Latest News


  • Huw's weekly message 10 April 2024
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 10 Apr 2024
    Dear WCS

    Thank you for a really good rehearsal last night!

    I am very grateful to you all, and Gill and Jude in particular, for working on our seating arrangements - it might have felt a strange exercise but it is a big step forward both for concert organisation and for our weekly rehearsals and how we sing together as a choir. Well done! Those of you not able to come last night will be helped to find your seats next week...

    We did some excellent groundwork on our two remaining Mozart movements, the Confutatis and the Sanctus - we will consolidate both of these next week, and run (as threatened / promised) the first two movements through again.

    Looking forward to it!

    I mentioned the early Mozart Missa Brevis settings - this one, in B flat, was written when he was 20, making it quite a mature work! I love these little pieces. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmsH1kRfl3g

    See you next week, all best wishes

    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 7 March
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 7 Mar 2024
    Dear WCS

    Thank you all for another very exciting rehearsal this week, it was so heartening to see your complete engagement with the music and to hear it coming into shape with such style and compelling authority. This will be a wonderful concert!

    And particular thanks to Jude and the committee members who helped turn the church around for the rehearsal. Personally I think this went well, so if you have any comments, good or bad, about the arrangement we used please do pass them on to the committee or to myself.

    For those unable to attend, we rehearsed:

    Mozart - Domine Jesu Christe, Agnus Dei
    Lloyd Webber - Pie Jesu, medley

    Next week will be consolidation of the Agnus Dei, looking at the final Cum Sancto Spiritu fugue from Mozart, and finding our way to the end of the medley too. Plus maybe some more things.

    Very best wishes

    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message and CHANGE OF REHEARSAL VENUE
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 28 Feb 2024
    Dear WCS

    Thank you for YET ANOTHER excellent rehearsal last night - I really am enjoying these sessions, and I hope you are too. For those not able to attend, we rehearsed:

    Mozart - Domine Jesu Christe, Hostias & Quam Olim Abrahae, Dies Irae
    Andrew Lloyd Webber - Memory and Pie Jesu

    Two notes about "Memory": bar 20 and 40, Altos please sing the last note of each bar with the sopranos; and bar 24 please replace "sputters" with "gutters"

    You might like to listen to the original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vLwwvUiD8c 

    I find this very nostalgic, taking me back to being a small child listening in our dining room while my mother did things around the house...

    Now, important information for next week: as Jude mentioned last night, there will be a coffin in the church on Tuesday evening, ahead of the funeral on Wednesday. While it might be nice to sing to Roy, we have decided to move the rehearsal into the church hall for one week only. So, when you arrive, please turn left rather than right!

    Looking forward to seeing you all next week,

    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 21/2/24
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 21 Feb 2024
    Dear WCS

    Thank you so much for an outstanding rehearsal on Tuesday, so much energy and commitment, I'm terribly excited for this concert. Well done!

    For those unable to attend, we started the Dies Irae (very exciting!), Domine Jesu Christe (up to the "ne aborbeat") and revised Rex Tremendae. We also started ALW's "Memory", which was lovely.

    Next week, more Domine Jesu Christe, the Lacrymosa, more Memory and start the Pie Jesu. How lovely!

    Very best wishes to you all,

    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message, 8 February
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 8 Feb 2024
    Dear WCS

    A very brief note to thank you for a terrific rehearsal this week! Super singing, a really full-bodied and rich sound (sounds like a good red wine...) and great listening and musical sensitivity. I think this is going to be a smashing concert.

    Remember there is no rehearsal next week, so I will see you on 20 February, when I hope to start the Dies Irae and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Memory". This will be fun! Have a smashing break, all best wishes

    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 1 February
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 1 Feb 2024
    Dear WCS

    Thank you for a terrific rehearsal this week! Such great energy, and some fabulous singing emerging, really well done! I'm ever so excited for this concert.

    For those not able to attend, we worked on the Kyrie fugue, Lacrymosa and Rex Tremendae from Mozart, and completed working through the Phantom medley. Next week is our last rehearsal before the half term break, so I would like to spend the time consolidating the work we have done, rather than breaking new ground. So we will cover:

    Phantom Medley (complete)
    Mozart: No.1 (Requiem - Kyrie), 4 (Rex Tremendae), 7 (Lacrymosa), 9 (Hostias). 

