Excellent Concert

Thanks for the concert at Stathern last Saturday; it was very good. As always there were some excellent moments and one or two not so good but as usual the standard overall was very high, especially gratifying as it was the first such event for three years. (The interval refreshment was excellent as well). It was nice to see Jane and Fanny as well. (Rhoda, please thank Lydia for her page turning.)

Sally Fagan sent me this email:

Dear Nick

Thank you so much for coming on Saturday and filling our church with some wonderful singing! We really appreciated it and we think that John and Gillian would have too. Please pass on our grateful thanks to all the singers. Eleanor Saywell rang me to say how much she enjoyed the evening and I also received this from Toity:

Hi Sally

 I just wanted to thank you and your team for such a wonderful celebration/recognition of our parents’ life and contribution to Stathern; they would have been bowled over and delighted! I can only imagine the work that went on behind the scenes. The canapes were really delicious and the atmosphere in the church was so friendly with everyone enjoying themselves.

Best wishes, Toity

Sally also sent another email to say that the concert raised £655. A good job, well done.

A reminder that we are not meeting on 13th May or 3rd June.

The Concert for Jack and Carol on Saturday, 11th June will be at 4:00 pm in Calverton Baptist Church. We have been given three slots (two pieces in each slot). I propose: When daisies pied, Come live with me; Be thou my vision, Goin’ Home; The Rose and Love is the sweetest thing. (Steve – is that O.K.?) There are 4 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors and 2 basses signed up – thanks.

Fourteen of you are signed up for Bulcote on 2nd July. The programme will be similar to Stathern.

Once again, thanks for Saturday.

Stathern approaches

Good rehearsal last week, thank you.

I went over to Stathern on Monday to view the church. It was cold, even with heating on; we need to dress warmly. The folks there are very keen and are doing their best to make it a good occasion. The son and daughter of the Deaves are travelling quite a distance ‘specially to be there.

Parking is an issue. They have arranged for us to use Brookerfynn Architect’s car park, The Maltings, Water Lane LE14 4 HQ. (I have maps that I will bring on Friday). From the car park you have to walk along Water Lane, passing the school, then turn right onto a footpath to the church – about 150 yards.

The performance area is tight. We will have to be in two rows – tenor and bass on the back and sopranos and altos in a line in front. Four ladies will be on a platform, the other two on the ends will be on the floor. I’ll set it up as closely as I can on Friday. Lighting is very good, but we will take our stand lights just in case. Any audience coming will pay on the door (£15 including welcome drink, programme and canapés). As it will take a bit of time to sort out the space to get comfortable I think that we will need to arrive at 6:30. Stathern is a pretty village, and there is a pub, so accompanying audience members can have a bit of an explore if they need to fill time.

There will be a Muzodo following asking confirmation of availability for 2nd July at Bulcote and for the afternoon of 11th June to sing a couple of slots in a Sherwood Clarinet concert in Calverton Baptist Church.

Everything thaat we sang last week went very well. I will try to get through everything else this week.

All Creature Snow!

It was satisfying last week to be able to work on some refinements, especially getting some dynamic variety in Exsultate and All Creatures Now.

Music for this week:

CC3 196The Crown of Roses
ERP 79When daisies pied
ERP 83Come live with me
MP 10All creatures now
MP 22The Evening Primrose
MP 110My spirit sang all day
SheetO magnum mysterium
SheetLove is the sweetest thing
OTA 122If ye love me
SheetThis joyful Eastertide

Notes from last week:

Oculi OmniumSuccessful. The two bars before Gloria needed some attention.
Exsultate justiGood. Finalised a dynamic scheme. Probably the first item in a concert so get the joy and make an impression.
All creatures nowGood progress. Finalised dynamic scheme and started to get some style.
Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all aloneTook points from the previous pieces and put them into action. Very little needed doing. 
The Evening PrimroseWell remembered from last week. tidied up the timing of the ending.
Haec Dies (SSATTB)More good progress – slow but sure.
Give us this dayGood sing through to finish.

Slowly, but surely

A very good session last week. Very productive work on Finzi, Britten and Byrd; things are falling into place nicely.

