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Conductor's Notes - Tuesday 14th March

Hello everyone, apologies for not posting a Conductor's Note last week - a busy week and weekend full of concerts meant it passed me by; apologies for this. Some really excellent things happening in the rehearsals now as we edge ever closer to our concert. With two rehearsals to go we're in really good shape, but we can't become complacent, so please keep looking at the music at home, especially the Mäntyjärvi!

Some important information about next term in this week's Notes, so please do read through fully!

What we did on Tuesday 14th March

We began with Eternal Father, which was excellent - a great blend, perfect tuning and the text was all very clear. We just worked a little bit on keeping the motion of the music going (dotted notes), and refining a few vowel sounds especially in the Basses to stop the note from sounding too flat. After this we worked on pages 6-10 of the Mäntyjärvi, working on all of the entrances and paired voice parts. Well done Tenor 1 on your fiddly lines. Have real confidence with it all - you know it, and you can all sing the notes, just treat them as solo lines and bring them out as such. We also worked on the rhythms and notes at the top of page 10, getting the semiquavers together and lining up the chords. Then we sang through this next section building to page 12.

After the break we worked on the notes of page 12, centering ourselves with those octatonic scales, which particularly helped bars 32 and 33. We worked on the scrunchy chords at the top of the page, and then the descending octatonic scales. Just be careful when the phrase goes up, and make sure the (semi)-tones are nice and bright, not falling too flat. Sopranos went to rehearse pages 13 and 14 with James, while ATB perfected page 18. After this, we went through pages 18-20 all together.

We finished with the 2nd Movement of the Stanford, trying to energise it from the get-go, and eventually finding the bubbling energy needed for this movement. Keep it nice and accurate with the consonants, and be careful of the semitones at the bottom of page 10. At Letter F, make sure the entrances are confident and arresting. Basses in particular, good work on the notes on page 13-14, just make sure you've practiced this a few times at home so it's very accurate. A very exciting ending, well done!

What we'll do on Tuesday 21st March

We'll start with Stanford Movement 3, so have this performance-ready; I expect the notes to be spot on. After this, Tenors and Basses will look at Stanford Movement 4 with James, and Sops and Altos will do Mäntyjärvi pages 13-16 with me. After this, we'll come together to sing the Stanford, and then most of the Mäntyjärvi. We'll then look at the ending of the Sumsion, and finish with the Arbo.

Marked Scores

These should be in every one of your scores by now - you owe me a pint if they're not...

newChoir ‘23 Spring - Full
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

The learning tracks for Canticum Calamitatis Maritimae are HERE. They begin on page 6. If you're uncertain with your notes, you have no excuse not to make use of them!

Poster and Event Link

Keep sharing the poster far and wide, as well as the link to the concert HERE.

Details for Summer Term

We'll be using In the Mood: A Choral Anthology (lovingly known as 'The Pink Book') as part of our summer programme. If you own a copy of this book and would be happy to use your own copy for the summer term, please do let me or Wendy Davies know within the next week.

Below are the dates for the Summer term. Put them in your diary now, and I look forward to announcing the full programme next week.


Tuesday 18th – Rehearsal 1

Tuesday 25th – Rehearsal 2


Tuesday 2nd – Rehearsal 3

Tuesday 9th – Rehearsal 4

Tuesday 16th – Rehearsal 5

Tuesday 23rd – Rehearsal 6

Tuesday 30th – Half Term

*No rehearsal*


Tuesday 6th – Rehearsal 7

Tuesday 13th – Rehearsal 8

Tuesday 20th – Rehearsal 9

Tuesday 27th – Rehearsal 10


Saturday 1st – Concert Day - St Michael and All Angels Summertown

Rehearsal time: 14:00 – 17:00

Concert at 19:30

Cherwell Singers Concert

Our friends over at the Cherwell Singers have their concert this Sunday, 19th March. Go and support them as they sing a great programme of music by Zoltán Kodály. Poster below and a link to the tickets HERE.

See you on the 21st March.

- Ben

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