Wednesday, 20th March, 2019 at 18.20 hours. Updated 21.3.19 at 11.15 hours.
REHEARSAL ON 28.3.19
As Freshbrook is unavailable on 28 March our rehearsal will be held at Oliver Tomkins School at our normal times. Please see map in "Downloads".
MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARIANS (20.3.19)
Message from Librarians
Music Returns: please return all hired music in the issuing blue folder, with your markings erased, at rehearsal this week or the following week at the latest.
Many thanks to the Tenor Section for their efficient Concert management ably led by Hugh de Saram - as usual a real team effort.
The Front of House Team, led by Margaret Essex and Ticket sales led by Carol Sarchet, did a marvellous job.
MESSAGE FROM THE MUSICAL DIRECTOR (21.3.19)
Last Saturday was a pretty successful occasion from the musical standpoint.
Many have commented on the outstanding soloists, the festive feel to the Dvorak with organ, trumpets and drums and the sensitive piano duet accompaniment allowing us to also be sensitive and explore plenty of dynamic variation.
Once again may I compliment you on secure intonation, pretty good articulation of the text and also for the fact that MOST OF YOU WERE WATCHING THE CONDUCTOR!!
As to the audience turnout I will refrain from comment but it highlights the great importance of mustering a BIG AUDIENCE for Atlantic Odyssey.
May I also encourage anyone unsure at this point to come and Sing in Atlantic Odyssey....we need plenty of singers even if we are combining with thirty from America as well as Janice Thompson and her singers.
FROM THE CHAIRMAN - THANK YOU !
Thank you to everyone who took part in Saturday's concert which certainly began with the unexpected in the form a fire alarm - thankfully a false alarm on this occasion!
I hope you will agree it was a superb concert with the choir making the most of the two works.
The Soprano and Baritone soloists, Leigh Michelow and Jon Stainsby, were a joy to perform with, as were Ian Crabbe and Shelley Morgan at the piano.
Our thanks go of course to Robin for directing us so well throughout rehearsals and performance.
MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARIANS (16.1.19)
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 email@example.com
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'.
THE NEXT REHEARSAL IS ON THURSDAY 21st March, AT 7.30PM AT FRESHBROOK CHURCH
Solid work starts on Atlantic Odyssey. This is a KEY rehearsal and also an open rehearsal for new singers so please introduce potential members to this fine work. We appear to be very short of tenors so bring a few with you !
90TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE MUGS
Kath will be bringing the fabulous mugs, costing £6.50 each, to rehearsal this week (21.3.19).
Payment in cash or by cheque made out to 'Kath Danswan' please.
AN INTRODUCTION TO ATLANTIC ODYSSEY EVENING - FRIDAY, 5TH APRIL
An 'Introduction to AO' evening is being arranged for members to learn more about this exciting cantata which we shall be performing in May.
Open to all and of special interest to those who did not take part in the premiere in 2013, Robin and Michael Polack (librettist) will introduce the work with its dramatic music and fascinating story following the migration of the astonishing Arctic Tern.
This will be at Immanuel Church on Friday, 5th April at 7.45pm..
BBC WILTSHIRE "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" ON 4.4.19
The birthday sing takes place at Swindon College (near the Oasis Leisure Centre) on Thursday, 4 April at 7am and we shall need to be at the College by 6:30am.
Please would anyone able to take part sign on the list at rehearsal or email the Chairman pronto.
ATLANTIC ODYSSEY SCORES
For those members who will be using their copies from 2013 there is a (lengthy!) list of corrections which may be found in "downloads".
For those who will be acquiring new, updated, copies there is a (very short) list of corrections which may be found in "downloads".
MORE ON THE ATLANTIC ODYSSEY SCORES (from the librarians on 5.2.19)
Message from Librarians - Atlantic Odyssey scores
Several members have not signed up to say if they need a copy of the AO score or if they already have their own.
If you need to purchase a copy of Atlantic Odyssey (£12) please email Elinor James at firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday of this week for distribution at rehearsal.
For those members who will be using their copies from 2013 there is a list of corrections which may be found here.
For those who will be acquiring new, updated, copies there is a (very short) list of corrections which may be found here.
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 email@example.com with your name and voice part, thank you.
MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS - AND NOW YOGA ON 23rd MARCH
For those who would like to know more, Helen is holding a Yoga day retreat on Saturday, 2 March at Highway Hill, Calne.
'It's a beautiful, peaceful spot in the middle of the countryside with fantastic woodland on the doorstep. I'm hoping to make it a real treat for everyone who attends'.
For more information please see the poster on the SCS Notice board or speak to Helen.
In addition, Helen will be holding a FREE taster session from 10.00 am to 11.30 am on Saturday 23 March. Please speak to Helen if you interested. Also see her programme in "Downloads".
MESSAGE FROM THE LIBRARIANS (9.1.19) RE TE DEUM SCORE PLUS
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
PLEASE NOTE: You can also give directly via the Donate page on this website.
- 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 !