SITE UPDATED ............
At 20.20hours on 15.1.20..
Apologies for apparent slackness in updating this website. Windows 10 disappeared from my computer and Microsoft offered to restore it. That was a month ago ! Hugh lent me a computer, but I've had to return to Windows 7 (for bumble reasons) and I'm now purchasing a new Windows 10 CPU.. Hopefully by next week I will be sane again !
FROM THE CHAIRMAN (15.1.20)
From the Chair
Just to remind you that we are using the New Novello Watkins Shaw edition of Messiah. The old Ebenezer Prout is quite unsuitable and will lead to great confusion.
The rehearsal this week will concentrate on the central section of the work, choruses 22/24/25/26/28 and 33 (some of the best bits!)
For those who might not have been at last week's rehearsal:
• Robin announced his retirement from the directorship as from the October concert. We shall begin the process of finding a replacement shortly.
• We decided that we would no longer serve coffee/tea in plastic cups as from this week's rehearsal. Please bring your own reusable mug. It will take a while to find a suitable 'modus operandi' but it might help if you left you mug on the trays provided on your arrival at the rehearsal, and then the team will add coffee and hot water for you while the notices are taking place and they will be ready for you at the beginning of the break. That is the theory!!
MUSIC - COMING FROM AND RETURNING TO THE LIBRARIANS .........
From the Librarians...
Thursday (16.1.20) is the last day to hand in Christmas music. Please return, in their folders, all hired Musical Journeys as well as Andrew’s, Robin’s carols and the Fletcher book. If you have already handed in your music please check to make sure you’ve handed in everything as there are still some pieces missing.
THE NEXT REHEARSAL IS ON THURSDAY, 16TH JANUARY, 2020 - AT FRESHBROOK CHURCH, SN5 8NU
At 7.30pm.. Please arrive early to both return music from the December concert and also to receive scores, as necessary, for the coming Messiah concert.
SINGERS - PLACES FOR THE MESSIAH ON 21ST MARCH, 2020
If you intend to sing in this concert, please inform your Section Leader by email.
Soprano 1 - firstname.lastname@example.org --
Soprano 2 -email@example.com --
Alto 1 - firstname.lastname@example.org --
Alto 2 -email@example.com --
Tenor - firstname.lastname@example.org --
Bass - email@example.com -- AS SOON AS POSSIBLE !!!!!!
CAN YOU FIND SUPPORT FOR THE SOCIETY ???
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 !
ENRICH YOUR GARDEN !!!! GENUINE HORSE MANURE
Mark Thomas is continuingly restocking his heap of horse manure. Please liaise with him for spring offers - and the subsequent wonderful crops you will have in 2020 !
MESSAGE FROM RAY COOK
From Ray Cook......
Do any Members have a contact with small businesses in or around Swindon who would like to buy an advertising space in our concert programmes?
Failing that do they know of any businesses who could be approached
Please send contact name and email address to Ray.
AN UP-TO-DATE REHEARSAL AND CONCERT SCHEDULE 2020
An up to date Rehearsal and Concert Schedule for 2020 may be found in "Downloads" shortly.
A message from Glynn to thank us for our support and trust in the band last Saturday.
"The band thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to perform to a such a responsive audience.I thought the brass accompaniment worked very well and your carol composition was lovely. Congratulations to you.. And your work with the school choir was so well received and the children responded wonderfully. I do hope we have the opportunity to work together in the future."
SCS 90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION DINNER (22.11.19)
More will be written about this splendid - and historical - event !
90TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE MUGS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and she will reserve one for you.
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.
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.
AN IMPORTANT AND ONGOING 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 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.
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 !