Site updated on 4th December, 2019 at 17.40 hours
Remember the concert at Christ Church is scheduled to start at 6.30pm, and donations of mince pies are expected !! further rehearsal/concert details will be published here when they are received. There will not be a rehearsal on 12th December, but do remember there are doses of Society carol singing between now and Christmas - hopefully your name is on the listings !

I heard from various sources how much the dinner was enjoyed. (I was thinking enviously about it while on a train leaving Cambridge). If any of you have taken a photograph or two which might be suitable for the website, would you please send a copy to Hugh de Saram or to me. They will be put onto the website. Much of the success of the dinner is laid at Kath's feet, as was the tour to Venice. I shall say something personally on Thursday, but as this mail goes out to many who might not be there this week, I want to record the Society's gratitude for all that Kath does for us. David Lomax (Bass) is co-ordinating the staging and setting up for our Christmas Concert at Christ Church. So far he has received only one offer of help on the day. As this is such a big concert - choir, brass band and children's choir - please consider whether you could help David. This request goes to ALL members of the choir. TICKETS! Now is the time to buy your tickets for the concert - we only have 2 Thursdays left. Aldbourne School have reserved a large amount of tickets which they are paying for in advance. With the likelihood of sales picking up significantly next week, seats cannot be guaranteed for tickets left unpaid for on the door (there are always tickets left uncollected on the night). Please buy tickets for your family and friends now. A note from Robin to those who have come forward to help with the singing of Star with the children’s choir....... Please can we meet at the break plus copies for a brief rehearsal. I have said to the teacher at St Michael’s Aldbourne that I would ask if some of you would be able to come to St Michael’s School to give some musical support at my rehearsal with them from 2.00 to 3.00 p.m. next Monday (2.12.19). If you are able to attend please tell me on Thursday...I would be most grateful...though enthusiastic the children are quite young and timid...with a bit of musical support they will be fine.

The Librarians will be providing the following music for the Christmas Concert: A Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Xmas - buy £5.50; hire £1.50 Carols for Choirs 1, 2 and 3 - buy only: new £15 each; used Carols for Choirs 1 £5 New carol by Robin - hire only 50p Carol by Andrew Fletcher - hire only 50p Hear the Angels Sing by Andrew Wicker - hire only; no charge. There is a sign-up sheet for Messiah copies (Spring concert 2020) on Thursday - Hire £2 /Buy £8.50.(5.11.19)

Full details will be listed here when received. From 7.30pm..

If you intend to sing in this concert, please inform your Section Leader by email. Soprano 1 - -- Soprano 2 -- Alto 1 - -- Alto 2 -- Tenor - -- Bass - -- AS SOON AS POSSIBLE !!!!!!

The President, at the AGM, observed that registered charities (and we are one) can often source funds from members who have "contacts". If you have friends or businesses you feel you could approach - without hazarding your relationship or job - perhaps you could discuss tactics with the President (who is experienced in these matters) or a member of the committee, before you make an approach on our behalf. Donations need not be financial - it's surprising what goodwill can find to help us !

A big thank you to Mark Thomas for his superb sales of manure, profits from which have now reached £80. If you would still like to order bags of even more mature manure at £2.50 a bag or 3 for £6. please speak to Mark. He is now taking orders for Christmas.

MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARIANS (3.9.19) Updated 5.11.19
Christmas programme: this will include carols from OUP Carols for Choirs volumes 1, 2 and 3 (green, orange and blue books). For those new to the choir, as we use these books each year, members buy their own copies. There will be a purchase sign up list at rehearsal this week. N.B. As well as new copies of all three volumes, we are able to offer used copies of Carols for Choirs 1 for sale at £5. If you are not currently attending rehearsals but need to order any Carols for Choirs books, please email Helen at

An up to date Rehearsal and Concert Schedule for 2019 may be found in "Downloads".

You will remember we had, several months ago, an extramural lecture by Hugh Warwick on "Hedgehogs". [] (If you highlight this address within the squared brackets but not including them, then right click on your mouse, you can open the speech through Google and you must enjoy it.) This is the best speech in parliament for a long time. Long live Mrs.Tiggywinkle.

More will be written about this splendid - and historical - event !

If you are not singing this term but would like one of the fabulous commemorative mugs, a snip at £6.50, can you please let Kath Danswan know by emailing her on and she will reserve one for you.

Naturally the Society welcomes ad hoc (and any other) gifts to its funds. Should you wish to do so it is now possible to donate online via this site. Go to the Donate page on the website and you will find "Gift" as a payment category.

