Pre-Concert Conductor’s Notes

Hello everyone! I know these notes are close to our final rehearsal, so don’t worry if you don’t get a chance to look at them before the rehearsal or concert, they’re just refreshing what we spoke about on Wednesday. I’m so excited about this concert, it’s going to be great fun, and there’s some exciting bits below.

What we’ve done this term

We’ve had some really good rehearsals this term, covering a lot of the music in great depth. While note-wise this programme isn’t too hard, it has introduced us to some new concepts and styles of singing as a choir, as well as help develop our ensemble, tuning, and musicality as a whole, which has all been very exciting to see progress. We can apply a lot of this to the exposed a Capella pieces we’re singing, and give a great performance to the psalms. The Elgar has been fun and will be a lively ending to the concert.

To catch up: If you missed any rehearsals, please ensure you are familiar with the music for the concert.

What we’ll do – Friday 14th June

We’ll begin by working on the Bavarian Highlands, in particular movement 6 (Marksmen) and movement 5 (The Alm), following on from Wednesday’s rehearsal. We’ll also do a bit of work on Of Old Sat Freedom. Following this, with our remaining time, we’ll top-and-tail as much of the programme as possible, so we can get a good sense of it in the venue tonight, so tomorrow’s rehearsal will just be about firming it up and building confidence pre-concert.

At the end of the rehearsal, we’ll run the Parsons with the semi-chorus to get a feel for it in the church.

A reminder that tonight’s rehearsal is 7:30-9:30pm in St Mary’s Church, but please arrive from 7pm to get seated!

The rehearsal on concert day should (fingers crossed) be very relaxed, as most of the music is in a good state. We’ll run things in reverse order, starting with the Elgar.

Timings: Rehearsal is 2pm-5pm. Picnic in the church grounds starts from 6:30pm. The concert will begin at 7:30pm, so be seated by 7:20pm.

Location: St Mary’s Church, Chipping Norton (bottom of the hill) – there’s limited parking for those who absolutely require it, so please park in the larger car parks if at all possible.

Concert dress: All black with a splash of colour – something summery, so we can encourage the sun to stay out for the picnic and Pimms!

PLEASE SELL MORE TICKETS! It would be great to get more people along, so keep selling for tomorrow! The link to tickets is HERE.

The booklets for the first half are yours, so you can keep those. If you’ve bought the Elgar, you can keep that too (obviously). Susannah will explain at the rehearsals what to do with the hire copies of the Elgar, but if you know you’re not able to make the concert and still have the music, please rub out your markings and return it to us on the evening of the Social, or directly to Susannah.

Your final chance to go over any bits at home using the learning guides below!

Fran in the altos very kindly found an MP3 file online of Of Old Sat Freedom, so please listen to it to familiarise yourself. It’s available HERE.

From the Bavarian Highlands (and a lot of the other music) is available FREE OF CHARGE on John Fletcher Music, HERE.

Most of the music can be found on my Spotify playlist HERE.

If you don’t like Spotify, you can find all of the music on YouTube, including a good recording of the Elgar (accompanied by orchestra) HERE.

Post-Concert Dates

A few dates for your diary, as discussed on Wednesday, and have been shared previously:

CNCS Social: Wednesday 19th June, 7:30pm-9:30pm, Town Hall – following our concert, we’ll have a final get-together for the season, which consists of a bring-and-share dinner, and a chance to socialise. If you’d like to perform anything, this would be a fun chance to do something for friends! Helene in the sopranos is organising this, and an email was sent out a few weeks ago about it.

Cotswold Youth Choir: Wednesday 26th June, 7:30pm-8pm, Town Hall – OUR youth choir, the Cotswold Youth Choir, will have their inaugural performance. It’s a chance for the kids to showcase what they’ve learnt over their 10 rehearsals, and a chance for you all to see CYC in its first term! We’d love you all to be there to support our young singers!

Chipping Norton Festival: Sunday 30th June, 1:30pm-2pm, Town Hall – It would be great to see as many people from CNCS representing the choir for the Festival on Sunday 30th. We’ll be performing a couple of pieces from the summer programme, and CYC will also perform a couple of songs after us. A great chance to show the town how amazing we are! Please arrive before our set at 1:45pm (I’ve suggested 1:30pm above), so we can get ourselves in order.

Next Term

Next term is an exciting one! We’ll begin on the 4th of September by looking ahead to our Spring ’25 term by beginning our work on Bach’s almighty St John Passion. From October onwards we’ll be working on our Christmas concert on the 14th December, which will feature Britten’s Ceremony of Carols (SATB version), alongside other Christmas carols for harp/organ.

Susannah will be sending out an email to you all before the summer about how to hire/buy these scores, so we can get cracking in September.

Other Events

It’s that time of year when there’s a lot going on! So, below are posters for a few concerts in which members are performing following our concert, as well as the details for two exciting performance opportunities. Do check them out!

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: The Trinity Camerata are performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony on the 14th July, and are looking for some remaining choral spaces to be filled by strong singers (preferably who have performed it before). If you’re interested and feel comfortable doing it on one rehearsal on the day, you can find more information HERE.

Dartington: Peter Hunt runs a fabulous choral weekend in Dartington each year, as many of you will know. It’s a fabulous weekend, and certainly one worth going to! If you’re interested, speak to members of the choir who have been before, and check out the PDF document below.

Sorry I’ve not posted much this term, it’s all been very busy. However, it’s been really enjoyable to write to you all again, so I’ll do my best to keep it up regularly over the summer and in the new term. Thank you all for your hard work and for bearing with! See you later...