Music for this week:

ESM 344Exsultate justi
MP 10All creatures now
MP 103Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone
MP 22The Evening Primrose
OTA 84Haec Dies (SSATTB)
SheetGive us this day
SheetOculi Omnium
SheetLove is the sweetest thing

Last week’s rehearsal notes:

If ye love meGood, worked on singing together. 
My spirit sang all daySpent some time revising and correcting.
The Evening PrimroseNotes checked.
Oculi OmniumSuccessful. Recorded, but I haven’t managed to process it yet.
Haec Dies (SSATTB)Spent time on et laetemur and Alleluia. Coming on slowly, but surely.
The Lily and The RoseGood. Refined the verses. 
Aka-TonboCorrected the chording. Sung through nicely.
Cherry blossom whiteSang through to finish. 

On Friday there will be news to share about Bulcote and Christmas. Could you please update the availability sheet up to, and including, the Stathern Concert on 7th May so that I can finalise the programme. Thanks.

Et laetemur!!

A good turnout last week, thank you. It was nice to welcome Chris and to participate in some refreshment and fellowship at the end.

Music for this week:

Ch 4Aka-Tonbo
Ch 42The Lily and The Rose
ESM 344Exsultate justi
MP 110My spirit sang all day
MP 22The Evening Primrose
OTA 122If ye love me
OTA 84Haec Dies (SSATTB)
SheetCherry blossom white
SheetGive us this day
SheetOculi Omnium

Notes from last week:

When daisies piedNotes sound. Worked on keeping the rhythms under control.
Come live with meMuch improved. Work on being more coquettish.
Haec Dies (SSATTB)First section good, last section much improved. Last two bars of et laetemur most insecure bit.
All creatures nowSuccessful. Keep it light and dance-like.
The RoseSecure, now needs a little more style.

I was particularly pleased with the progress on Haec Dies – there is just those two bars before the Alleluia. hopefully we’ll crack it this week. The sound is generally very good at the moment; I’ll record a bit of this week so that you can hear it.

Give us this day

A good rehearsal last week after a couple of weeks off. We did some good work on a pieces that we haven’t looked at for a while.
After the short discussion last week Mary will be boiling the kettle at the end of rehearsal for those who wish to gather; it will be understood if people wish to leave without.

Chris Smith will be joining us for a taster session; she is a soprano. We’ll seat her between Mary and Rhoda please. (If anyone has an extra Madrigals and Partsongs please bring it for Chris to use).

This week’s music:

ERP 79 When daisies pied

ERP 83 Come live with me

MP 10 All creatures now

MP 110 My spirit sang all day

MP 22 The Evening Primrose

OTA 84 Haec Dies (SSATTB)

Sheet The Rose

Sheet Nada te turbe

Notes on last week’s rehearsal:

Exsultate justi: Notes good but not together. Use the text to dictate speed of quavers.

Aka-Tonbo: Successful. Chords examined but a bit more work.

The Lily and The Rose: Good. Notes and timing checked.

Cherry blossom white: Worked on whole piece. Remembered quite well.

Give us this day: Sung through then worked on first two verses.

Now is the month of Maying: Revised and confirmed dynamic scheme.

Back to work

Thank you all for your patience over the past two weeks as Covid was in our ranks. Fortunately all those infected are now clear. We are looking forward to meeting again on 4th March.

Music to prepare for this Friday:

Ch 4Aka-Tonbo
Ch 42The Lily and The Rose
ESM 344Exsultate justi
MP 10All creatures now
MP 22The Evening Primrose
MP 260Now is the month of Maying
OTA 84Haec Dies (SSATTB)
SheetCherry blossom white
SheetGive us this day

A couple of things to report after your committee met last week.

Christmas was discussed. Newstead Abbey are keeping both the 11th and 18th December for us while we find a venue for our own concert. Mary has been delegated to investigate St. Martin’s, Sherwood and St. Jude’s, Mapperley for either 10th or 17th; she will report back when she has news. Our preferred option is to do Newstead on 11th and our own with instrumentalists on 17th.

Thanks to everyone who replied to my questionnaire about Summer dates. The result is that we have a concert provisionally booked for 2nd July in Bulcote Church; please put the date in your diary.

In the light of the reasing of restrictions the question was raised as to whether we might resume the after rehearsal refreshmets – we will discuss on Friday.

It seems a long time ago since our last rehearsal but here are few notes on what happened:

Exsultate justiGood, very secure in the main, just a few leads to tidy up. Keep it light and joyful.
Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all aloneMuch improved.
All creatures nowWent reasonably well as Mary and Ruth had learnt the other part.
The Evening PrimroseSketched through.
Give us this dayMuch improved from last week. The verses should be slightly faster than the chorus.

We wouldn’t turn a good one away

Thanks for your efforts last week; I enjoyed it.