    This represents excellent progress!

    Very best wishes to you all
    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 24 January 2024
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 24 Jan 2024
    Dear WCS

    Thank you for a tremendous rehearsal last night - though we are very much in the early stages of preparing Mozart's great Requiem, already you are making a terrific sound and adding in many layers of expression. It's very exciting! And thank you too for your patience as we work on the nuts and bolts, it's absolutely essential that we lay strong early foundations in thuis tricky piece. Well done!

    For those not able to attend, we looked at the opening movement to the middle of the Kyrie (Best edition pages 1 - 8, Peters 4 - 11), revised the Hostias and Quam Olim Abrahae (Best 54 - 61, Peters 52 - 58) and started the Rex Tremendae (Best 24 - 26, Peters 25 - 27). We also looked at the ALW Phantom Medley from the start to page 15.

    Next week I would like to revise and finish the Medley, finish working through the Kyrie and start the Lacrymosa. Won't that be a nice way to spend an evening...

    Sending you all very best wishes,

    Huw
  • WELL DONE!!!
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  •  Date Posted: Tue, 19 Dec 2023
    Dear WCS

    Slightly belatedly, for which apologies, VERY WELL DONE! What a lovely concert that was on Saturday - a sparkling atmosphere and really energetic, committed and concentrated singing. So many highlights - in general I was hugely pleased with the way you moved from one style to another with such confidence. The Lauridsen was deeply moving, and I was personally moved by how beautifully you sang my own little carol, and the care and commitment you put into Ghislaine's as well.

    Terrific - many thanks to the committee and concert team who did so much to make the day such a big success, thanks to the AMAZING Richard for his sensitive and outstanding accompaniment, and above all thank you all for all your hard work on the day and in all the rehearsals this term, it has been a wonderful ride. I'm looking forward so very much to doing Mozart with you next term! In the meantime have a peaceful Christmas and New Year, stay warm and well, all best wishes,

    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 22 November
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 22 Nov 2023
    Dear WCS

    Very little to say this week apart from reiterating how impressed I am with your singing at the moment, and how much I am enjoying our rehearsals. Very well done! It's a terrific sound, and a pleasure to be at the controls!

    For those not able to attend, we sang the following:

    Vulpius - Es ist ein Ros
    Hassler - Dixit Maria
    Basque anon - The Angel Gabriel
    Poston - Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
    Morgan - Dormi Jesu
    Reece-Trapp - Alleluia
    Berlin - Happy Holidays / White Christmas
    Handel - For unto us

    It was a great session! Looking forward to next week immensely.

    All best wishes
    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 15 November
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 16 Nov 2023

    Dear WCS

    Once again, another tremendous rehearsal. I'm so thrilled with the sound that you are making, and how you have taken to all the different types of music in this programme. Great versatility, well done!

    For those unable to attend, we sang:

    Lauridsen - Sure on this shining night
    Vulpius - Es ist ein Ros
    Rutter - Nativity Carol
    Mathias - Sir Christemas
    Berlin - Happy Holidays
    Somerset Wassail

    Looking forward to next week very much indeed!

    If anyone happens to find themselves in Bristol at a loose end on Saturday 2 December, my lovely Redland Green Choir are performing a programme including Fauré's Requiem and some other varied bits and pieces, it would be great to see you there. I've attached a poster.

    With warmest thanks and very best wishes
    Huw

    Attachment:
  • Huw's message 31 October
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 2 Nov 2023
    Dear WCS

    A short message this week! VERY WELL DONE on the Halloween rehearsal, that was super. I was particularly struck by what a good sound you were making: full and warm with a really big dynamic range. Very exciting!

    For those not able to attend, we rehearsed:

    Joubert - Torches
    Polish Trad - Infant Holy
    Reece-Trapp - Alleluia
    Poston - Jesus Christ the apple tree
    Trad - Somerset Wassail
    Rutter - Nativity Carol
    Berlin - Happy Holiday / White Christmas

    Next week we'll continue onwards with our list (Lauridsen, Morgan, Hassler) and do some Handel too - "For Unto Us" in particular!

