Post-Concert Conductor’s Notes

Hello everyone, I hope you’ve had a wonderful week! I’ve been on a high this entire week, and it’s been really good to reflect on how brilliant the Pomp and Pimms concert was.

I want to start by thanking you all so much for your incredibly hard work, and all of your focus not just in the concert but the entire term. I’m so grateful to each and everyone of you for learning the music in the rehearsals and working on it at home in a fairly short space of time, which led to an incredibly exciting and powerful concert.

There were a few moments I’d like to highlight, if I may:
The first is exactly what I’d hoped with Zadok the Priest, which was the long, drawn-out introduction really got the energy bubbling amongst the audience, and when you all came in it was completely overwhelming and breathtaking. Afterwards, an audience member describe it to me as being pinned back in their seat, and having a wall of sound encompass them. What an excellent way to open the concert.
The second was during the National Anthem; after you had so beautifully sung the first verse, and the brass and organ had joined for the ‘build-up’ to the second verse, I turned around to face the audience to bring them in and saw tears in so many peoples’ eyes! It was a really emotional moment, and that was purely down to how tenderly and magically you sang the first verse. I was genuinely incredibly moved by it.
And finally the joy of Auld Lang Syne (ssssssyne) – Thank you all for humouring me in doing the first verse again, I think it was a lovely way to end the concert, and I could feel the smiles from the audience as we sang it again, but more importantly I could see your smiles, and the happiness you were all exuding… that’s what makes working with you all such a pleasure, and why I enjoy my job so much. The morning of the concert I had a call with Eric about the final two numbers, during which he suggested we move the National Anthem to be the final number as this was a concert for the Queen’s Jubilee. I persuaded him that Auld Lang Syne was the best way to end the concert because, although the celebration was for the Queen, the most important aspect of our musical lives is to bring people together to enjoy themselves, and to continue the sense of unity among us all – to me, Auld Lang Syne represented this, and hence why I wanted people to go away on a really happy note. I think it’s safe to say you proved my point with this by the way you sang it.

This is by no means exhaustive of the best parts of the concert, and I’m sure you all have your individual moments that shone to you, but for me these were my highlights. Following the success of the Chipping Norton Music Festival in March and the Puccini concert in April, I thought it would be hard to top that first term… but this concert was an absolute gem!

Finally, our Pomp and Pimms concert couldn’t have gone ahead without all of the people who put in the hard work behind the scenes. Your Committee do so, SO much to ensure everything runs without a hitch, and the success of this term is completely down to them. They’re all too humble to accept praise by name, so I’m sure I speak on behalf of you all when I say a massive thank you to them.
I’d also like to thank all those who put in the hard work on the day. Everyone who puts up and takes down the staging, the seating, makes food for the guest players, chopped fruit for the pimms, sold tickets and programmes; the list of jobs is endless and, again, without their dedication on the day, none of this would work! Thank you!

I’ll end this ‘wrap-up’ by sharing a line from a lovely email I received from a member of the choir, who shall remain anonymous, about the concert and the choir, as I think it truly sums up how brilliant you all are: “CNCS is a very special choir and I feel immensely fortunate to be part of it“.

Sing Day

When we were planning this concert, and the Christmas concert this year, I noticed there was a huge gap between the June concert and when we’d start up again in September. I wondered what we could do to bridge this gap, and decided to put on a ‘Come-and-Sing’ day, as a way for us all to sing together again before the summer, increase our publicity and presence within the community, and to encourage anyone and everyone to see the joy of being a part of CNCS (which may lead to more people joining us in September).
The Committee and publicity team have been hard at work, and have put together some amazing promotional stuff for this. You can check out the event on Facebook, and you can sign up for your spot HERE.
We’re delighted to have continued support from our Friends of CNCS, and in this case, Wise Investment have sponsored the day, allowing us to offer the day free of charge to everyone! So, there’s no excuse not to be there, haha!

Please share this electronic poster far and wide, and I look forward to conducting a choir of at least 100 people!
(It’s also worth pointing out that Brian has ‘set’ the Town Hall clock for our start time of 10:30 – what a brilliant little detail!)

You can listen to my recommended recording of the Faure HERE.

Finally…

A friendly reminder that one of our lovely altos, Tara, is raising money for Cancer Research. In her own words:
“This June, before the end of the month, I will complete 300 miles on my bike for Cancer Research UK. 10 miles per day, every day in June. I will be pedalling harder than ever because I want to raise money for life-saving research and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
Every penny makes a huge difference to vital cancer research so please show your support with a donation to my page.
Thank you so much for your generous support.”

Go and support Tara HERE.

Thanks for reading, see you all very soon!
– Ben