Letter from Vivien – August 2021

Letter from the GMCS Chair to all the Choir

Welcome back everyone to singing as a choir once again.  The Committee have been working with Alex, our Music Director, to plan for the next term.  The first of our weekly rehearsals this coming season will be on Monday, 6 September, in the Oldham Hall (located off Church Lane in Great Missenden) as before lockdowns and the restrictions that followed.  We shall be working towards our concert on 18 December, which will be shorter than normal and without an interval for refreshments as none of us know exactly what the situation will be then.  The concert programme will be:

Haydn St Nicholas Mass https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8p07AuaIyg

Vivaldi Magnificat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbUaT2k5n78

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl9T3r8UyGA

The concert should take about an hour.  Once again, the St John’s Chamber Orchestra will be playing with us (they have given us the details below about a concert they will be giving at Norden Farm in September) and Nicholas Robinson will be the organist.

Those members of the choir who were able to join us from May to July this year, when we rehearsed in a marquee at The Trinity Church, Prestwood, and sang at the Missenden Abbey Fair on 11 July – all great fun and most fulfilling – will be familiar with the safety procedures that we had put in place then.  A big thank you to all who helped to make this happen.  It was great to see so many familiar faces in the audience at the Abbey.  We were especially grateful to Geoff Povey for stepping in to try to prevent the music being whipped away in the wind as Michael, our accompanist, played for us on the electric piano!  The performance of the horse in the background was also noted.

A further risk assessment has been completed for rehearsals from 6 September to 13 December and, of course, we shall be abiding by the procedures put in place by the Oldham Hall management.  Full details of these arrangements and the actions people should take when attending the rehearsals are set out on the next page.  We ask that you take care to read these before coming to choir sessions.

Please do contact me if you have any questions or points you would like to raise on any of these matters.

We are all looking forward to joining together again to sing and enjoy the opportunity to perform in a concert once more.  I know that there will be good times and a lot of music, new and old for us to hear and take part in singing.

Meantime, I do hope you get the opportunity to enjoy the late summer sunshine we are promised,

Vivien Salisbury


St John’s@Norden Farm.    Friday 24 September 8pm    St John’s Ensemble

Schubert String Trio in B flat, D.471
Beethoven Violin Sonata in A, Op.12 No.2
Mozart Serenade in C minor, K.388
Gounod Petite symphonie
Beethoven Piano Trio in E flat, Op.1 No.1     Details and Booking



The government has relaxed the Covid regulations for all activities with effect from July. However the committee is aware that the infection is still spreading in the general public and therefore some precautions continue to be necessary. The activities of the choir benefit the social well-being of the choir members hence it is felt that this is a good time to resume indoor rehearsals the concerts.  A new risk assessment has been completed for rehearsals from 6 September to 13 December at the Oldham Hall.

The Hall is available to us from 7.15 pm, when organisers and a limited number of invited helpers will prepare the hall in advance of each rehearsal to ensure that the location meets all safety and Covid-secure concerns. The hall is well suited for this with multiple windows able to be opened and large enough for the choir to meet up. The windows will be open throughout the rehearsal to ensure that it is well ventilated.  All should be ready by 7.30 for choir members and other participants to enter ready for a prompt rehearsal start at 7.45 pm.

Rehearsals are restricted to members, potential members, the Music Director and accompanist. The space will therefore not become overcrowded. We shall keep a register with contact details of those attending each rehearsal.  The details will be confirmed as you arrive with a member of the Committee.  This will be in accordance with track and tracing arrangements.

People should not come to rehearsals or the concert if they are unwell or have been exposed to anyone with Covid or if in quarantine.  Coming to the rehearsals, we should wear face masks when assembling, during the break and as we leave.  Participants are asked to use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving.

There will be no refreshments provided at the rehearsals.  Those coming are advised to bring their own water and any other drinks they would like.

If regulations change to restrict such events or if there is a surge in local Covid cases, the rehearsals will be cancelled.

All of these measures will be reviewed regularly, as appropriate.

Vivien Salisbury, Ken Darvill

September 2nd, 2021