    Looking forward to it, very best wishes
    Huw
  • Huw's half term message
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 21 Oct 2023
    Dear WCS

    Well done (belatedly!) on another tremendous rehearsal last Tuesday, and thank you for a really fine first half of term too - I'm so heartened and excited by how you have worked, how you have listened to my ideas and put them into practice with such care and diligence. Wonderful!

    We rehearsed:

    Handel - For Unto Us and Glory to God
    Mathias - Sir Christemas
    Reece-Trapp - Alleluia
    Hassler - Dixit Maria
    Berlin - White Christmas
    Poston - Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

    On this last, please note that the second verse is sung by all parts, with the Sops and Altos taking the notes on the first stave, and the Tenors and Basses the notes on the second, at pitch rather than an octave lower.. The fifth verse is to be sung in a round, with parts entering in the following order: Soprano - Tenor - Alto - Bass

    Well done everyone, have a good break (remember there is no rehearsal next week) and see you soon!

    Huw
     
  • John Fletcher website reminder!
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 13 Oct 2023
    Dear WCS

    A quick reminder to those of you who are yet to reply to Mike's email about the John Fletcher website - if you would like access, please let him know as soon as possible!

    Have a lovely weekend, all best wishes
    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message, 12 October
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 12 Oct 2023

    Dear WCS

    A tremendous rehearsal this week, really well done - great energy, concentration, commitment, I hugely enjoyed it! Wonderful. We managed to rehearse 8 of our 19 items! For those not able to attend, they were:

    Joubert - Torches
    Polish trad - Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
    Audience Carol - O Little Town of Bethlehem
    Mathias - Sir Christemas
    Rutter - Nativity Carol
    Vulpius - Es ist ein Ros
    Handel - Glory to God & And He Shall Purify

    I mentioned Mathias's tremendous sequence "Ave Rex", from which "Sir Christemas" is an extract - here is Sir Christemas, with the reprise back into the first movement of the piece, just for some context!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEw03XypZTw

    Next week we'll revise some of the work we did this week, plus look at Ghislaine's carol, Hassler "Dixit Maria", Poston "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" and "White Christmas"(!)

    Looking forward to it, all best wishes

    Huw

  • Huw's weekly message - 12 October (second attempt!)
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 12 Oct 2023

    Dear WCS

    A tremendous rehearsal this week, really well done - great energy, concentration, commitment, I hugely enjoyed it! Wonderful. We managed to rehearse 8 of our 19 items! For those not able to attend, they were:

    Joubert - Torches
    Polish trad - Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
    Audience Carol - O Little Town of Bethlehem
    Mathias - Sir Christemas
    Rutter - Nativity Carol
    Vulpius - Es ist ein Ros
    Handel - Glory to God & And He Shall Purify

    I mentioned Mathias's tremendous sequence "Ave Rex", from which "Sir Christemas" is an extract - here is Sir Christemas, with the reprise back into the first movement of the piece, just for some context!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEw03XypZTw

    Next week we'll revise some of the work we did this week, plus look at Ghislaine's carol, Hassler "Dixit Maria", Poston "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" and "White Christmas"(!)

    Looking forward to it, all best wishes

    Huw

  • Huw's weekly message 3
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 27 Sep 2023
    Dear WCS

    Another tremendous rehearsal last night, really well done! Some very fine singing indeed, it's all coming together nicely. 

    For those missing, we sang:

    Handel - "Glory to God" and "For Unto Us"
    Somerset Wassail
    Hans Leo Hassler - Dixit Maria
    Vulpius - Es ist ein Ros
    The Angel Gabriel
    My Dormi Jesu

    This represents really tremendous progress so far this term! We have looked in detail now at all four Handel choruses and have sung lots of other things at least once, most twice. Next week, we will start on items from the orange and green Carols for Choirs books, please bring your copies if you have them, otherwise they'll be handed out on the evening. Remember too that it is the AGM next week, 7.30pm, aiming to start singing at 8pm.

    Here are two recordings of the Hassler, to help those of you who might have felt a bit left behind last night:

    This one is at the right pitch (on F) but is a bit slow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSug5S7oopo
    This one is a good speed but is a tone higher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd7s40s-Ltw

    I hope they help!
    Looking forward to seeing you all next week. Very best wishes
    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message 2
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 20 Sep 2023
    Dear WCS

    Thank you for another tremendous rehearsal last night! Terrific commitment, thank you for listening so closely to what I had to say and to working really hard on some difficult music. And thank you for making such a nice start with my piece!

