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Conductor's Notes - Tuesday 7th February

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Apologies for the delay in getting these notes out to you friends; I had a busy week and a weekend full of rehearsals, so had no time for any admin. I know you'll have all looked at the bits you're not yet comfortable with, particularly in the Mäntyjärvi, so thank you for putting all your time and effort into that!

What we did on Tuesday 7th February

We began the rehearsal by looking at the Sumsion from page 9 to the end. Immediately we needed to keep the text and movement of the phrases active, despite the tempo slowing slightly. We worked on the aggression of the text on pages 11 and 12, and again kept the text really accurate, particularly the phrase "So when they cry unto the Lord in their trouble:". We did some great work on the expression and sense of relief on pages 13-16, just remember to let the important parts come through, such as the Tenors in the 5/4 bar on page 16. We finished with the Sumsion this week by singing it beginning to end, getting a good picture of the whole piece.

After this, we began by recapping the Mäntyjärvi from page 13-17 - something I hadn't asked you to prepare because I wanted to see how well it had stuck from the previous week. We then did some really detailed work on the ostinato sections from pages 6-10, building up the rhythmic drive from the Basses. We'll do some more 'note-bashing' on this to get the clashes in pitch together, but please make sure you're comfortable with the rhythms as we've worked hard on those. After the break, we also rehearsed the bottom of page 10-12, but we'll do some more work on that on the 14th.

We finished with some great work on Movement 2 of the Stanford - The Song of the Sou' Wester. I was really impressed by the grit and accuracy of this, having worked on it slowly and built it up to tempo. Just be careful of the final time it comes up, at Letter F - it's different to the previous two times. We did some good work on accuracy of the text, especially with breaths and consonants, so PLEASE make sure you have the markings in the score.

What we'll do on Tuesday 14th February

I'd like to begin with Eternal Father, strong to save, especially looking at the last verse with the descant. After this I want to run the Mäntyjärvi from page 6 to page 20, covering all of what we've done over the past 4 weeks - don't worry if we don't manage it, I think it'll be useful and interesting to see where we're at at this half-way point. We'll then split off into sectionals, working on the notes of this section, getting through as much as we can.

Finally, we'll finish with Movement 3 of the Stanford, The Middle Watch.


As I'm sure you'll know, I'm observing the Birmingham half-term, meaning there'll be NO rehearsal on Tuesday 21st February.

THERE IS STILL A REHEARSAL on Tuesday 14th February.

I'm very sorry for this faff, but I hope it doesn't affect too many people.

Marked Scores

Attached are the marked scores for the whole concert, including hopefully helpful hints for finding your starting notes in the Stanford. We're now at the stage of the term where I expect the markings to in your scores. Thank you for putting them in!

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

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.

Solo Auditions

We had some auditions of the 7th February, but it's still not too late to audition on the 14th February. If you'd like to audition, we're looking for:

1 Soprano (folky solo in the Mäntyjärvi)

1 Tenor/Baritone ('newsreader' solo in the Mäntyjärvi)

1 Bass/Baritone (opening of the Vivian)

Poster and Event Link

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

See you on the 14th.

- Ben

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