Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 8th November

Hello everyone, I hope you’re well! As we approach our final couple of rehearsals, I trust you’re all practicing hard at home! I’m so grateful for all your work this term in order to make Saturday’s concert brilliant!

A little delayed on the Notes this week, I know. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and we had the newCHOIR concert on Saturday too (thank you so much to those who came to support us, it was lovely to have some friendly faces in the audience!)

What We Did – Wednesday 8th November

  • We started with some spot work on a few notes in The Armed Man, beginning with the first movement. We practiced finding our chords from one note, in particular Tenors who give the tonality of the chord.
  • We did some work on notes and pitching in the Sanctus.
  • Then we split into sectionals, with S/A working on the opening of the Bernstein and Movement 3, and T/B doing work on Save me from Bloody Men and Movement 2 of the Bernstein.
  • We ended by coming together to do bits on the Bernstein, including Movement 2 (the transition between the T/B and tutti section). We then did a bit of the last movement, particularly thinking about projection and musical line. Finally we ended with the first movement, doing a load of really good work on the 7/4 section.

To catch up: If you missed this rehearsal, please catch up with the sections listed above.

What We’ll Do – Wednesday 15th November

It’s that point in the term, we’re really spot-checking all those tricky bits now, especially in finding our notes. In The Armed Man we’ll be working on:

  • 3. Kyrie – Letter D.
  • 6. Hymn Before Action – Opening & Letter D.
  • 8. Angry Flames – All entries.
  • 9. Torches – Letter B.
  • 10. Agnus Dei – Opening & Letter A.
  • 12. Benedictus – Letter C & Letter D.
  • 13. Better is Peace – Letter C, Letters F & G (especially bars 84 & 99), Letter J, Letter K.

On the Bernstein, in tutti we’ll do:

  • Movement 1 – Opening, Bars 22-32, Bars 66-85, Bars 99-end.
  • Movement 2 – Bars 102-119.
  • Movement 3 – Bars 28-37, Bar 60-End.

I’ll also be bringing the programmes along, so if you’d like to buy one in advance of the concert please do bring some cash or a card!

A huge thanks to Brian for doing the incredible programmes!

Final Rehearsals and Concert Details

A final reminder of those ‘little bits’ for the concert.

Our pre-concert rehearsal is on Friday 17th, in St Mary’s Banbury. Please arrive for 7pm to get seated, and we’ll end at normal time of 9:30pm. Below is the rough seating plan for the day... A massive thanks to David Salter and his team who help set out chairs at the start of each rehearsal!

On the concert day, we’ll be rehearsing from 2pm – please be ready and seated for this time. It’ll allow us to do a bit of warming up and rehearsing the acapella sections before the orchestra joins us at 2:30pm. We’ll rehearse until 5pm, and then I’ll do a bit of work with the orchestra until 5:30pm.

Back ready to go for the concert by 7:10pm, and try to give yourselves a bit of ‘warming up’ time, as the Bernstein is first!

The concert dress is all black or black-tie (Black dinner jacket and trousers, black bowtie, white shirt).

Marked Scores & Learning Guides

To find the resources for this term, please go back to previous posts.

Poster and Tickets

More tickets sold than in the last post… 81 tickets sold, but still plenty spare, so do keep promoting it!

The link to tickets is HERE.

Christmas Lights Switch On

I’m looking forward to our first rehearsal on Wednesday 15th, after the rehearsal from 21:30-22:15. The second rehearsal will be the same time on Tuesday 22nd. The event is on Thursday 23rd – our call time is around 17:20 at the Town Hall, and we’ll be singing from 17:40-18:30.

Thank you to all who have signed up so far. I’m expecting the following people to sing, but if I’ve missed you off or you’d like to sing, you’re more than welcome to stay on at 21:30 tomorrow:

Sops: Katie N, Charlotte M, Mayveen B, Sian T, Rebecca G
Altos: Sarah C, Judy D, Livi M, David N, Hilda R, Corinne T, Julie H
Tenors: Richard T, Nick W
Basses: John N, Callum S

We’re doing two sets of music, one ‘traditional’ one ‘modern’. We’ll be using 100 Carols for Choirs for our first set, so if you own a copy please do bring it (we have spares, don’t worry!):

Set 1 (before 6pm):
O Come all ye faithful
Away in a manger
Hark the Herald Angels sing
O Little town of Bethlehem
It came upon a midnight clear
Ding Dong merrily on high

Set 2 (for the Christmas lights):
Winter Wonderland
Jingle Bells
Last Christmas
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Sleigh Ride
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Silent Night
Wonderful Christmastime

Future Dates

A reminder that we’ll still have rehearsals following the concert, starting on the 22nd November, and we’ll be starting our work on Will Todd’s Mass in Blue.

Our Christmas Come-and-Sing day is ready to go, so share the poster here:

This Week’s listening

To get you in the mood for our Christmas music, a piece that a number of people have been clamouring to do is MacMillan’s O Radiant Dawn. A stunning short piece that I look forward to introducing properly to you all at the Christmas Come-and-Sing!

Listen HERE.

Thanks all, see you on the 15th November.