    For those not able to attend, we rehearsed:

    Handel - And He Shall Purify and For Unto Us
    Lauridsen - Sure on this Shining Night
    Ghislaine Reece-Trapp - Alleluia a new work
    Huw Morgan - Dormi Jesu
    Trad - Somerset Wassail

    Next week I'd like to continue with For Unto Us, Dormi and the Wassail, revise Vulpius Es ist ein Ros, start Hassler's Dixit Maria, and Handel's Glory to God.

    In two weeks, I would like to start some items from the Carols for Choirs books 1 and 2, so please bring those along then if you have them.

    Very best wishes
    Huw
  • Huw's weekly message
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 14 Sep 2023

    Dear WCS

    Thank you for an excellent rehearsal this week - a great turnout, and some wonderful ground covered!

    For those not able to be there, we sang:

    Morten Lauridsen - Sure on this Shining Night
    Ghislaine Reece-Trapp - Alleluia
    Poston - Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
    Vulpius - Es ist ein Ros entsprungen
    Basque trad - The Angel Gabriel
    Handel - And the Glory & And He Shall Purify

    Next week, I'd like to finish off Sure on this Shining Night and Alleluia, revise And He Shall Purify, and start:
    Handel - For Unto Us
    Trad - Somerset Wassail
    Huw - Dormi Jesu

    Here is a recording (by one of my old choirs!) of the Vulpius: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR83leJPoRE

    Finally, I have attached details of a singing day in Bristol with Nicholas Cleobury on 7 October that may be of interest.

    With very best wishes

    Huw

    Attachment:
  • A great first rehearsal!
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 8 Sep 2023
    Dear WCS

    It was wonderful to be back with you all this week - the summer was long and wonderful, but I have missed singing, and I thought you were on tremendous form. What a great start! A really full, rich sound - plenty of concentration and some excellent detail added already. It was lovely to see some new faces too!

    I've re-attached the concert programme (as you can't have it too many times!) and should say that there is a lot to learn there, even if many of the pieces are short or quite well-known, so if you do miss rehearsals, please do your very best to catch up with what was sung. I'll send a list out each week.

    This week, we sang:
    Handel - And the Glory of the Lord
    Morten Lauridsen - Sure on this shining night
    Ghislaine Reece-Trap - Alleluia
    Irving Berlin - Happy Holidays / White Christmas

    Next week, we'll carry on with Lauridsen, Ghislaine's piece, Handel "And He shall Purify", and one or two things from our pdf files. Please remember to bring all these with you, and if you need help printing anything please say asap!

    Two useful recordings:
    Lauridsen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK7lFAoE_3s
    Ghislaine's Alleluia - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0cWiUp6vVY (conducted by an old pal of mine!)

    Have a lovely weekend, and very much looking forward to next week's rehearsal!

    Huw
     
    Attachment:
  • A new term!
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 3 Sep 2023
    Dear WCS

    Well, summer is coming to an end (albeit in a blaze of glorious sunshine!) and while that makes me melancholic on one hand, on the other I'm very excited because I get to start working with you wonderful people again!

    I'm hugely looking forward to our concert this term - a sequence of Advent and Christmas music and words that I hope has something for everyone in it. You'll have seen the programme already, I'm sure, but just in case you missed it, I've attached it to this message as well. Old favourites, and new ones too - I'm particularly happy that we're including Morten Lauridsen's beautiful "Sure on this shining night", as well as Ghislaine Reece-Trapp's exciting "Alleluia! A new work is come on hand", a really fine new work.

    I've missed you all over the summer, so here's to tomorrow! Very best wishes

    Huw
    Attachment:
  • WOW
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 4 Jun 2023
    Dear WCS

    Well, I don't know about you, but I'm still smiling, and am rather tired!

    Wow, what a fantastic evening. A sell-out concert, and incredible atmosphere - your energy, committment and sheer joy in your singing was obvious to all and carried the audience through a terrific performance. I really couldn't have asked for more from you - every little detail was there, but the whole was a complete thrill too. Congratulations. I honestly can't remember the last time I felt both totally satisfied by a performance but also that I'd had great FUN in the process.

