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Conductor's Notes - Spring Concert

Well done everyone, what a fabulous concert that was! I know this post is slightly belated, but I've just been revelling in how great it was, unable to come up with the words to express my gratitude to you all! It's safe to say I was very pleased with the performance.

Both Pearsalls were just beautiful; Why do the roses kicked off the concert with such confidence and such grace, and we ended the first half with a great rendition of Lay a Garland, in which your tone quality and blend was just perfect. The Moeran was an absolute triumph - I know how hard it is, and I know how hard you all worked on it. Even though we needed to use the piano to support a few movements, the quality of the performance of the piece was just fabulous!

At this point, I'd like to say a massive thanks to Pete for his exceptional playing! The solo numbers were a highlight for me (I can't believe I forgot to mention the first!), and I'm sure you can all agree we were in safe hands for the performance.

It also goes without saying that we're phenomenally lucky to have James! Although he wasn't able to make the concert, his commitment as our accompanist in the rehearsals this term meant we were able to get so much done, and we all really look forward to welcoming him back in the new term.

Although Anna couldn't be there on the night, I'm sure she would've been proud of the first 'live' performance of The Way Through the Woods. You certainly did yourselves justice with it, as it's a hard piece to perform, requiring lots of skill and concentration. I was so pleased with how it went. The Whitacre was also just wonderful; an absolutely perfect rendition of the piece - all of that work on blend and tone colour, especially in the section with the piano 'solo' really paid off.

And of course - the star of the show - the Shearing was just a delight. In a similar way to the Moeran, your ability to change styles and characters with the shift between each movement came across flawlessly, which is such a hard aspect to master. Who is Sylvia, among the others, I thought was just breathtaking - I had people say to me afterwards that this stole the show; so well done!

Another huge thanks to the committee and everyone who put in so much hard work behind the scenes to ensure the success of this concert. Those who wrote the programme notes, those who did the publicity, those who booked venues, those who helped move things on the day, and all involved in the million-and-one things that go on behind the scenes to put on a concert - I'm so grateful for your help.

Overall, despite us sometimes seemingly fighting a losing battle with Covid at some points over the term, I'm so pleased with how this concert went, and incredibly proud to work with you all. I look forward to something a little bit different next term...

What we'll do on Tuesday 26th April

Obviously nothing to prepare for this rehearsal, but do give the Spotify playlist below a listen.

I'll try to put up some marked-up scores in advance of the rehearsals, so you can see what we're working with this term, but I'm confident you'll love the music - it's very different to what we've already worked on together!

I'm really grateful to you all for keeping Saturday 7th May clear for a rehearsal in the New Road Baptist Church - Wendy will send out more information via email.


Our new playlist is HERE.

Have a lovely Easter break and I look forward to seeing you all on the 26th April.

- Ben

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