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Conductor's Notes - Tuesday 18th October

Hello everyone! I hope you're all enjoying the half term week off - I certainly am, practicing and catching up with admin. What a productive rehearsal and AGM we had on the 18th October.

What we did on Tuesday 18th October

We began with Here is the Little Door, and did some excellent work on blend, character, and musical flow, really beginning to refine the quality. It's important we keep thinking of those vowel colours to ensure the blend through long notes and across the long phrases are kept uniform.

We then recapped the start of the Vaughan Williams, opening up the space to help us project and support the high phrases. The musical lines are becoming much more accurate and flowing, and we're starting to feel the interconnectivity of the parts.

After the AGM we reminded ourselves of the first verse of the McGlade, followed by some detailed work on the final verses.

Finally, we ended with the opening of McDowall's Advent Moon, with a look at the part-writing, harmony, and melodic lines.

What we'll do on Tuesday 1st November

Goodness me, November already!

As I've said, my emphasis for this concert season is to continue the amazing work we've been doing on our ensemble and performance. In order to do this I need you to come as prepared as possible to rehearsals; specifically, learning the notes, and having the markings in your scores.

I want to get to the penultimate rehearsal and find ourselves going home early as we've done everything, haha!

So, we'll start with a warm up of Bethlehem Down, followed by Britten's A Hymn to the Virgin. After the break we'll work on Advent Moon from the upbeat to bar 24, and we'll end with a read-through of White Christmas.

***Changed Rehearsal Venue (01/11/22)***

Due to Holy Rood having a service on Tuesday 1st, our rehearsal will be at St Matthew’s Church, 63 Marlborough Road, OX1 4LW.

Parking options are limited, so try to bus/walk/lift-share if possible.

Please note that this is just for this week.

Marked Scores

As always, here are the Marked Scores for the term. Please have these markings in by Tuesday 1st November - that's 4 weeks after you picked up the music, so plenty of time to put them in.

It'll begin to be really obvious who hasn't put markings in because you'll be breathing at the wrong time... please get these in!

newChoir Christmas '22
Download PDF • 20.79MB

Spotify Playlist

To help with familiarity of the music this term, I've created the Spotify Playlist with recommended recordings, which you can ACCESS HERE. It's free to sign up, so I hope it helps.

A Hymn to the Virgin auditions

If you'd like to be part of the chamber choir (four soloists) for the Britten, please do let me know and we can add you to the audition list. Auditions will be held after the rehearsal on the 8th or 15th November. Please do let me know at the rehearsals, ask in the WhatsApp group, or email me or Wendy.

Your Suggestions

I've already had some great suggestions for what you'd like to do in the future with the choir, and it's got the creative juices flowing! It's not too late to write your thoughts down as I'll bring some paper on the 1st as well - plenty of time to think over the half term.

Of course, you can always voice any comments, suggestions, concerns, or questions to me at any point; I'm always delighted to hear from you all!

Suggested Listening

I promised I'd share with you the Disley-Simpson we did in the Spring, as a reminder of what we accomplished, and for our new members to hear the incredible variety of what we do with newChoir. The Way Through the Woods always brings a smile to my face, and it was such a joy do to the piece with you in March!

Thanks everyone, and see you on the 1st.

- Ben

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