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Conductor's Notes - Tuesday 14th February

Hi everyone, I hope you've all enjoyed your week off? I'm sure you've been practicing the music at home, and have put all the markings into your scores. We're at the half-way point in our rehearsals, with 5 rehearsals to go until concert day, so it's time to really start refining what we've learnt. I'm so pleased to hear from many of you saying how much you're enjoying the programme, so thank you all for putting in the hard work to get it to the highest quality!


What we did on Tuesday 14th February


We started with the Vivian, looking at the last verse, checking the notes of the descant, and then put it with the previous 2 verses to give the entire piece its structure. We'll work on the performance of it next.

We then ran the Mäntyjärvi from page 6 to page 20. Yes, it wasn't perfect, but we got through it which was great! After sectionals on pages 6-12, and 14-16, we gave it another run, which saw a huge improvement, and really felt like it was beginning to lock into place with confidence! Keep up this great work!

We finished with a look at pages 15-18 of The Middle Watch from the Songs of the Fleet. Lots of good work here, especially singing in a circle working on ensemble, blend and tuning.

What we'll do on Tuesday 28th February


We'll begin with some detailed work on the performance of Crossing the Bar, for which we'll really hone my interpretation of the music.

After this, Sops and Altos will stay with James to rehearse pages 10-12 of the Mäntyjärvi, and Tenors and Basses will come with me to do pages 15-17.

After the break, Tenors and Basses will go with James to do pages 10-12, and Sops and Altos will be with me to do pages 13-16. We'll then bring this together to run pages 10-17.

Before we finish, we'll look at pages 9-14 of the Sumsion.


Marked Scores


These should be in every one of your scores by now, so thank you for your time putting them in!


newChoir ‘23 Spring - Full
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Download PDF • 79.94MB

Spotify Playlist


As with every term, you can find most of the music on Spotify (or YouTube). Here's the Spotify Link.

The Vivian is available HERE.

The Arbo is available HERE.


Mäntyjärvi Learning Resources


Nick Watkins, member of Chipping Norton Choral Society, North Cotswold Chamber Choir, and friend of newCHOIR, put together some learning tracks for Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae when NC3 did it last year. He's very kindly allowed me to share them with you. Below is the link to a folder of each part, highlighting your notes, beginning on page 6.

It'll be incredibly useful going forward in learning the piece, particularly as we can focus in rehearsals on putting it together, rather than 'note-bashing'!

In this updated folder, Brian has also put them into MP3 format too, so everyone should be able to access them. Check them out HERE.


Poster and Event Link


Brian has designed this beautiful poster - please share far and wide, as well as the link to the concert HERE.



Librarian Role


As you know, Judy unfortunately won't be singing with us for the foreseeable, and so we need someone to very kindly fill the shoes of Librarian for the choir. I promise it doesn't involve too much, though you can find out more about the role from Judy or myself.

Please do consider it, and help keep the choir running smoothly!


Shameless Promotion


Finally, I'd love to share with you a concert that I'm doing - The Acafellas (my barbershop quartet) are performing at the Chipping Norton Music Festival! We've dedicated so much time and energy putting together what we hope is a really exciting and enjoyable programme of music, ranging from early male-voice music, to classic barbershop songs, and to Disney songs, with many more wonderful pieces thrown in! It would be lovely to see some friendly faces in the audience!


It's Sunday 12th March at 7:30pm - there'll be an interval with refreshments too. Tickets are available HERE.


See you on the 28th.

- Ben

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