Newsletter Autumn 2014




From The Chair, Vivien Salisbury

Hello Everyone

What a marvellous and inspiring few weeks we have had rehearsing for our concert on 6 December.  We must thank both Val Withams, our President, and John Cotterill, our Director of Music, for arranging the attendance of first Andrew Gant and the following week Jonathan Rathbone to our rehearsals.  What charmers they are and how much insight they gave us in to their selection of themes and words for their pieces and the musical imagination they each have for their works, whilst giving us the musical expressions and qualities of singing in so many parts of their compositions.  It is greatly to John’s credit that he had brought us so far in our learning of the works that both composers expressed pleasure and satisfaction with the choir’s performance and responsiveness to their words and suggestions.  Well done to all the singers, John and Michael, our marvellous accompanist – now we have to work hard on some of those really tricky notes and the interpretation of the pieces, alongside our working with the orchestra, to do them true justice on the night of the concert.  For our audience and for Andrew and Jonathan, who will be there sharing the performance with us, we will want to give our all.

This newsletter sets out arrangements for the concert in the section by our Concert Manager, Ron Gordon.  Please do take note and ask if you have any queries.  Christopher Boyce, our hardworking Librarian, gives information about the sheet music for retention or return at the end of the concert, and asks for information to prepare for next term, which starts on Monday, 5 January.

Ticket sales are going well.  It would be very satisfying to ensure that we have a sell out in advance of our final week.  Please do make sure that after all the rain and wind, posters are still in place, shops are displaying the flyers (they often like to do so nearer the time of the concert, so now is the time to ask if you have not already done so), and all your friends and family have been asked and had the opportunity to get their tickets in good time.

It will surely be a concert to remember.                                                                                                                                                Vivien


 The”non-musical bits”, but nevertheless 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.

Vivien will provide bling.  And please no aftershave/perfumes that are likely to cause allergies and affect singer’s voices.

 Timetable – Choir to arrive for rehearsal on Saturday at 2pm and for the concert at 7 pm to be ready in their seats for 7.15 pm.

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

 Security – Please take care of your personal possessions.  It is preferable that valuables are not brought to rehearsals or the performance at church or left in the vestry.  Thefts have also occurred from cars parked around the church – take the normal precautions of not leaving any items on display and locking your vehicle.

 Helpers.  Volunteers at the end of the concert to tidy the church and leave it ready for Sunday services has been extremely helpful at the last two events – those willing to lend a hand on December 6th please let me know on 01494 862580.  Many hands make light work an’all that!  The scouts do all the heavy work.

 Interval drinks – Tony Overton runs an effective interval drinks service and would appreciate some additional help for it to continue running smoothly.  If any member’s partners/friends are willing to lend a hand please let Tony know on 01494 863581.

 Car Parking –Disabled.  Those with a real need for priority disabled parking please let Tony Overton know on 01494 863581 with name, type of car and registration.  An A4 sheet with letter D  will be made available at rehearsals.

                          – Choir.  Those choir members who stay after the concert to help clear will be able to park on the road down from the top gate.  An A4 sheet with letter    C 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.

 Continual Improvement – The stewarding team is anxious to continually improve the organisational side of the concert.  If you think of anything we could do more effectively to make the evening an even more enjoyable experience please speak with me.                                            Ron Gordon, Concert Day Manager.


Handing in your scores at the end of this term

The usual arrangements will apply again for handing in your borrowed scores after our Christmas concert.  If you are able to give me a clean score, with all your markings rubbed out, immediately after the concert, please put it in the plastic box on the floor in the vestry.  Otherwise, hand in your rubbed-out score at the Christmas Party on Monday 8th.  If you are not coming to the Party, give your score to someone who is coming.  Failing that, I’d be grateful if you could arrange to get your scores back to me by Wednesday 9th (3 Dairymede, Speen HP27 0TD, tel: 01494 488168) so that I can return them in good time.

If you have bought your copy of ‘PsalmWorld’, you should of course hang on to it.  If you would like to buy your copy of ‘Christmas Truce’, the publishers have agreed to give us a 25% discount, which would  bring the price down to £8.46.  If you’d like to take up this offer, please let me know (and provide the cash!).

Music for the Spring Term

As you know, on 25 April 2015 we are singing Handel’s ‘Alexander’s Feast’. Those scores will be available when we resume rehearsals on 5 January. On 17 May we will be singing Eric Thiman’s ‘Spring Garland’; members who have been singing with us for some time will recall that we started preparing that work some years ago, but had to abandon it because an orchestral set was not available. The Thiman scores will be available from 1 February, and John plans to prepare that piece alongside the Handel for the rest of our rehearsal season.

If for any reason you are not planning to sing with us next term, I’d be grateful if you could let me know so that I can prepare the right number of scores.                                                                                                                       Christopher

From the Treasurer:

 Despite grants from the Finzi Trust (£250) , Chiltern District Council (£900), and Sweet Charity, who are paying for our rehearsal hall charges this season, we are budgeting for a loss of £530 this season. Members’ generous donations of £302 on top of their subscriptions this term will go much of the way towards covering this. Thank you very much.

 Quiz Night

Please continue to support the various fundraising activities of the choir. As part of this, we have arranged a Quiz Night on Friday 13th March 2015 at 7.30 p.m. in the Oldham Hall. Quizmaster is Steve Coates. The cost is likely to be £13 per person, and will include a fish and chip supper or alternative. Full details will be given out early in the New Year, when it will be possible to book your places.

 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


 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.

 If you are not a member of Bucks Libraries (which is free), you should be able to access the Naxos website via Hertfordshire Libraries website, which currently does not require a membership number)                                         Geoff


After all the hard work and exhilaration of the concert, we like let our hair down and celebrate with our Christmas Party, which takes place on 8 December, the Monday after the concert, at 7.45 in the Oldham Hall.  It is an opportunity to bring friends or family, if you wish, and to eat, drink and be merry.  We have a seasonal meal, with first drink included in the price of the ticket which is £8 per person, lots of fun, chat and laughter with all our colleagues throughout the choir and our Friends and a chance to sing carols together as a start to our holiday festivities.  Tickets are available at any of the choir rehearsals from now until the concert.



December 1st, 2014