Newsletter Summer 2022










Hello Everyone and Welcome to Our Summer Newsletter!

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the Beat Retreat with the RAF Band on 16 June at Missenden Abbey.  We had great fun and mental and physical exercise in learning and rehearsing the regimental music for beating the retreat along with a series of traditional ballads and songs set to arrangements written by Alex Flood, our Music Director.  It was a moving and uplifting experience performing with the RAF band, who are exceptional, and a mental and physical challenge for Alex conducting us alongside the band master and RAF leader.  Meantime, Michael Macmillan, our accompanist performed with his usual flair and aplomb in the open air on an electric piano keyboard following a temporary break in power immediately before our starring role.  As they say, all was well on the night once this was rectified.  The event and our part in it were warmly received by the audience and the RAF, who have asked that we join them again in a future performance.

This performance came hard on the heels of our magnificent Spring Concert “Choral Romantics”, which included some of the most beautiful and powerfully expressive music of the nineteenth century, with works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mendlessohn, Rheinberger, Cesar Franck and Schubert’s exquisite Mass in C Minor.  We enjoyed the involvement of the guest soloists, from whom we would love to hear more.  A new seating arrangement for the choir worked well, and together with the string quartet, the choir produced a fine performance, widely admired by the audience and all those who took part.

As we move towards autumn after an at times very hot and action packed summer, we are looking forward to getting back together to singing once more.  Our first rehearsal of the new term will take place after our AGM on 5 September at 7.30 pm.  There is further information below about the business of the choir.  The Committee has been very strong and effective in managing the practical side of the choir over the years.  It would be splendid to see new people taking up a role with our experienced committee members on the committee, bringing their views, expertise and skills to the choir’s management and further development.  There are so many opportunities opening now and we are well placed to take these forward with the exceptional skills and leadership of our Music Director, Alex, and our excellent accompanist, Michael Macmillan.

The rehearsal that follows on from the AGM will be an introduction to the music that we will be singing at our Christmas Concert on Saturday 17 December at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Great Missenden.  Alex has written some notes on this exciting programme of work by Howard Goodall, Peteris Vasks and Vaughan Williams.  Certainly a collection of music with the wow factor!

It would be wonderful to share the opportunity to study and sing in this concert with others.  You will see an article about recruitment to the choir and we do encourage you to extend the invitation to friends and fellow singers you might know to join us in this endeavour and the Come and Sing we shall be having at the 19 September rehearsal.

I know that a number of members will be thinking of how best to look after and care for their voices.  Do look out for the information that we shall be forwarding for those who would like to consider this.

For the choir, these are very exciting times.  We all look forward to seeing you again in September,


Vivien Salisbury

Chair – GMCS





The music for our Christmas concert is based around three wonderful pieces by very different                        twentieth and twenty-first century composers.

Howard Goodall came to fame as the composer of TV themes for shows including Blackadder, Red Dwarf and The Vicar of Dibley. His work The Gravity of Kindness was written in 2019 and combines texts including a Mexican lullaby Arrorró mi niño, the Coventry Carol, and a poem, Kindness, by the American-Palestinian poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

We will also be singing what I imagine will be a rather unusual style of music for us, the sublimely peaceful and moving Dona Nobis Pacem by the Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. This eastern European call for peace on earth seems particularly relevant in the world as it is today.

The concert will conclude with some Vaughan Williams in his 150th anniversary year. His The First Nowell is a truly beautiful sequence of about a dozen traditional carols woven together into a retelling of the Christmas story.

I’m hugely looking forward to working on this terrific music with everyone!


Alex Flood

Music Director


As we approach the Autumn term and rehearsals for our Christmas concert, we will be making efforts to reach out to potential new members, distributing recruitment flyers and posting on social media.

We are also planning a ‘Come and Sing’ rehearsal evening on Monday 19 September, so please make a note of this and do invite friends who may be interested to join us.

Our Facebook page is  Please ‘like’ the page if you haven’t already and share our posts.


FINANCE MATTERS (the boring but important stuff)

Membership subscriptions are payable once per term and are currently £65.  We offer a £5 discount to £60 for members who pay in the first three weeks of term.

Payment may be made by cheque, or by direct bank transfer to “Great Missenden Choral Society”, Lloyds bank, sort code 30-84-24, account number 11264968.  Members sometimes add a donation to their subs, and this generosity is always welcome.

We also claim Gift Aid from HMRC for part of our subs.  This is a very valuable contribution to choir funds.  If you are a new member able to use the gift aid scheme and haven’t yet completed a form, please ask Suzanne for one.  If you have already completed a form and your circumstances have changed, e.g you have changed address, or no longer pay tax, please let Suzanne know so that our claims are accurate.







The choir’s finances can receive a well-needed boost if you nominate GMCS as your charity to receive donations from these sites:


Easyfundraising raises donations from some 3,000 retailers, so please consider making your purchases through this site.  “Big ticket” items such as holidays, vacation properties, insurance etc can raise large donations.


It’s easy to sign up, and to set a reminder to collect a donation if you are on a participating website.  Please ask Suzanne if you need further information or assistance with either of these items, and a BIG thank you to those who are already donating to the choir through online shopping.

From September, we will welcome “bring and buy” items such as books, your harvests and home made items.

Jo will be running a raffle once a term, so prize donations will be most welcome.  Jo is also planning to arrange another fundraising event, such as a table top sale, probably in late October or November.

The committee would welcome other fundraising suggestions and initiatives……sponsored challenge, anyone?!






Our current committee comprises:


Chairman             Vivien Salisbury                  Ordinary Members    Chris Purves

Hon. Secretary     Isabelle Reynolds                                                  Jo Ottaway

Hon. Treasurer     Suzanne Bryden                                                    Jean Jones

Librarian              Ken Darvill


Don’t forget that Vivien will be stepping down as Chair, and Jo as a member of the committee at our AGM.  We need to elect a new Chair and three further ordinary committee members on September 5th, so please consider whether you would like to stand.



September 11th, 2022