My dear fellow singers, it seems that we have been singing a lot together this last week and it's always a pleasure to be with you. May I just say that I believe we really did exceptionally well at Southwark Cathedral on Wednesday; there were a couple of hiccups but that’s life - we received some lovely feedback both from the organisers and also the congregation. Well done all.
Now to Christmas and the music we have to learn. This Saturday we started the Christmas rehearsals with both AmyBeth and Merel leading us. This was a three hour rehearsal with AmyBeth running the first half where we worked on Once in Royal and In the Bleak Mid Winter, looking hard at the musical shape of the verses and more importantly the diction of the words, AmyBeth says that as most of us know the carols she can spend time getting the choir sounding clear and solid on these, which will make a difference in St Martin's and St Mary's. We also looked at the choir-only piece 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day' which was written for the choir to perform in 2015 by Joanna Gill, a friend of AmyBeth's.
In the second half, Merel started with O come all ye faithful, again working on the words and the descant verse, then went onto the choir-only piece Mary's Magnificat - a soft and gentle piece that we will sing at the opening of the service. As this was the first time for all of the choir with one or maybe two exceptions, I felt that the choir sang it with feeling and joy, perhaps with a bit of trepidation but it's going to be great.
Ralph and Michael are working hard to get the MP3’s onto the web page (some will be posted in the next few minutes) so please do look out for these and other information about the choir on the web site. Michael is gathering lots of material about Southwark but needs a couple of hours to marshal them into order and format them and those hours may not be available until Thursday, he says. It's the kind of morning job when webmasters are rumoured to be fresh as a daisy! And also Fiona and Sam are working on some extra Christmas gigs.
And good luck to Catherine as she starts her phased return to work.