Pre-Christmas Conductor’s Notes

Good evening everyone, I hope you’re all well and are settling down for a relaxed Christmas and New Year. We’re off to see family tomorrow, so time for my final post of the year!

Thanks for 2023

I want to start off these Notes by thanking you for such an amazing year! As I said in my AGM report at the end of November, it’s been truly incredible what we’ve done this year; A move to the Town Hall, the ‘Breathe’ workshop, the Music Festival, Brahms’s Requiem, our fun Summer Concert, the Mozart Requiem Come-and-Sing, a summer social, a Saturday rehearsal, the incredible Remembrance concert, some Christmas carols, and finally the Christmas Come-and-Sing! What. A. Year. A massive thank you to you all for such incredible work in singing at these events and throughout the term. An even more massive thank you to my partner-in-crime Rowena, without whom we’d not stand a chance! And finally the most massive thank you to the Committee (both old and new) and volunteers for all of their hard work behind the scenes; we couldn’t do what we do without the hugely dedicated team of volunteers who work tirelessly to bring together these incredible projects.

As I come to the end of my second full year with the Choral Society, I can wholeheartedly say that is an absolute pleasure to make music with you all!

Christmas Events

It’s been a great run of Christmas events this year. We sang for the Chipping Norton Christmas Lights Switch On on Thursday 23rd November, the Great Rollright Christmas Market on Saturday 2nd December, and had our Christmas Come-and-Sing on Sunday 17th December! Then, on my birthday, I asked some friends to come carol singing around Chipping Norton, raising money for the Cotswold Youth Choir as we prepare to launch it in the new year; we raised a brilliant £110! Here are some photos from each event!

Future Dates

Please make note of the dates for the next concert:

Rehearsals begin on Wednesday 10th January.
Theory workshops are below.
There’s NO FRIDAY rehearsal this term, due to Deddington’s availability.
Therefore, Wednesday 20th March will be in SS Peter and Paul’s Deddington.
The concert is on Sunday 24th March.

The repertoire is fab: Shearing’s Songs and Sonnets and Todd’s Mass in Blue. We’ll be joined by the Karen Sharp Quartet for this!

Dates for the rest of the year are viewable in the ‘Rehearsals’ section of the website, under the ‘Members’ tab, HERE.

Theory Workshops

We’ll be running two theory workshops in the Spring term, following feedback on what you would like to work on. They’re open to all members of the Choral Society, and will be an excellent opportunity to expand your knowledge and put into practice the fundamentals of music theory, in order to help us sing to the best of our abilities!

Workshop 1
A Singer’s Guide to Music Theory
Saturday 27th January, 2pm – 5pm
Chipping Norton Methodist Church
This workshop will give participants an introduction to music theory, along with the basic knowledge required to read the music. We’ll apply this to pieces and singing exercises, building confidence in sight-reading and music recognition.

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

Future Events

Two exciting events for you to look forward to in the new year. The first is the next CRAG concert on Sunday 7th January, which you can see in the poster below. The second is Oxford Orpheus is holding a Come-and-Sing Brahms Requiem, so check that out HERE.

Mann Singt!

Some of you will know I often sing with the German male-voice ensemble called Mann Singt!, and some of you may even remember that I went to record a CD with them back in September... well, just in time for Christmas, it’s been released!!! We’re so proud of it, so please do check it out on Spotify HERE.

I’m going to Germany in January to promote the CD, as well as to perform with my barbershop quartet the Acafellas, so if you’d like to buy a physical copy of this excellent disk, please email me directly or contact me via my website HERE and I can bring back a copy with me.

And finally...

have a lovely and restful Christmas and New Year, and I look forward to another fantastic year of music making in 2024.