A reminder to all members that there is an easy way to raise lots of money for SCS and it does not cost you anything at all!

  • First, you will need to join Easyfundraising at
  • Follow the easy prompts to search for Swindon Choral Society as your chosen cause and fill in the usual identity requirements.
  • No financial information is required.
  • Next time you want to shop online, go to your Easyfundraising page and search for your online shop. Amazon, M&S,, and many others.
  • When you shop the Easyfundraising way with one of their many shops and sites, Easyfundraising make a donation and give it to your chosen cause.
  • Easy, and it doesn't cost you a penny extra.
  • You will not be inundated by unwanted emails through this membership, although you will receive an email confirming the amount of each donation made on your behalf.
   PLEASE NOTE: You can also give directly via the Donate page on this website.

Please check if you still have a Society scarve or handkerchief. These belong to the choir, so please return them. We need them for future concerts.

I really would appreciate choir members going over their parts and preparing for the sessions. I expect the Semi-Chorus to be confident with notes without time-wasting NOTE BASHING in our rehearsal time. We need to be able to project, look out and look engaged and happy!

It is expected that members come to rehearsal prepared (having done their homework to schedule) and ready to sing, so please remember to: • Be seated in good time, • Have a SOFT pencil! - a rubber could be useful ! • Listen to Robin or Andrew or whoever is in charge. • Return promptly after the break, • Most importantly, not to talk throughout the rehearsal. Of course many singers observe the above at our rehearsals and I hope none of our members would wish to detract from progress by causing avoidable delays through lack of attention.

SWINDON CHORAL SOCIETY - CONCERT ETIQUETTE - Concerts are our opportunities to perform to a paying audience, frequently with professional orchestras and soloists. Therefore it is important to have guidelines on etiquette so that all choir members know how to present themselves well at a public performance. The choir is part of the performing team, but it is quite correct to applaud soloists or orchestra (see below). A huge amount of effort goes into the preparation of every concert. The arrival and entry of the choir on stage marks the start of the concert as far as the audience is concerned and our engagement with them. A choir member acts as ‘Concert Manager’ for each concert, and will give all advice and directions. a) Do be clear on the seating plan that has been drawn up and agreed at the final rehearsal. The staging and seats will be set up according to the plan. b) Please ensure that all electronic devices are switched off. It may be safer not to bring mobile phones into the venue at all! c) Assemble 30 minutes before the concert starts. Form up into seating position order a few minutes before filing on to the stage. d) File on to the stage and sit down when instructed (usually by the Concert Manager). Look interested, engaged and smile! e) On an agreed signal stand on entry of the Conductor and soloists. Do not applaud. Wait for signals from the conductor to be seated. f) Please turn music pages quietly. If you follow a soloist, we suggest not turning your music page exactly at the page-turn, as a hundred people doing this simultaneously can be at ‘mf’ level! Do either turn to your entry bar or ‘stagger’ page turns, sometimes ahead or behind the soloist. g) During the concert the Conductor will give us as many signals as possible but also has to attend to the players, so be attentive! h) Please do not talk between concert items. Sing with conviction and feeling and remain engaged with the audience. i) Water should be taken on stage only if needed. It should be carried and drunk discreetly during a soloist or orchestral passage. j) At the time of applause stand or sit as directed by the Conductor. Do not applaud whilst standing up. Applaud soloists only whilst seated. k) Remain seated until after the final applause has finished and then only leave the stage when directed (usually by the Concert Manager). We normally walk off steadily and purposefully in reverse order. Normal concert dress Women : • Plain black blouses (no lace) with long sleeves and, if desired, jackets with long sleeves • Black formal trousers (no jeans) or long black skirts, both down to the ankles • Black tights/socks and shoes • Discreet jewellery Men : • EITHER Dinner jackets, white shirts and black bow ties • OR Black shirts, black trousers • FOR BOTH THE ABOVE Black socks and shoes From time to time we add on a coloured item (e.g. scarf or rose) which will be made available for you.

As we now fill the car park at rehearsals, please take care to park sensibly without blocking other cars or the access, especially if parking outside the Freshbrook car park.

Following the Committee's request for help with raising funds, here is the easiest of ways to raise lots of money and it does not cost you anything at all! • First, you will need to join Easyfundraising at • Follow the easy prompts to search for Swindon Choral Society as your chosen cause and fill in the usual identity requirements. • No financial information is required. • Next time you want to shop online, go to your Easyfundraising page and search for your online shop. Amazon, M&S,, and many others. • When you shop the Easyfundraising way with one of their 3,251 shops and sites, Easyfundraising make a donation and give it to your chosen cause. • Easy, and it doesn't cost you a penny extra. • You will not be inundated by unwanted emails through this membership, but you will receive an email confirming the amount of each donation made on your behalf.

The Society relies on choir members to help promote our concerts and maximise ticket sales. Posters in various sizes advertising concerts are available around 6 weeks prior to the concert date. These are brought to the rehearsal and members are asked to take some posters and place them on notice boards, in shops and cafes or wherever they are likely to attract attention in their local area. There is a distribution list on which it’s helpful to note where you place posters, so that we can then identify any gaps which need to be filled. Tickets are on sale at rehearsals from 6 weeks prior to a concert. They can be purchased before the rehearsal starts - 7.00-7.20 pm - or during the interval. Members are strongly encouraged to try and sell tickets to people they know: this is our main source of ticket income. To help do this, members may take up to ten 'Sale or Return' tickets which they are requested to return with the relevant monies no later than a week before the concert. Arrangements can also be made with Carol Sarchet for tickets to be collected on arrival on the night. Tickets are also available for purchase on our website ( and at various locations, such as Swindon Information Centre, depending on the location of the concert. If members can think of any retailers / business practices which might be prepared to sell tickets on behalf of the choir please let us know. Concert expenditure can be high so attracting a large audience is important as well being very rewarding for us all. Please encourage family and friends to come along and put out reminders if you are on Facebook. The Society’s Facebook page will contain a post for each concert which you can repost or like. When emailing please remember to attach the electronic version of the concert flyer.

Please note that the SCS website has been enhanced to allow you to pay for your music and annual subscription by credit card should you wish to do so. If you go to the Members' page, you will see a credit-card icon that you can click to take you to a secure payment screen. The process works well from a mobile phone as well as from a normal computer. There is now NO charge for using this facility.

Please complete this GIFT AID DECLARATION if you pay UK income tax: the Society can claim your tax back, adding a very useful supplement to our income! When completed, please hand to the Treasurer or any committee member.

September is the start of the Society's new year, and subscriptions are due. Increases were approved at the recent EGM.. The subscription rate is £120.00. Many members pay by standing order - would you please amend such orders appropriately. (SO form details can be obtained from the Treasurer). Members may also pay via bank transfer to: Account name - Swindon Choral Society, Sort code 30-98-41, Account number 02232600. You may, of course, pay by cheque (to Swindon Choral Society). Please also consider signing a Gift Aid Declaration (if you pay UK income tax). This enables the Society to recover tax already paid by you. Any problems about paying or tax - please liaise with the Hon. Treasurer.

If you are reading this and you are not already a member - why not join us ? Full rehearsal details can be found in the "Downloads" section. We would particularly welcome more male or female tenors - and have not yet had a female bass in the Society. Other voices are also welcome. We have approximately 130 subscribing members. Joining details are elsewhere on this site.

At a recent EGM annual subscriptions were raised to £120.00 wef. from 1.9.18.. Please ensure your bank arrangements cover this new rate. A reduced rate of £90.00 is available via the Treasurer for those who have been surprised by the sudden increase. Subscriptions are pro rata from 1st September, so why not join now and enjoy the uplifting experience of fine choral singing, expert tuition and teamwork. The Society is a door to a new social life !

Proposed future concerts are now listed under the "Planned Concerts" tab.. The current rehearsal schedule can be downloaded from the "Downloads" tab

Any member of the Society is very welcome to join this happy and sociable group and at any time for any event. The only requirements are that you are willing to attend a couple of pre-event rehearsals (normally on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings)and enjoy singing in a choir of 12 to 20. In addition to weddings, we welcome members who could, at shorter notice, sing at funerals. We also give occasional small concerts for charities or fund-raising. To raise funds for the Society was why the Chorale came into being, and over the years we have probably been the most successful source of additional revenue for the Society. Speak to Dick Millard for enthusiastic advice !

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Atlantic Odyssey at STEAM (©Chris Miller)

Macon Community News

Atlantic Odyssey: Stanley, Robin, Kath (©Chris Miller)

Atlantic Odyssey: Mercer Singers (©Chris Miller)

Atlantic Odyssey: Mister President (©Chris Miller)

Atlantic Odyssey: Madam Chairman (©Chris Miller)

Atlantic Odyssey: Robin and Soloists (©Chris Miller)

Tea Break

Farewell To Eric