    Immense thanks to everyone: to the choir for your amazing performance; to the committee for their huge hard work in putting together such a successful event; to everyone else who has contributed in ways big and small; to our fantastic guest musicians; and to the astonishing Richard Lennox.

    Finally, once again (and I don't think this can be said too often), a deeply heartfelt thanks to Howard, who has carried what must be great frustration and sadness with a magnanimity and generosity of spirit that is an inspiring example to us all. It was Howard's programme concept that caught our imaginations so strongly, and clearly that of the audience too - absolutely brilliant. I hope that Howard continues to recover, and continues to be a fundamental part of the choir for many years to come.

    Righto, early bed for me! Onwards - can't wait to be back with you all again in the Autumn!

    Very best wishes,
    Huw
    Attachment:
  • Excited!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 1 Jun 2023
    Dear WCS

    I am so excited for the concert on Saturday! This week's rehearsal was excellent, your singing is full of character and life, I think this is going to be a tremendous event.

    As I said at the rehearsal, please remember to enjoy yourselves on the day! Concentrate and think hard, of course, but also relax and enjoy the experience - being tense or worried is the last thing we want. You've all worked incredibly hard on this programme, over several months, so you deserve a really positive, joyful afternoon and evening. It will be wonderful.

    Looking forward to it so much, very best wishes

    Huw
  • Nearly there!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 25 May 2023
    Dear WCS

    What a fabulous penultimate rehearsal! Excellent sound, committed singing, great concentration and lots of expression and detail. This is going to be a great concert, I can't wait for it!

    For those missing, we covered all of Simon and Garfunkel; Cilla "It's for You", and pretty much all the Handel except "My Heart is Inditing", which we will concentrate on next week.

    The dog, if you are interested, is ok - stupid animal, he ate an Easter egg almost as big as he is. There was an emergency vet trip in the night, but he's right as rain now. Until the next time...

    Very best wishes and see you all next week!

    Huw
  • Concert running order
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 17 May 2023
    Dear WCS

    An EXCELLENT rehearsal last night, congratulations. I think this is going to be a completely splendid concert. Please do keep plugging away at raising an audience!

    There was a question about the order of the concert, so here we go:

    1st half:
    Handel - Zadok
    Handel - My Heart is Inditing
    (Coronation Poem)
    Handel - Let Thy Hand be Strengthened
    Handel - The King Shall Rejoice

    Interval

    2nd Half
    Simon and Garfunkel
    Moon River
    Two Cilla Songs (in printed order)
    (Ensemble Inspirita items)
    Beatles

    Looking forward to seeing you all next week, very best wishes

    Huw
  • Thank you and next week!
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 3 May 2023
    Dear WCS

    Thank you for yet another tremendous rehearsal last night - lots of ground covered and some really open-hearted, generous and exciting singing going on, I think this is going to be a wonderful concert. Please do badger everyone far and wide to come along!

    For those not able to attend last night, we covered:

    Simon & Garfunkel - Feeling Groovy & Bridge over Troubled Water
    Both Cilla Black arrangements 
    Handel: The King Shall Rejoice (movements 1, 2, 5)
    Handel: My Heart is Inditing (movements 2, 3, 4)

    Next week I would like to spend more time with the following:

    Cilla - It's For You (ATB please listen to the piano solo in this song to get the tricky synchopated bit right!)
    Beatles Medley
    Moon River
    Handel: My Heart is Inditing (movement 1)
    Handel: The King shall rejoice (movements 2, 3, 5)

    And whatever else we have time for!

    Well done all, what a lot of fun. I hope you all have a splendid Coronation weekend, whatever you might be up to, and I lookm forward to seeing you all again next week.

    Finally, if you haven't already had enough of me, and are interested in Purcell, I'm hosting a study day of his music at Clevedon Adult Studies Association on June 24th, details here:

    http://casaclevedon.org.uk/events/event/henry-purcell-the-glory-of-the-temple-and-the-stage/

    Very best wishes
    Huw
  • Book Your Tickets Now for our January Concert!
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 2 Jan 2023
    Hello to All

    We hope you had a lovely Christmas and a very happy new year - this is to let everyone know that tickets for our afternoon concert on January 28th at All Saints' Church are now on sale!

    Tickets are only £11 (or £6 child). Doors open at 3pm for a 3.30pm concert start time. Please book early....

