I hope you've all had a good week and a lovely weekend. Apologies for the delay in getting these notes out to you, I had a very busy weekend filled with barbershop rehearsals for our concerts next year - an excellent weekend of intense singing with friends.
These notes contain all of the important information for our concert on Saturday, so please make sure you read all the way through.
What we did on Tuesday 29th November
A lovely start to our penultimate Tuesday rehearsal with A Hymn to the Virgin - Choir, we can still do a bit more with telling the story, and I think the balance is just slightly off, so leave that with me, but some beautiful blending and work on shaping.
Then we ran the Fantasia, which went very well. The opening section was probably the best, and the ending was beautiful. Keep the energy going through all of the 'inner sections', such as at Letter U. A few more things to do on this on Tuesday, but it's really good! Before the break we sang O little town; nothing too hard here, just making sure it's all really accurate and that tuning is on point. In the third verse, we can do more to shape the 'oo' parts... I promise you you won't drown out Charlie, our soloist.
After the break we ran Advent Moon, which went very well - well done! We worked on the section from bar 49 to the end, ensuring a good balance between the parts, and keeping the drive and excitement going until the very end, which will need concentration to keep the intensity.
Finally, we worked on See amid the winter's snow. You all know the sections of this to look at in your own time, but just for confidence we might implement the piano, to help us with the harder central sections.
Everything should be learnt by now, and if you do find yourself unsure on some notes please take the time at home to prepare yourselves for the rehearsals. The quality of the ensemble has improved immeasurably this term, and it's something I'm really proud of with the choir; make sure you know the notes to help with this.
What we'll do on Tuesday 6th December
Oh dear... December already, where has this year gone?! We'll warm up with O Come, All Ye Faithful (verses 1, 2, 6 & 7), and then move on to See amid, with a particular focus on the central sections. After this we'll look at Jesus Christ the Apple Tree, and The Three Kings.
After the break we'll sing through Advent Moon to keep it fresh in our minds, and White Christmas, before ending with Here is the Little Door, and Hark! the herald-angels - it's December, we're allowed to do these now!
We're on the final straight, so thank you all so much for all of your hard work this term - keep up the good work until Saturday!
These should all be in by now... I think I might cry if they're not...
The Spotify Playlist, as always is HERE. I hope it all helps.
Saturday 10th December - Concert Day
I'll be sharing a detailed plan of the day later this week, but for now here are the details you need to know:
Rehearsal: 14:00 - 17:00 *Please be there to help set up at 13:30.
Concert call time: 19:10 for a 19:30 concert.
St Margaret's Church, OX2 6RX
There is parking on the gravel driveway in front of the church, but not much. Please do not park on the tarmac driveway behind the church. There is some on-street parking for a limited time.
Set up/pack down
Many hands make light work! Please could we have as many people there as possible to help move furniture, instruments, put out chairs, etc. This is the same for after the concert, that way we can all get to the pub (The Anchor, down the road) quicker.
After the concert, please hand your music back to Judy *in your folder* with all markings rubbed out. If I remember, I'll bring a big pack of rubbers for the interval and afterwards.
We had a few pieces go walkies last term, so please make sure everything is back in the folders correctly before handing them to Judy.
Concert Running Order
O come, all ye faithful - Audience Joining
Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Here is the Little Door
A Hymn to the Virgin
Reflection on Divinum Mysterium - Organ Only
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
- Interval of 20 minutes -
O Little Town of Bethlehem
A Spotless Rose
See amid the winter’s snow
The Holy Boy - Organ Only
The Three Kings
Away in a manger
Hark the herald angels sing - Audience Joining
White Christmas - Surprise Encore
Concert Dress and Folders
All black, so black shirts, trousers, jackets, jumpers, dresses, skirts, shoes and most importantly black socks or tights. We'll also have an optional splash of Christmas colour, so greens, reds, silvers, golds - think ties, scarves, cufflinks, etc.
Please see the very happy photo from last year's concert.
We use black folders for the concert. Normally I suggest supporting Blackwell's Music by getting them there, but if there aren't any, you can get them from:
Keep sharing this wonderful poster digitally far and wide, and pick up posters and fliers on Tuesday to place anywhere and everywhere!
As I said at the start of this post, a very busy weekend of barbershop, and I'd like to share one of the ones we were doing. A fun arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's Tonight from West Side Story. Here, it's sung by one of the best quartets in the world, the Swedish quartet the Ringmasters. You can hear it HERE.
Have a great start to the week and see you on the 6th.