MESSAGES UPDATED/REVIEWED
Friday 14th December at 16.35 hours. Please check all following paragraphs - Some new material has been added detailing additional carol singing at Longleaze Primary School (SN4 8BA).

HAVE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS -
I hope everyone enjoys the Christmas and New Year break and we all look forward to an exciting 90th Aniversary year in 2019.

FROM THE CHAIRMAN -
Thank you all so much for a fabulous concert on Saturday. Our challenging highlight, St Nicolas, was a real success and our performance was much enhanced by the children's choir from St Margaret's Prep School. Their contribution to the second part of the concert was delightful. A big thank you to David Lomax and his team of Basses for masterminding the stage management. Fortunately this year there was no snow to disrupt the unloading of the staging yesterday. I know that several choir members (including me!) had to pull out of singing in the concert for various reasons, including ill-health. We missed you and hope to see you back at rehearsals in January.

PROPOSED SINGING TOUR IN EARLY OCTOBER 2019
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 chairman@swindonchoral.org.uk with your name and voice part, thank you.

AN INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS 19TH JANUARY, 2019
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 and refreshments. Broad Hinton Village Hall SN4 9RH

THE NEXT REHEARSAL IS ON THURSDAY 3rd January 2019 AT 7.30PM
At Freshbrook Church, West Swindon, SN5 8NU from 7.30pm.to 9.30pm..

CAROL SINGING INSTRUCTIONS
The repertoire of carols is in a following paragraph. Please see Kath Danswan if you have any queries. Dress code: Men suits and a bright tie if you have one. Women black trousers or skirts and something bright red on top either jumper, jacket or scarf if you have one. Christmas jumpers acceptable. It would be good if we could have a couple of non-singers to hand out concert flyers or hold the collecting bins. We usually sing in 20 min bursts with five minutes’ rest. We will be singing carols from the separate attached list. If you have any questions see me on Thursday or email me at kath.danswan@tiscali.co.uk.

CAROL SINGING 2019
The remaining two sessions and location information for SCS local carol singing are:

  • Saturday, 15th December (10.30-Noon) Lidl 57 Bright Street (SN2 8DA) This time could be changed. Saturday 22nd December (1.30-3pm) Asda Wall-Mart Orbit Centre (SN25 4BG) Please speak to Kath Danswan if you have any queries.

    THE NEXT CONCERT AT CHRISTCHURCH
    We will be singing the Brahms Requiem and the Dvorak Te Deum.

    COME AND SING WORKSHOP ON THE BRAHMS REQUIEM ON SATURDAY, 16 FEBRUARY,2019
    We have a Come and Sing workshop day on the Brahms on Saturday, 16 February, taking place at Christ Church. This is hopefully a major fundraiser for us, so please would all members publicise this event and encourage other singers to take part. Information and the application form may be found UNDER THE DOWNLOADS TAB.

    ADDITIONAL CAROL SINGING EVENT ON MONDAY 17TH DECEMBER
    Carol Singing - Monday, 17 December Longleaze Primary School at 3.30pm lasting around half an hour. Meet at 3.15 at the school (SN4 8BA), bringing just CC1. It would be great to have a group of mixed voices; last year we could have done with a bass or two. If you are able to take part please email John Williams at johnwilyms27@btinternet.com. The school will make you very welcome!

    LIST OF CAROLS TO BE SUNG LOCALLY CHRISTMAS 2018
    2018 Please bring Carols for Choirs (CC) Books 1 (green) and 2 (orange). Page Title Verses CC Book 1 2 Away in a Manger All 16 Angels from the realms V 1,2 & 5 28 Ding Dong All (easy version) 9 God rest you V 1,2,3 & 5 34 Good King Wenceslas All 39 Hark the Herald All 59 It came upon a midnight clear All 60 Merry Christmas All 83 Coventry carol All 88 O come all ye faithful V 1,2, & 6 92 O little Town All 100 Once in Royal V 1,2,3,5 & 6 154 Unto us is born a Son All CC Book 2 10 Adam All 134 Twelve days of Christmas All (without key change) Silent night from sheet (I’ll bring). If you’ve have not been carolling with us before, the usual format is 20 minutes singing then a five minute break. Please don’t suggest other more difficult carols !!!

    LATEST MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARIANS (5.12.18) RE CHRISTMAS MUSIC
    All copies of O Holy Night and all hired copies of St Nicolas are due back on 3rd January, our first rehearsal after Christmas. Please make sure your copies are cleaned up before returning them. Thank you.

    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 helenevans234@outlook.com

    FINANCIAL GIFTS TO THE SOCIETY
    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.

    MAY 2019 : GEORGIA COMES TO SWINDON!
    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 chairman@swindonchoral.org.uk.

    FUNDRAISING FOR THE SOCIETY
    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 Easyfundraising.org.uk.
    • 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, Booking.com, 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.

    CONCERT SCARVES AND HANDKERCHIEFS
    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.

    IMPORTANT OBSERVATION FROM THE MUSICAL DIRECTOR (21.5.18)
    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!

    REHEARSAL ETIQUETTE
    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.

    CONCERT ETIQUETTE
    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.

    CAR PARKING
    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.

    DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES
    The full Society Schedule for 2019 is downloadable under the "Downloads" tab.

    FUNDRAISING FOR THE SOCIETY -
    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 Easyfundraising.org.uk. • 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, Booking.com, 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.

    CONCERT PROMOTION AND TICKETS SALES
    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 (www.swindonchoral.org.uk) 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.

    PAYMENTS TO THE SOCIETY
    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.

    GIFT AID
    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.

    SUBSCRIPTIONS - REVISED DETAILS
    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.

    JOIN US !
    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.

    SOCIETY SUBSCRIPTIONS
    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 !

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

    THE SWINDON CHORALE
    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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    Farewell To Eric

    Tea Break

    Tea Break