Pre-Start Conductor’s Notes

Hello friends! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and are looking forward to getting cracking again on some excellent music! Here’s everything you need to know for the start of term.

And a quick reminder that you can sign up for an automatic notification of when I post Conductor’s Notes, so you don’t have to check regularly. Sign up HERE.
(I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to try and get them done by the weekend each week...!)

First rehearsal back

A reminder that we’re starting again on Wednesday 10th January in the Town Hall. We’ve already made some really good progress on the Mass in Blue, learning the motifs for each movement, and also beginning our work on Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare.

For our first rehearsal back we’ll be looking at:
– Shearing: Live with me and be my love, and When daffodils begin to peer.
– Todd: Gloria (opening-figure 20, and figure 24-end), and Benedictus (opening-figure 73)

Plan for the term

Below is the plan for the term. All the dates have been shared, but just so you’re all fully aware of what’s going on.

Please note, our final Wednesday rehearsal of the term (Wednesday 20th March) is in SS Peter and Paul’s Church, Deddington, where the concert will be. There is NO Friday rehearsal on the 22nd March.

Marked Scores

The marked scores are below. Thanks for your patience with me getting these out; I wanted to meet with Karen to decide on a few performance-related things before marking them up. I’m so grateful to you all for taking the time to mark up your parts!

Due to copyright reasons (as these posts are viewable by the public), we’ve had to password-protect the scores. I’ll send an email out to all members letting you know the password, as well as announcing it on Wednesday.

Recommended recordings & learning guides

I’d highly recommend listening to the works, and you can hear my recommended recordings here:

There are a couple of places that offer free learning guides for these songs. The ones I’ve found are:


Todd – OUP
Todd – Choralia

Theory Workshops

Not long until our music theory workshops. Many people have approached me in the past asking for some advice and sessions on music theory, so it would be great to see you all at these workshops.
Booklets will be provided on the day, and tea and coffee will be served during the break.
Each session individually costs £10, but as we’d love for you all to attend both sessions we’re offering both for £15, so make sure you sign up!

You can get tickets HERE.

Workshop 1
A Singer’s Guide to Music Theory
Saturday 27th January, 2pm – 5pm
Chipping Norton Methodist Church
This workshop will give you an introduction to music theory, including the fundamental knowledge to read the music and understand what’s on the page. In the second half we’ll apply this to simple pieces and singing exercises, using it in a choral setting.

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

This Week’s listening...

... will hopefully get you in the mood for some jazz...

The Benedictus of the Mass in Blue is unashamedly based on Fever, as made famous by Peggy Lee in the late 50s. However, I want to show you Michael Bublé’s cover of it, as he’s so laid back and suave, which is just the feeling we’re aiming for in the start of the Benedictus.

Check it out HERE.
(sorry there’s an awkward cut in it... it doesn’t detract from the performance!)

See you all on Wednesday, I can’t wait to get back to making music with you all again!