This week’s music list:

ESM 344Exsultate justi
MP 10All creatures now
MP 103Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone
MP 22The Evening Primrose
SheetCherry blossom white
SheetGive us this day

Thanks, also, for your input into the discussion at the end of the rehearsal; your committee will meet soon and begin to sort out the “nitty gritty”.

The recruitment leaflets have arrived and will be available on Friday evening. Please take them and put them where they can be noticed. Think about where people who might be interested frequent i.e. places that you go, and places that folks might visit to find out about “things to do”. We could do with at least one more in the alto, tenor and bass sections; the soprano section has plenty but we wouldn’t turn a good one away! If we can be proactive amongst our singing acquaintances and entice those who might be looking for a different challenge in a friendly atmosphere!

When I started Nick’s Notes my intention was to comment on musical aspects of our activity. They have evolved into other things by necessity and through circumstance, I’ll try to get back to more musical matters. For largely practical reasons my recordings have dropped off, which I will also reinstate (not this week though).

I was pleased with everything last Friday, all the pieces showed progress.

Oculi OmniumNotes fine. Sing very legato and pay attention to dynamics – grade the crescendo in the middle system.
Give us this dayVery good first go. Chording in the first two verses needs work.  Be aware that this is likely to go flat.
Haec Dies (SSATTB)This is coming on very well. The Alleluia section fell into place quite well. The rhythms of et laetemur were very good, except for the three bars leading into the Alleluia.
Aka-TonboA good first go. Listen to this performance by a Japanese choir to get the pronunciation. Listen out for that “u” sound that John H mentioned.

I went to Colin Miller’s funeral on Monday. Colin was the husband of Ann, the conductor of Derby City Singers. Ann, very kindly, asked me to sing with Derby City Singers in the choir. It was a sad but celebratory event with lots of good singing. I spoke with one or two who send their good wishes to us. Ann would very much like to collaborate with us again, even if only for a “social” rehearsal. We’ll think about it.

Newstead Future

Another good rehearsal last Friday followed by an extremely useful discussion about Christmas.

Rhoda, Mary and I met with Jon and Mick at Newstead Abbey on Wednesday morning. It was a very encouraging, productive meeting. The overwhelming message was that they want us to perform at Newstead; not only at Christmas but at other times of the year as well! Another message was that whatever we do must not result in a loss on the Newstead Abbey balance sheet.

The outcome is that we have a date for a Christmas event at Newstead on 18th December 2022.

They came up with the idea to offer a tour of the house, refreshment and a concert as part of their Christmas at Newstead package; a concert only ticket would be still available. We would compromise by not using the instrumentalists at that event but arranging a concert of our own to use the instrumentalists the weekend before. Our project would be to find a venue in an area where we can attract an audience to bring in enough money to finance the event. Here are Mary’s detailed notes of the meeting.

As last week we will finish Friday’s singing at 9:00 for feedback and preliminary discussion before the committee meets to start the process.

Here is the music list for this Friday:

CC3 196The Crown of Roses
Chilcott 4Aka-Tonbo
ESM 344Exsultate justi
MP 103All creatures now
OTA 84Haec Dies (SSATTB) (Alleluia section)
SheetOculi Omnium
SheetCherry blossom white
SheetGive us this day

You will read form the meeting notes that Newstead Abbey are hosting a Japanese exhibition from Kew Garden. Aka-Tonbo is there as our only Japanese piece; it is also vaguely floral.

This is the day

Another good session last week.

Here is the music list for this Friday:

ERP 79When daisies pied
ERP 83Come live with me
ESM 344Exsultate justi
MP 103All creatures now
OTA 84Haec Dies (SSATTB)
SheetThe Rose
SheetNada te turbe

Last Friday we started work afresh on Haec Dies. We last looked at it just before lockdown and I addressed it in a couple of Nick’s Notes in June 2020.

Here is a link to one that has learning audio tracks within it and one with a rehearsal video and a performance by The Sixteen. If you just want the video it is here.

Thanks to all that have responded to my various pleas, the responses have been very useful. The recruitment flier is now complete and is being sent to the printers; some should be available next week. Here is a copy for you to circulate as you wish.

Rhoda, Mary and I are having a meeting with Newstead Abbey on Wednesday next week. We will finish singing at 9:00 on Friday to give us all a chance to discuss Christmas. If you aren’t there on Friday make any constructive comments to Rhoda or Mary.

See you on Friday.