Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 7th February

Good morning everyone, I hope you’re well and have had a good start to the week. A relatively short one this week, so please do give it a read.

What We Did – Wednesday 7th February

  • We started with a run through of the Kyrie, seeing how much of it we could put together. This went really well given we’ve never tried to sing a movement through from beginning to end before. Once we’d remembered how each section went it was a lot smoother. We worked on the ending (pages 16 & 17), and will refresh this this coming week.
  • Then we split into sectionals to work on the Credo. Sops and Tenors started off on pages 45 & 46 with me, and then we worked on the florid rhythms and key changes.
  • We worked on the Agnus Dei in sectionals, going through the opening rhythms, and learning the ‘free-flow’ style of jazz, with each line doing its own thing, all based around a few notes in the chord.
  • We ended by coming back together to sing those moments in the Credo and Agnus Dei.

To catch up: If you missed this rehearsal, please look through the Kyrie, reminding yourselves of the melodies, and looking at the ending. Please also go through the aforementioned sections of the Credo and Agnus Dei.

What We’ll Do – Wednesday 14th February

A reminder that there is definitely a rehearsal this week! It may be half term, Valentine’s Day, and Ash Wednesday, but there’s a lot of work we still need to do on the Todd, so please try to make the rehearsal!

  • We’ll start by refreshing the ending of the Kyrie from last week.
  • Then we’ll sing through the Sanctus, seeing what position that’s in. We’ll do some top and tailing on this.
  • Then I’d like to go through as much of the Credo as possible (at a steady speed), so we can remind ourselves of the melodies in that.
  • We’ll split for sectionals to firm up sections of the Credo and also to go through It was a lover and his lass.
  • Finally, we’ll finish with a reminder of the first two movements of the Songs and Sonnets.

A lot to get through, but we’re making great progress. As all the music is so different, it’s really work reminding yourselves of the movements, and what the themes are... keep listening to the pieces!

Theory Workshops

There’s still time to sign up for the second theory workshop! It’ll be really interesting and I hope you’ll all take lots away from it, helping you understand the music we do! You can still get tickets to the second workshop HERE.

Workshop 2
A Conductor’s Guide to Music Theory
Saturday 17th February, 2pm – 5pm
Chipping Norton Town Hall
While not compulsory to attend both workshops, this session will build on the first session by looking at the job of a conductor, including score analysis, decision-making, and contextual understanding. We’ll apply this to some conducting and singing in the second half.

Marked Scores

The marked scores are below. By now I expect you to all have the markings in!

For copyright reasons (as these posts are viewable by the public) we’ve had to password-protect the scores. Please feel free to email me or Annabel if you’ve forgotten it and we can share it with you.

Recommended recordings & learning guides

I’d highly recommend listening to the works, and you can hear my recommended recordings here:

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


Todd – OUP
Todd – Choralia

This Week’s listening...

This week, to support our learning of the styles of music we’re singing, I wanted to share something that is reminiscent of the Agnus Dei that we looked at in detail last week. Nina Simone’s I Put A Spell On You is a great example of this Blues style, and features lots of this ‘free-improvisation’ type of jazz, where all the parts flow and interact with each other uniquely – just listen to the instrumental music against what she sings.

You can check it out HERE.

I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday.