Wednesday, 16th January, 2019 at 16.30 hours.

Atlantic Odyssey scores We will soon be including Atlantic Odyssey (AO) in our rehearsals. This week please could ALL singers sign the list to indicate whether they have a score or will need one. Scores are £12 to buy (not available for hire). Please remember to check your music library at home before Thursday! In the February rehearsals which include AO (7 and 14 Feb), AO will be rehearsed after the break, so if you are NOT singing AO you will not need to order a score. If you are not currently singing or won't be at rehearsal this week and need to order a copy of AO please email Helen Evans at Autumn 2019 music This week is the FINAL opportunity for signing up for Autumn music. Mozart Requiem, New Novello edition and Vivaldi Gloria Ricordi edition. Quite a few people who have been at rehearsals have not yet signed. Please sign the list even if you are not intending to sing. Because of expense, we cannot hire lots of spare copies 'just in case'.

At Freshbrook Church, West Swindon, SN5 8NU from 9.30pm.. Rehearsal this week will concentrate on Dvořák Te Deum, starting with Sectionals followed by a run through after the break. Welcome to the new singers who have joined us since Christmas.

Dear Choir members, Before we have forgotten 2018 and are starting on Brahms and Dvořák I wanted to thank you all for your singing, particularly in the recent concert at Christ Church. We have sung Bach in Marlborough Chapel, numerous Shakespeare settings, war-themed music in Malmesbury Abbey and the challenging Britten St Nicolas in Christ Church. The various venues provide their own plusses and minuses and involve much work for the concert managers and all the willing volunteers that help each time. As usual there were hurdles to cross in our latest venture: an underpowered organ, a percussionist dropping out, the Gallery choir unsure until the final week, distance issues ... Nevertheless it was a really good concert and your singing was strong and confident, you kept good pitch (except in Adam lay y bounden) and words and projection were up to standard. Lawrence Thackeray was very good as Nicolas I thought with committed, expressive singing and lots of connection with the audience and he really gave us the works with O Holy Night!! I have thanked Andrew separately for his accompanying, particularly for beefing up the congregational carols, also for the Berlioz and the O Holy Night. At almost every concert we seem to have a Ripieno group or a semi-chorus and I am really grateful for the extra time given so willingly by those who get involved. In the Britten Hilary Gibbin commented on how nice members of our choir had been in speaking enthusiastically to the youngsters at the school and again on the concert day. I feel it has been a positive year and that we have a lot to look forward to in 2019. One plea: consider each concert well in advance and really try to organise your diary so that you can give proper commitment to the rehearsal schedule. Andrew and I do our very best to really prepare the notes and offer an interpretation of each work but we can only work with those who are present week by week. Those who tell me they are listening to cyber bass while cruising the Nile are perhaps missing the point: progress is only effectively accomplished when the majority of those intending to sing in the concert are present. Recently we have been noticeably short in both the Tenor and Bass sections. Maybe the prospect of singing the Brahms Requiem in Marlborough Chapel will bring back some that have missed recent concerts. Talk to any you know who would like to rejoin us! I hope you all have a good Christmas break and look forward to seeing you again in the New Year. Robin Nelson

As part of our 90th Anniversary year a short tour to Venice in early October 2019 (11th - 14th) is being proposed. Planning is in the early stages and, to assess viability, Kath will ask for an idea of possible numbers tomorrow. If you are not currently singing and would like to show an interest in the tour please email with your name and voice part, thank you.

Following last January's successful 'Introduction to Yoga' class, Helen Clowes is kindly holding another Fundraising event on Saturday, 19 January 2019. 10AM-Noon. Fee, in aid of the Society, £10. After the class there will be cake - if you bring one - and refreshments. Broad Hinton Village Hall SN4 9RH

Martine has kindly sent the following which should greatly help with practising both works. 'As usual, free note-bashing help is available on the internet at for both the Brahms and the Dvořák. If you need help with the German pronunciation, have CDs for around £8 where you can ask for your part to be sung as well as played on the piano.'

We are hoping to go ahead with this event and would like to make it a success financially. Please sign up for yourself and promote the Come & Sing to all your friends who would enjoy a day singing this wonderful piece of music. £10 for SCS members, £15 for non-members, £2 music hire. We have a Come and Sing workshop day on the Brahms on Saturday, 16 February, taking place at Christ Church. From 09.30 to 17.00 hours. This is hopefully a major fundraiser for us, so please would all members publicise this event and encourage other singers to take part. Please also promote the Come & Sing to any of your friends who would enjoy a day singing this wonderful piece of music. Information and the application form may be found UNDER THE DOWNLOADS TAB.

Singers who were given an English text Dvorak Te Deum score: Please bring your Te Deum this week to return for a refund. Unfortunately we are only able to supply two Latin text copies for purchase but can provide everyone else with hire copies. We will draw lots as to who gets the offer of the two purchase copies! Christmas music returns We need all outstanding hired St Nicolas scores (with your marks erased) and all copies of the O Holy Night carol to be returned please. Autumn 2019 music If you didn't sign up last week, please do so this week. Mozart Requiem, New Novello edition and Vivaldi Gloria Ricordi edition. Please check before rehearsal what you need to order.

MESSAGE FROM THE SOCIETY LIBRARIANS (3.8.18) re March 2019 concert
At our 16 March 2019 concert, we will be singing: • Brahms' German Requiem - Peters Edition, in German • Dvořák Te Deum - Lengnick/Simrock Edition We will be asking you to sign up to buy or hire these scores at the next two Thursdays. As we sang both pieces in 2008, please check whether you already have either of them. If that's the case, please tick the appropriate "already have score" box. • Brahms: approx £6 to buy, £3 to hire. • Dvořák: approx £10 to buy, £3 to hire. If you are not currently singing, please email your requirements to

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.

Members of the Choral Society of Middle Georgia, USA will be joining us for a performance of Robin's "ATLANTIC ODYSSEY" in the STEAM Museum. We hope to be able to offer accommodation and transport (just as they did for us in November, 1995) to our visitors. If you are able to help with this, please print or download the Accommodation form. Please complete the form and hand it to Kath Danswan when we return to rehearsals or email it to

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 pencil! - a rubber could be useful ! • Listen to Robin or Andrew. • 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 access, especially if parking outside the Freshbrook car park.

The full Society Schedule for 2019 is downloadable under the "Downloads" tab.

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 !

Secure Online Payment
Make a donation,
Buy music,
Pay your subscription,
direct with a card

Farewell To Eric

Tea Break

Tea Break