Following government advice with regard to the coronavirus, rehearsals are suspended until furhter notice. Please pick up the phone and sing to each other. Suggestions for appropriate Messiah choruses may be added to this bulletin; ideas to

..............At 17.00 hours on 1st June, 2020 - THE LATEST MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIRMAN (CHRISTOPHER ROGERS) ESSENTIALLY SAYS IT ALL- WE WILL RETURN, BUT WHEN ? THE SOCIETY BLOOD CONTINUES TO FLOW THROUGH THE SPLENDID SUZANNE BULLIMORE SCS MAGAZINE - DISTRIBUTED VIA EMAIL TO ALL MEMBERS. SHOULD YOU NOT BE RECEIVING A COPY PLEASE CONTACT HER ( Can you write limericks - Anna Quarendon needs a challenge. I thought I'd have a go but all mine, instinctively, are too rude for our august fraternity. Went to the wrong school ! Messages from the Chairman (18.3.20) and (1.6.20) follow.

Dear Friends It is a while since I last wrote to you. In the meantime lockdown has gone on; frayed at the edges and changed around the periphery of our lives. I do hope you have all coped with this long period of lockdown; that you have occupied yourselves profitably and made use of some of the many wonderful musical opportunities that have appeared on our magazine for which we send Suzanne such sincere thanks. There seems little chance of singing together in the near future. There is some scientific argument about the role of singing in spreading the virus but the overall opinion at the moment is that singing is a significant factor in spreading the virus. It seems likely that choral singing will be one of the last elements of normality to be unlocked. To some extent it will be dependent on the unlocking of public buildings such as churches; i.e. rehearsal venues. It will also depend upon the reduction of self-distancing to one metre as has been the case in mainland Europe. Furthermore a cap on the number of people assembling in one place will need to change. Not a very hopeful prognosis. However, things change quite rapidly so you never know. However, I would like you to consider some rehearsing online. Unfortunately the timing of the lockdown prevented our librarians from distributing the summer concert music, so we are a bit short of music to rehearse. There are ways around this which I am actively pursuing. It would be fun to do. So, in the meantime please stay optimistic and do not lose heart. We WILL come out of this eventually, and we SHALL sing again together. Christopher

From the Chairman. It is increasingly clear that the coronavirus crisis is going to last longer than we had imagined. Self isolation for 12 weeks takes us to the week of the summer concert, which we would be doing on no rehearsal for the bulk of us. We have no choice but to cancel this event, on June 15th now. There is, as of today, no reason why we should not be performing the concert on October 17th. So, we need to begin rehearsals for this when possible. Provisionally I am suggesting that we begin rehearsing on Thursday July 23rd at Freshbrook at the usual time.That would give us 12 rehearsals for this ambitious programme. Some of you have hired copies of Messiah, please keep them safely until further notice. Anna Quarendon has sent us the limerick, which I hope will bring a smile to you face and promote some belief in the future. Stay well, and keep up the vocal exercises. The haul is going to be long So, we’re all going to have to stay strong Let’s try not to grouse When confined to the house But instead just keep singing along! Christopher

My friend Karl Westwood is undertaking his Masters degree in Music Education with UCL. For his research project he is looking at vocal wellbeing within choral settings. The link to the survey is below and there is an information sheet attached to go with it. The survey should take no longer than ten minutes. If you would are interested in helping with this research, please do participate. Thanks Andrew {} Ignore brackets You may have to fumble a bit to download this but I've done painlessly!

FROM THE LIBRARIANS (4.3.20).........
AUTUMN MUSIC Please come ready this week to sign up to buy or hire music for the Autumn session: Haydn Nelson Mass - New Novello Edition (Ed. Pilkington) - buy £7.50; hire £1.50. J S Bach Magnificat in D - New Novello Edition (Ed. Neil Jenkins) - buy £5; hire £1.50 We will also be singing Parry: I was Glad and will issue a copy of this to all singers.

Coronavirus currently has the Earth at its mercy and nobody can forecast the eventual outcome. Our Chairman gives his planning thoughts in an earlier paragraph. I look forward to meeting you all, in song, sooner, on the Chairman's forecast, or later - whatever.

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 !

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 !

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 for 2020 will be published - whenever.

THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED. ****Please read this even if you've signed up as there are two extra pieces.*** Yugoslav Folksongs arranged by Seiber have been added. Buy £8.50 or hire. Please sign up your requirements (or check what has been already signed up on your behalf as in a few instances, we've signed up what we think you would want!). Holst choral folk songs - Tenors and Basses ONLY - hire only. T and B singers, please sign up. (Replacement for Bartok previously mentioned.) Other songs to sign up for, if not already done: Kodaly: Matra Pictures pub. Universal - buy £8.50; hire £1.50 Elgar: From the Bavarian Highlands pub. Stainer and Bell - Buy £7; hire £1.50 Dvorak: Songs of Nature pub. Boule Brothers - buy TBC; hire £1.50 Everyone will be provided with various other pieces. This week is the final week the summer music list will be out. If not attending please email your requirements to

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 - should she have any left.

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