Pre-Concert Conductor’s Notes – Wednesday 15th November

Well, this is it! The last Conductor’s Notes before the concert! Thank you so much everyone for your hard work this term. The music isn’t easy at all, and you’ve all really put in the effort to ensure both the Bernstein and Jenkins will be a roaring success. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this term, so let’s nail it on Saturday!

What We Did – Wednesday 15th November

  • We began by looking at the end of the Bernstein, working on tuning, blend, and ensuring the notes are secure. This is one of the most exposed bits of the concert, so it needs to be *PERFECT*!!
  • Then we spot checked the rest of movement 3 of the Bernstein, which went very well. Do your best to bring out the text, and to shine out in those little moments of melody.
  • After this we looked at the 2nd movement. Basses and Tenors, you were stunning! Sing like that in the concert and I’ll be very happy! Well done with the timing! We worked on a few notes, and syncing it all up.
  • Then we worked on the first movement, looking at the opening, a few hand-over moments of the melody, and then the climax of the movement, and keeping the energy going.
  • We looked at 13. Better is Peace: the entrances at Letter C, and then the rhythms at Letters F & G (especially bars 84 & 99).
  • Then we spot checked the Benedictus and Agnus Dei, making sure we were keeping the line really smooth and flowing, supporting to the end of each phrase.
  • Finally, we worked on Angry Flames. The chords are supposed to be disgusting, so as long as you convince me you’re singing the right note, you’ll be singing the right note!

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

What We’ll Do – Friday 17th November

In the venue! St Mary’s Church, Banbury!
Please arrive by 7:15pm so we can get you all seated!

A final few bits to just confirm we’re happy, but we’ll then be spot-checking most movements of both pieces, getting through as much in the space before we work with the orchestra on Saturday.
The sections I know we just need to check are:

  • 3. Kyrie – Letter D.
  • 6. Hymn Before Action – Opening & Letter D.
  • 9. Torches – Letter B.

We’ll be bringing the programmes along again, so if you didn’t get one on Wednesday, you can buy one on Friday.

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).

Poster and Tickets

At the time of writing this, 93 tickets sold online, but still plenty spare, and just over 24 hours to sell them!

The link to tickets is HERE.

This Week’s listening

I wanted to share with you the clip I was talking about of Bernstein conducting the Chichester Psalms – I’ve referred to bar 40 being a party, and in this recording Bernstein is embodying that joy and energy! He’s a pleasure to watch, so do check it out HERE.

Toi toi toi everyone, and see you on Friday!