Autumn 2016 Newsletter



From The Chair, Vivien Salisbury


WELCOME, EVERYONE, to our Autumn newsletter, giving you all the information about dates to note for the future, concert day requirements and arrangements, a reminder about our Christmas party on 12 December and general choir news.  This season 2016-17 is one of celebration:  at our Christmas Concert on 10 December, the Church of St Peter and St Paul, our regular place for performance, have asked us to include an organ piece in celebration of the 100th year of the installation of their organ.  Rhidian Jones will be playing Handel’s “Organ Concerto No. 4 in F” on the newly restored organ, which should be a moment for the choir to sit and savour the sounds of instrument and the music in the church, after singing the “ ‘Little Organ’ Mass” by Haydn.  As we all know from our rehearsal warm ups, we shall be singing as well music by Buxtehude, Mendelssohn, Morten Lauridsen, and Cecilia McDowell, a programme displaying the choir’s fine tradition of performing a wide range of classic and contemporary choral works. 

It is a great joy that the composer of this last piece, Cecilia McDowell, will be joining us for our rehearsal on 14 November.  We know from her last visit to us a few years ago that this should be a memorable evening, providing us with insight and even greater appreciation of the work, its genesis and her intentions for it.  Friends, of course, are very welcome to join us.

Cecilia’s “Christus natus est” should be a wonderfully fitting start to the Christmas period for both performers and audience, who we hope will leave the concert uplifted and looking forward to the celebrations ahead.  Please do make sure all your family and friends have their tickets ready and remind people that they can book online.  An e-version of the handbills and posters will be coming to you very shortly for you to send out to all those you think might like to come.  There will be more printed versions at the rehearsal on Monday and I am sure already you will be taking care to provide every possible means to displaying these, ensuring posters are renewed where they take a battering from the forthcoming winds and rain and sending the message far and wide of the concert.  Similarly, if anybody is part of any twitter feeds, instagrams and other similar social media that could be used for this purpose, a mention of the concert would be most welcome.   As in previous years, we do hope to have a sell out audience and publicity remains very important for this.

Our Christmas Party will be on 12 December.  Details and tickets will be available soon.  After all the effort and excitement of the concert, it is a great time for members, Friends and their guests to relax and have fun, talk about the music and the fun times to come.  It is always enjoyable to mix with people across the voice parts and to get feedback from the audience.  We have wonderful support from our Friends and others who help on concert days and in the background throughout the year and it is a happy occasion in which we can all share.

We shall return on Monday, 9 January, 7.45 pm, as ever in the Oldham Hall, to start our rehearsals for our 150th Concert Performance, the Bach B Minor Mass, which we will sing at St Mary’s Church, Old Amersham, on Saturday, 29 April.  The Bach B Minor Mass is the work that John has long had a desire to perform with the choir and he is very happy and confident that it is well within our ability with good preparation and practice to make this a very special successful concert in celebration of the choir’s 150 concert performances.  To prepare for the concert, we have a rehearsal schedule already prepared and shared with us by our Music Director, John Cotterill, including some split rehearsals, where the men will attend for the first part of the evening at the Baptist Church in Great Missenden and the women at the Oldham Hall, coming together again in the Oldham Hall for the second part of the evening.  A schedule of the rehearsals is included below.  We will also be holding our B Minor Mass Workshop on Saturday, 21 January at Missenden Abbey.  John has been working hard on the preparation for this event which is designed to increase our knowledge and understanding of the music and its context and so increase our appreciation of the work and our enjoyment in the celebratory performance in April.  We do hope you will all be able to attend.  Choir members and Friends will be asked to contribute only towards liquid refreshments which will be available throughout the day. Singers joining us just for this concert will be asked to pay £10 to cover refreshments and materials for the day.  For those young people who have been awarded a bursary there will be no charge.

We already know of a number of people who either have sung with the choir in the past or have sung the work recently with similar or larger choirs, who will be joining us for the concert.  We could benefit from further singers, especially sopranos and men, tenors particularly.  Should you know of any past members or experienced and able singers who you believe might wish to share this special undertaking with us, please do ask them if they would like to do so and let John or any member of the Committee know, so that we can make the proper arrangements.  For those very experienced singers who have already sung the music, John will agree with them the rehearsals they would benefit from attending, usually including the last week of rehearsals and the rehearsal on the day of the performance.  A leaflet is attached that you could share with any potential singers and that you might like to make available at suitable events or places.  Our choir is known for its welcome and friendliness and we would want to make those joining us feel fully part of the celebrations and help them with us to produce the quality of performance that we would wish and know we can achieve.

Meantime, let’s enjoy our rehearsals for our December concert and make it a splendid occasion for everyone.                                                                                                                                            Vivien


Concert Day Notes.

The  ”non-musical bits” but, as always, important contributions to the success of the concert!

Dress Code – for the women, black long skirts/evening trousers that look like skirts and long or three quarter length sleeves, no bling.

