break we worked in sectionals on the Agnus Dei, trying to get the independent musical lines to feel more secure and confident.
  • We put together the end of the Gloria in tutti, which was a lot more secure.
  • Finally, the smaller choir of singers for the Festival came together to prepare for the Festival performance.

To catch up: If you missed this rehearsal, please sing ensure the Benedictus and Who is Sylvia are completely secure, and then go through your parts for the Gloria and Agnus Dei.

What We’ll Do – Wednesday 13th March

Goodness, less than 2 weeks until the concert – we’re in a really good place with the pieces, it’s just the final details now!

  • We’ll start with one moment in the Benedictus that didn’t quite work on Saturday.
  • Then we’ll sing movements 1, 2, 3 of the Songs and Sonnets.
  • After this we’ll split into sectionals to refresh the Agnus Dei opening and ending.
  • We’ll work on the Gloria ending in T/B sectionals, and the Kyrie in S/A sectionals. T/B will be with me, S/A will be with Rowena.
  • We’ll come together to go through the Agnus and Gloria at the end.

Chipping Norton Music Festival Feedback

Very well done for our performance on Saturday! I think it was a roaring success. The feedback is below for you to read (good luck), but if you were there for the feedback she essentially said exactly what she wrote.

From my point of view, I’m very happy indeed. The Shearing was beautiful, with lovely vowel qualities, a good blend of sound, and exceptionally well-controlled lines of music; especially impressive as we hadn’t even had a warm up! People said how classy it sounded, which is fantastic!

The Todd was full of life and energy, and had all those brilliant characteristics we’ve been working on over the past few weeks. A huge congratulations to Sian and her epic solo! Basses, we got out by a beat, and I know exactly where and how it happened so we’ll make sure that can’t happen again on Wednesday – however, it still had so much confidence and energy and life that I really can’t complain too much, haha! Huge congratulations all on achieving a ‘Distinction’ mark!

Poster and Tickets

It’s getting close now, so please share the link to tickets and the poster with friends, family, pets, etc.. So far we’ve sold 34 tickets... time to sell more! Tickets are HERE.

The poster is available below, and physical copies can be picked up on Wednesday!

Todd Learning Guides

Your last chance to use the Learning Guides to aid your work at home on the Todd. I understand how tricky it is, but my gosh it’ll be a performance to remember, so please make sure you’re happy with your parts at home!

Oxford University Press put together free learning guides for each part! Find them HERE.

Forthcoming Events

It’s a busy time of year with lots on, so check out the amazing array of events below.

  1. This weekend you’re spoilt for choice as to concerts. As well as events in the Festival, the Banbury Symphony Orchestra have their concert on Saturday 16th March. We’ve got sops and altos in this orchestra.
  2. The very same evening (Saturday 16th March), the Burford Orchestra has its concert. Another lovely programme! One of our altos plays in this orchestra.
  3. The following weekend, my chamber choir, newCHOIR, have our concert on Saturday 23rd March, the day before our Jazz concert. You’ll see some familiar faces there too, as 2 of our current members sing in the choir!
  4. Finally, in the near future, there’s a Come-and-Sing day led by John Rutter. A very exciting thing to be a part of, so check it out!

This Week’s Listening...

Some more fun jazz for you – this week, from the legendary Dave Brubeck. Most famous for his piece Take Five, Brubeck’s sense of rhythm is second to none. This short piece, Unsquare Dance is immensely fun, playing around with a crazy 7/8 pulse. Check it out HERE.

See you all on Wednesday.