Letter from Vivien – October 2020

Hello Everyone

It feels a while back since we were preparing for our Easter concert.  We have been able to keep up with some singing with Alex’s regular online rehearsals, with a range of music that can always surprise.  It has been great to have some streamed concerts and wonderful to have online proms along with other musical snippets that members have sent in to share with us all through Amanda’s group email lists.  So much good music to listen to, especially now, as the nights grow longer.  A real time for some much needed comfort especially on a dark mid afternoon – making shortbread is one of my favourite comfort recipes from an amazing family in Scotland:  eight ounces of flour, five of butter, three sugar.  I expect Suzanne, Moyra, Neil and Angus can improve on my efforts.

Throughout this time, the Committee have been looking at further ways to add to our musical learning and enjoyment.  We were very grateful for all the responses we received to our members’ survey, which has helped to guide our planning and actions.  Alex has been most enthusiastic throughout in coming up with ideas and plans with us for current activities and plans for the future. We have been formulating plans for a short concert of Alex’s devising and playing, together with Michael, for choir members, our official Friends and President only, initially planned for on our Christmas Concert day or rehearsal evening at the church and possibly followed by some carol singing on the green outside the Oldham Hall or similar outside setting.  I know that we would all love to hear their wonderful organ and piano playing and think how the instrumental music enhances our singing performances.  Ken has put together a precise risk assessment for the choir and the church have some excellent risk assessments of their own in place already. The gloomy virus infection rates, however, might make these two possibilities suspect at this time and we may well have to push back our plans in to and for next term, with later than usual rehearsal starting and spring concert dates.

Meantime, there are some continuing costs for GMCS, despite Suzanne’s great endeavours in managing the books, ensuring the appointment of an auditor and keeping expenses down.  The Committee all thought it right at this time to support our exceptional professional musicians, Music Director, Alex, who keeps us singing through you.tube rehearsals as well as preparing future concerts and other events, and our accompanist, Michael. Whilst all had been so unsure, we had been reluctant to ask for subscriptions earlier.  However, we are asking now for members to make a donation of £25 for the term to contribute towards the ongoing costs and having sufficient funds to be up and ready for future rehearsal and performance expenditure to enable us to sing together as soon as we can safely start back again.  If anybody were to feel this is not what they could afford, we would quite understand.  Clearly, if people feel they would like to add a little more, as people have done in the past, this would be very helpful. For payment details, please see below.

We do need to hold an AGM, for which the preparatory work has been undertaken.  It is now scheduled for the evening of Monday, 11 January, 2021.  In the circumstances, this will be with members, Friends, and our President, Val Withams, online.  Amanda will send out further documentation in good time.

The night is drawing in as I write this.  Time to get that shortbread out of the oven and make a warming hot drink!  Do keep writing to us and giving us further suggestions and jokes, stories and music to share amongst our very special choir and those who support us,


Chair – Great Missenden Choral Society

November 5th, 2020