    The best and simplest way to book is by using a debit or credit card via our ticket agent: Ticketsource
    Please click the link below, or scan the QR code to go directly to our ticket agent website where you can book tickets and have them emailed or posted directly to you:


    https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/weston-choral



    Note: There is a small booking fee for using the Ticketsource service.
    We look forward to seeeing everyone at All Saints' on 28th January for a wonderful concert with tasty refereshments available immediately after the concert!


     
  • Weston Choral - Greetings to all and hope you're enjoying a great summer
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 28 Jul 2022
    Dear singers

    The great news is that we start reherasals again at 7.30pm on October 4th at All Saints' - we're guaranteed some really wonderful singing experiences this coming term so please do come along, join or re-join Weston Choral and get your friends to join as well! If anyone has difficulty getting to All Saints' we will try to set up car shares to make things easier and ensure everyone can come along to enjoy the singing. Use the contact form to send us a message if you need a lift...

    Our next concert will take place on January 28th 2023, but please also note that the date previously given for our December 2023 concert has changed and is now booked for 9th December 2023.

     

    Here is a message from Howard about the pieces we will be rehearsing in the coming term for performance in January 2023....

     

    "For our January 2023 concert we are tackling two very contrasting pieces. The first is a beautiful Requiem by the French composer Durufle. For the  style of music think ‘Faure with sophisticated extras’. The themes of the Requiem are based on chants and will fit really well with the acoustics in All Saints’ Church. It  will sound ethereal and heavenly!

    The second group of pieces is a brand new work by Bob Chilcott: Songs my heart has taught me. It’s a set of four contrasting songs in various styles, one of which is musical theatre. There is tranquil beauty and high energy contrasted in this set.

    The whole calendar timing and time of day of this concert is new for Weston Choral. We decided, for 2022, to dispense with a traditional Christmas concert (that will be back for December 9th 2023!) and place the concert at the end of January 2023 when the Christmas and New Year rush is over! Again, to ring the changes the concert will be in mid-afternoon and will be finalised with a ‘tea and cakes’ session at the end!"

     

    We already have some new singers signed up to join us on October 4th and it would be a great opportunity to welcome back singers who had to drop out during the pandemic or for other reasons.

    It’s great to keep reading and hearing about how good singing is for everyone: physical and mental health flourish when we sing. Of course, we knew that already before the scientific studies confirmed it all! So come and be part of the growing movement and join in the revolution!

    First rehearsal Tuesday October 4th at All Saints’ Church, All Saints’ Road, WSM. 7.30-9.30pm"

    More information on the two works:

    Further info on Duruflé requiem:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem__(Duruflé)

    Further info on Bob Chilcott's Songs my Heart has Taught Me

    https://en-gb.facebook.com/OUPChoral/videos/bob-chilcott-delphine-chalmers-songs-my-heart-has-taught-me/898126560988199/



     
  • Sublime summer singing season concludes with a gorgeous garden recital
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 27 Jul 2022


    Well done to all Summer singers and thanks to everyone who came to Jane's lovely garden - it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience with music and refreshments in a lovely setting which we were free to explore. The weather was superb too, so it was a fantastic conclusion to our brilliant summer singing sessions. There was a raffle for one of our super hampers and the event raised £200 for the choral society.

    A huge vote of thanks is due to Howard for organising and running the summer sing and to Jane for organising the garden event hamper, drinks and cakes!

    A few pictures of the event and the garden are shown below....

    PS - Singers - look out for an email later to tell you all about our upcoming rehearsals working towards the next Weston Choral concert set to take place at All Saints' on January 28th 2023.

    PPS - Don't forget to book your place on the 2022 Singing Day (happening on November 19th). Click the "Upcoming events" link on the website homepage to secure your place.


















  • Weston Choral Concert Poster May 7th 2022
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 9 Mar 2022
    Please share the attached poster which gives details for out May 7th 2022 Concert with everyone you know....
    Attachment:
  • Weston Choral May 7th 2022 concert success
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 28 Feb 2022


    Dear Singers


    We all know that the rehearsals for our May Concert have been something really special. The work is intense, the music incredible and so diverse.... there must be something in there to touch the heart of absolutely everyone.... and that being the case, why not get absolutely everyone you know to come along! We do seriously need to make a huge success of this and with your hard work we can do just that.

