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Pre-Concert Conductor's Notes

This is it, we've had a great term and the concert is on Saturday! How quickly this has all come up. Some excellent work this term, and thank you for engaging brilliantly with the Mäntyjärvi - final push now to make sure you're really confident with it all.

Important information about the concert below, so please read carefully.

What we did on Tuesday 28th March

We began by working on most of the Stanford, starting with movement 1. We ensured the semiquaver 'to-day' was accurate but not over emphasised, and also the final "lead the line" was long (almost 2 beats here, rather than 1 everywhere else). Then we channeled the energy needed for movement 2, making sure we were happy with where the consonants come, and working on the tuning of chromatic ends of the phrase. At Letter F you need to keep the energy and clarity of the text, but at the quiet dynamic. Careful basses and tenors before Letter G as it changes to the major (E naturals). We also made sure the balance of the last chord was suitable - sorry first altos!

After this we sang movement 4, balancing tenor ones with bass ones. Be aware of the cut off before Letter L - watch for that! A very exciting ending, especially when we're mindful of the tuning of those rising scales. We ended our work on the Stanford by looking at movement 3 which was beautiful! Sopranos, prepare those suspensions (2 before A) by growing into them. Keep page 16 moving, and the breaths in the right places. Same for all of the "Watch, O watch" entries - please ensure you have the right spots for breaths from the marked score! We spent the time just touching up all the fine details, so make sure you're focussing on every tiny thing now.

After the break we did little bits on the Sumsion, including the start, keeping the phrase moving even through the breaths. Keep the sound going through "his wonders" as it gets lower; it doesn't diminuendo until the very end. On page 9, make sure the hairpins span the whole bar, not just blossoming on each individual note. Beautiful singing of page 15 - just be aware that the one in harmony comes first. Sopranos at the very end, keep that sound pure and well supported.

Then we worked on the Mäntyjärvi - excellent stuff, singing it through. Confidence, altos, on page 2 for your first entry. Watch the tuning sopranos and altos on page 4, especially on the B naturals. Pages 6 to 10 were excellent, but we can still take more consonants to really punctuate everything! On page 11 and 12, tenors and basses worked on keeping it precisely in time, and the tuning of some of the chords, particularly the Eb major chord in the first bar of page 12. Sopranos and altos - all I can say about pages 13 and 14 is confidence, and slow practice with a metronome at home. We made page 17 more violent and powerful, and then sang through pages 18 and 19. On page 20, make the tolling bells a little more ping-y at the front, but keep them sustained.

We finished the rehearsal by top and tailing Crossing the Bar. Please make sure you're comfortable with the words, and that ALL breaths are marked in! As I've said before with this piece, it's simplicity means we have to work extra hard on all the fine details, especially to do it justice as we dedicate it to Alison in the concert.

Concert day - Saturday 1st April

Below is a general rehearsal schedule for the concert day, as well as a reminder of other bits. I'm sure we won't need all of this time, so we can add short breaks in and move things around, but I've deliberately left plenty of time for each piece.


13:30 - Arrive and set up in St Michael and All Angels Church, Summertown.

14:00 - Warm up.

14:05 - Eternal Father.

14:15 - Mäntyjärvi.

15:00 - Crossing the Bar.

15:15 - Break.

15:30 - Sumsion.

16:00 - Stanford, in order.

17:00 - Finish.


19:10 - Latest arrival for concert.

19:20 - Warm up and prepare.

19:30 - Concert starts.

21:00 - Approximate concert end.

Other bits

Venue: St Michael and All Angel's Church, Summertown, OX2 7ES

Parking: There should be enough parking on roads or in shop car parks near by.

Concert dress: All black.

Folders: Black folders please!

Returning music: After the concert, please return all music, in the plastic folders, with

markings rubbed out.

Marked Scores

It's safe to say you've let everyone down if these aren't in by now.

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 at this stage you're still uncertain with your notes, you have no excuse not to make use of them!

Poster and Event Link

Last chance to share the poster far and wide, as well as the link to the concert HERE.

Let's get a good audience for this, you deserve it!

Reminder of details for Summer Term

Below are the dates for the Summer term - please put them in your diary now.


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

The full programme will be:

Chilcott - A Little Jazz Mass

Selections from In the Mood

Ain’t misbehavin’

Autumn Leaves

Tea for two

Deep Purple

Blue Moon

- Interval -

Rutter - Selections from Birthday Madrigals

III. Come live with me

IV. My true love hath my heart

V. When daisies pied

Lincé - Begin the Beguine

Selections from In the Mood

Summer time

Night and Day

Over the rainbow

In the mood

Encore: ‘S wonderful

... Just to whet the appetite!

See you on Saturday 1st April.

- Ben

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