Newsletter Spring 2018

In this edition……..Chair’s introduction……..Music Director’s message…….. Online shopping reminder ……….. Concert day notes………Help needed…….Rubbing out evening………Committee.

Chair’s Introduction

Hello Everyone and Welcome to our new Choir Members

From “Utterly Italy” for our December Concert a real change to thoroughly English for our Spring Concert “Songs of Sea and Shore” on 28 April.  Suddenly, 28 April is feeling very close with Easter now being celebrated.  It is good to note our Director of Music’s confidence for our performance in his section below but we shall need to rehearse and concentrate hard on our enunciation to make this the spectacular success that we hope it shall be.

The sopranos have an opportunity to have a special sectional rehearsal this coming Thursday, 5 April at 2.30 pm at 34a Kings Lane, South Heath, HP16 OQY.  Choir members in other sections, I am sure, will be working on their music and words, as John has requested.

In this newsletter you will find arrangements for the concert.  Please do ask any member of the Committee if you have any queries.

It has been hard to remember that spring is on our doorstep with all the bursts of snow, ice and bitterly cold temperatures we have been experiencing in past weeks and the poor forecast for the first part of the week after Easter.  However, we shall hope for better weather by the time of the concert and hope that this will bring out a really good audience.  It would be very helpful if you could make sure that posters are still plentiful and in place and shops are displaying the flyers (they often prefer to do so nearer the time of the concert, so now is the time to ask if you have not already done so).  Most importantly, it is very helpful if you could use social media to its best advantage to alert people to the coming concert and encourage all your friends and family to get their tickets in good time.

We shall be having our regular social evening on the Monday after the concert, when we can take a drink and have a chat together whilst ensuring that all the music is in a good state to forward to libraries for other choirs to use.  Two weeks later, we have been asked if we might sing for the Church of St Peter and St Paul’s Cream Teas – always a treat.

The Committee have been working particularly hard to prepare for the coming concert and my thanks go to them and to all those who assist in preparation for the performance.

Meantime, wishing you joy at this Easter time and for the spring and summer ahead,                     Vivien



I hope you are all looking forward to our approaching concert with its programme of wonderful English music. I hope too you are selling lots of tickets so that all your hard work will be rewarded by a large audience.  As well as the four choral works, they will love the Finzi song cycle for baritone and strings, ‘Let us garlands bring’, which I know Nick Morton will sing superbly.

I think the rehearsals have been going well, and with four more to go after the Easter break, we should be up to a good performance standard.  But, as I have mentioned during the practices, diction is all-important for this concert with all the pieces being in English.  It’s so important for the audience to hear all the words of these wonderful poems. Singing text is not like speaking it – a different technique is required in that you have to work harder at extending the vowel sound and articulating the consonants.  So I suggest that, each time you do your private practice, you first read the words aloud many times, exaggerating the consonants and vowels, so that you are entirely familiar with them and their exaggerated pronunciation.  Then transfer them to the music and sing them with the same exaggerations – it may feel funny to you but it won’t sound so to the listener. If everyone does this, you will find a thrilling satisfaction in the teamwork of which you are part.

Thank you so much for putting the work in during the term. A pity the weather has seemed against us sometimes but it hasn’t deterred you, and I’m sure you’re on the road to another great performance.  I’m very excited about it!                                                                                                                                                          John


Online shopping

Just a reminder to those who shop online, about the Easyfundraising website, through which we can raise additional funds for our choir, as it gives us 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, and easy to set up an account:

If you choose, you can prompt a reminder whenever you go to a website which supports Easyfundraising, e.g. Expedia, if you go to that company’s website without going via Easyfundraising.  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.




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 – The rehearsal on Saturday 28th April will commence at 2pm.  Please ensure that you are in your seats ready to begin by this time.

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

 Security –   The Church itself and surrounding area is a high-risk area prone to opportunistic theft of personal property.  It is important that valuables are not brought to rehearsals or the performance. There will be a volunteer steward providing security at the vestry door.  It is important that the vestry door is not left open or closed “on the latch” at any time.

Take the normal precautions of not leaving any items on display in your car and lock your vehicle.

Helpers. We are fortunate to have several people who are always willing to help, acting as Stewards/ Front of House/Security and setting up.  However, this Spring there are some key members of this team who are unavailable to help, therefore some additional volunteers are needed.  If any choir members have friend/partners willing to be involved and join the team, please let a member of the committee know.   Additionally, many hands make light work –  willing helpers are sought for 10/15 minutes after the performance to tidy the church to its normal setting. Again, please let a member of the committee know if you or someone you know is able to help.

Car Parking

Access Road – There are 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 Jeremy Howard know the name, make and model of car and registration.  Jeremy will provide a permit nearer to concert day.

Choir/Volunteer Helpers.  Parking on the unmade road down from the top gate in the evening of the concert is limited to those members who help clear afterwards.  Please let Jeremy have your name, make and model of car and registration, and he will provide a suitable permit on concert day.  Please note that if any car is found parked on the unmade road without a permit, the owner will be asked to move it.

The permits 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 collected at the door 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.                                                                                                       Committee


HELP NEEDED   As many of you will know, for a number of years the local Scouts have provided a group of their members who assist with the erection of the staging on the morning of our concerts, and dismantling at the end of the evening.  Unfortunately, they are unavailable this time, due to an overnight event which had to be postponed due to inclement weather.  We therefore require around six fit helpers to assist us with this task.  These could be friends or family members, or perhaps you know of a youth group which may welcome a donation in return for their help.  They will be supervised and directed.  With enough help, the task can be completed in around one to two hours.  Names please to Ken Darvill 01494 713217.



On Monday 30th April, we shall have our usual get together at the Oldham Hall to clean up the borrowed scores so that our Librarian Ken can return them in good order.  Drinks and nibbles will be available and we can reflect upon a great concert!




Looking forward to our next season, we shall require two new committee members:  firstly, an “ordinary” member, to serve for three years, and secondly either a Secretary or a Treasurer.  Geoff Povey is stepping down as our Treasurer in September, after 14 years of skilful care of the choir’s finances.  Suzanne is happy to undertake either role, so a replacement for one or the other will be necessary, and a smooth handover is assured.  We are a very collegiate committee, and all are willing to help out in the various tasks.  We generally meet once or twice in each term and as the work is shared, it is not onerous.  If you are interested in any of the vacancies, please let Vivien or another member of the committee know.

April 24th, 2018