It all began when my wife Kay was practicing a duet and needed the tenor part to be sung. So I volunteered.... one could say this was truly my Eric Morecombe moment,
when I sang all the right notes (so I thought), but not necessarily in the right order!
From there on I was encouraged to join you all in Weston Choral. I enrolled in
September 2018 to be confronted with 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'! What had I let myself in for? However, I was warmly welcomed, given a seat with the tenors and then introduced to "Papa’s got a head like a ping pong ball" - one of Howard’s warm-ups. Could it get any better, I asked myself?! Simple answer: yes.
It took many hours with Kay, going over a few bars of music at a time trying to get my head around all the notes! With sheer perseverance I cracked it! Within the 'Twelve Days' there was a lovely spiritual melody and I found myself totally absorbed by the tune. I made it my go-to piece for a warm-up on my own.
After 68 years I had almost mastered English... but what now? Gaudete... LATIN! Good old Youtube came to my rescue and I spent many hours (and still do), finding the songs we were learning. Anything from Steeleye Span to the Kings Singers gave me a step up and hope!
The final rehearsal for the Christmas concert in St. John’s church was the moment of enlightenment for me. Our seating was organized in our SATB parts. We stood, then began to sing. I was surrounded by the most wonderful sound of voices coming together. It took my breath away. The concert was a step up again and I was really enjoying being a part of this company of singers supporting each other to perform at our very best. Maybe the glass of wine at half time helped!
My first term concluded on a high. Why had I not done this before? Music transports you to another level. Working with others gives you great satisfaction and when the end results sound like my first concert I can only imagine at the moment, what Mass in Blue will be like. BRING IT ON!!!
Below is an interview where Howard, our MD talks about Will Todd's influence, music and our upcoming Mass in Blue Concert on June 8th...
"I first discovered Will Todd’s music in 2008 when I conducted MIB at Worle School. We performed in Clifton Cathedral and had Will and his trio come to accompany us as we do this time. So for me this is a chance to re-visit this fantastic piece that audiences love. The difference with this concert is that Weston Choral are also going to be performing the more recently composed Songs of Peace by Will. I’ve not conducted these before, so it’s always good for me to have a new challenge too!"
"I really appreciate Will’s gift for melody…..there are always beautiful melodic shapes..some often unexpected but always work sensitively in context. He has a distinct harmonic language which I’d equate to ’Faure/Rutter plus’..and then there are the jazz harmonies of course."
"From my experience of conducting it before the MIB has a wide appeal to audiences. There was a tremendous reception from the audience when we did it before..and I’m pretty sure very few people had heard of it then. There are catchy rhythms, virtuosic solo lines, exciting choral parts, tender moments and spectacular vocal fireworks at times! I think Weston Choral are ready for a challenge that takes us a little bit out of our comfort-zone..though of course we have done a shorter jazz composition of his, and other non-jazz choral pieces of his fairly recently."
"The concert itself is primarily to showcase Will Todd’s music. I’m a great believer in performing music by living composers. He’s now a highly regarded world-renowned composer so it’s such a privilege to have him here in Weston. There will be some contrasting music in the concert too: solos from Martha McLorinan ( mezzo-soprano), Tessa Ractliffe ( saxophone) and of course the talented Worle School Youth Choir."
"I think Will Todd’s musical style is accessible to those interested in classical, jazz and popular. He can write exclusively in those styles but also combines them cleverly. Melodies are memorable and he creates atmospheric beauty in many of his pieces. Choirs enjoy singing his music and audiences enjoy listening to it. It’s never dumbed down either..often clever challenges that keep musicians alert and yet transcends traditional boundaries which opens it up to a wide audience."
Singing feeds the soul, enriches the mind and adds immensely to the enjoyment of life - great thing to do for health, happiness and well-being. Please join us!
We perform with professional orchestras and soloists of the highest calibre. We love singing and constantly strive to raise our performance.
We regularly perform in All Saints which has an amazing accoustic and we take part in concerts in stunning venues elsewhere - most recently some of our singers sang with Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) at David Geffen Hall Lincoln Centre, New York.
Our fantastic conductor, Howard Sayer, brings inspirational leadership and a wealth of experience, not to mention a lot of fun to our singing!
We sing a wide variety of music, with emphasis on newer works by living composers. We also hold singing days where we meet other singers and invite distinguished conductors.
We have fun! We make friends, and some of us go to the pub after rehearsals each week. We organise social events, singing days, quiz nights and anything else that members might like to arrange...
8th June 2019