– for the men, Black DJ’s, white shirts, bow ties.

“Bling” will be provided on the day.  And, again, please no aftershave/perfumes that are likely to cause allergies and affect singer’s voices.

Timetable – Similarly, John will be confirming the actual timetable of Saturday’s rehearsal.

Access to the Church- when you arrive for Saturday’s rehearsal and the performance please enter through the vestry door to avoid disturbing the orchestra area-but see Security below.

Security –   It is preferable that valuables are not brought to rehearsals or the performance at church or left in the vestry.  Please help by not leaving the vestry door open or “on the latch” at any time.

Take the normal precautions of not leaving any items on display in your car and locking your vehicle – the parking area around the church continues to be a high risk area.

Helpers. We have an active team of Volunteers acting as Stewards/ Front of House/Security and setting up.  None of this is particularly onerous – we hire a fit team of scouts for the heavy stuff!   If any members have friend/partners willing to be involved and join the team, please let me know.   Additionally, those willing to lend a hand after the performance on December 10th please let me know  01494 862580/07745290886/

 Car Parking

Access Road – There are now double yellow lines on the road leading up to the church. Furthermore, emergency vehicle access must be preserved.

Disabled.  Parking spaces are very limited. Those with a real need for priority disabled parking please let me know – contact details above – with name, make and model of car and registration.  An A5 sheet with letter I will be made available at rehearsals.

Choir/Volunteer Helpers.  Those members who stay after the concert to help clear afterwards will be able to park on the unmade road down from the top gate.  Please let me have your name, make and model of car and registration. An A5 sheet with letter   X will be made available.

These sheets should be fixed or held inside the windscreen on the left side to be seen by the parking stewards on arriving at the car park entrance.

 Tickets for collection at the Door – If you wish to organise tickets to be left at the door for collection please place them in a white envelope BOLDLY marked with the names of the person collecting them, and whether payment has/has not been made.

 Thank You for all the help given on the April Concert.                                                                     Ron


Treasurer’s message.

Thank you to those people who have kindly added donations to their subscriptions this season. This has raised £205 for Choir funds.

Please continue to bring along items for sale at choir evenings. Home produce, e.g. grapes, marmalade, jam, apples (when available) are always welcome. Books are also popular.

Online shopping

For those of you who shop online, we are trying to raise additional funds for our choir, through links to a website which will give us commission on sales from online shopping:

Easyfundraising. This website will give commission of up to 15% on sales. There are links from this site to over 600 Brand Name retailers, including Amazon, B & Q., BHS, Curry’s, Marks and Spencer, and Waterstones. It costs us (and you) nothing. It is free to use.

How to access

There is a link to Easyfundraising on the GMCS website if you wish to use it.

Thank you if you are able to support the choir in this way.


Naxos recordings

Many of the items which we sing, as well as much other music, is available to listen to via Naxos online. To listen to these recordings go to:

Bucks CC Library website

Reference and Enquiries

Naxos online

Enter BUCKSxxxxxxxx (where x is your Library Membership number)

Type the name of the music into the Search box: e.g. CPE Bach Magnificat

You then get a list of the recordings available

Select the recording

Select play

You cannot save the recording to a disk.                                                                                            Geoff


Online Ticket Sales   

Tickets for our concerts can now be purchased online via a link on the GMCS website ( This uses the TicketSource box office system. Tickets are at their current price of £14 for adults and £7 for children and students. There is a booking fee which will be added to the ticket price. The purchaser must also print off the Eticket(s) which must be brought to the concert and presented at the Church door in order to gain entry.

The TicketSource system provides us with full reporting and accounting facilities relating to ticket sales by this method.

Concert programmes and posters will now include details of this method for purchasing tickets.

Tickets will also still be available for choir members to purchase at rehearsals, and also from Wynyard Wright and Ellis, 36B High Street, Great Missenden.


Looking forward to Spring term…………

Bach B Minor Mass – rehearsal arrangements and Awayday Workshop

A reminder of the dates of the split rehearsals arranged for next term:

January 30th, February 6th, 20th and 27th and March 13th 2017

On these evenings, the sopranos and altos will meet as usual at the Oldham Hall, to rehearse with John and Michael.  On those evenings the men will, for the first half of the rehearsal, meet at the Great Missenden Baptist Church on the High Street, with Rhidian Jones.  At break time, around 2045 hrs, the men will move to the Oldham Hall where we will all rehearse together for the remainder of the evenings.

The Awayday Workshop will take place on 21st January 2017 (all day) at Missenden Abbey.  John has planned a full day of singing and fascinating insights into the composition of this work.  It is hoped that every member of the choir will attend that day.

Also, for those who wish to buy your own B minor Mass vocal scores, you should get Barenreiter BA5102A or BA 5102-92 (identical) and these can be ordered online from

The recording of the B minor Mass which John recommends is the double CD set on

Veritas 50999 6 93197 2 3.


November 8th, 2016