    Tickets for what promises to be an absolutely stunning musical journey are now available - you can book online and get your tickets by email or alternatively use the attached booking form to order your tickets - hand your completed form to Helen at rehearsal and we will either email or hand your tickets to you (tick your preference on the form). Bring all your family and friends! They may want to join us when they see how good this is!

    Let’s really get behind Weston Choral and sell the concert out - there are only 150 tickets available (well 148 now as I've got mine!) - that's less than 3 tickets each... not counting the school choir's family and friends! Get your order in early.....

    Please also share the attached poster I will send out separately with your connections.

    How to book

    To book by credit card / debit card online click the link below:

    https://tinyurl.com/wcs-may-07-2022

    To pay by cheque or bank transfer members can download the attached form and hand it to Helen at rehearsal. Your tickets will then be emailed or brought to a later rehearsal according to your choice. If you have a question about the booking process please ask Helen or myself any Tuesday at rehearsal.

    Maria
    Graphic designer / webmaster for Weston Choral
    On behalf of Weston Choral committee

    Attachments:
    Booking form
     
    Attachment:
  • Weston Choral Are Back !
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 27 Aug 2021
  • Togetherness and Inspiration
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 19 Dec 2020
    Wishing all and lovely Christmas season and lets hope and look toward a better 2021.
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Cantique - with Weston Choral singers!
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  •  Date Posted: Tue, 7 Jul 2020
    Members will remember singing this at our Faure concert in November.... here a few of our singers got involved in a worldwide version with an ensemble under the fantastic name "Musique Sans Frontières" . Have a listen! Lovely sunflowers too....
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Laughed Out Loud - A LOT at this video
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 18 Jun 2020
    For those who have tried out virtual singing in this lockdown period - and even if you haven't this will make you laugh - the brilliant "Birth of the Virtual Choir". Well done Julie Stanley and St. Giles Festival Choir! and thanks to John for sending us the link.... :-)
    YouTube Video URL:
  • SAVE OUR CHOIRS!
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 17 Jun 2020
    We need to speak out and strongly support our cause if we are to get back to singing as we knew it and loved it.... The Guardian has published a letter from Bob Chilcott, John Rutter, Harry Christophers and other leading lights of singing:-  here is a quote from the letter:

    "We need the government to show how we can restart singing together on an equal footing with opening theme parks, shopping and kicking a football around. It is imperative that we find a way for choirs in this country to resume as soon and as safely as we can.

    Singing in a choir is not only about communality, social cohesion and harmony; for many it is an essential source of emotional wellbeing and positive mental health. Moreover it is a powerful expression of our culture and humanity, and it cannot be allowed to fade away."

    Those responsible for managing churches, village halls and similar spaces are unlikely to act without government approval / guidance so  it's up to all of us to speak out for our singing! Our own leading light Musical Director has set the ball rolling by writing to his MP John Penrose.
    Let's all tell our MPs how we feel about this and get choral singing firmly on their agenda!
     

    Please share and encourage all the singers you know
    to get involved.

    Email sent to John Penrose MP for Weston-super-Mare:
     

    "  Hello John

    I don’t know whether you read the article in The Guardian today about the plight of British Choirs during the pandemic?
    I am the Musical Director of Weston Choral which has been established in our town for over 150 years.
    We are currently trying to make plans for our forthcoming season commencing in September where we will start rehearsing music for our Christmas concerts.
    Could I ask that you raise with the Culture Secretary / Prime Minister the need for us to have some guidance and possible timetable ( depending on the progress of improvement in the containment of the virus) as to how we might need to plan to rehearse safely at the beginning of September? I understand that over 2 million people in the UK belong to choirs and it would be a huge boost if we could have some reassurance. We would then be delighted to share our music with our communities which, by Christmas, will be sorely in need of uplift  gained from listening to live music.
    I look forward to your comments

    Yours sincerely "


    Link to Guardian letter:

    https://amp.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/16/covid-19-has-silenced-choirs
     
  • Cantique - singing it again... and a tiny issue is sorted
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 16 Jun 2020


    In the latest international virtual choir collaboration of Faure’s "Cantique de Jean Racine" which several Weston choral members are involved with, our very own Maria Redman was the first alto to spot a discrepancy between the rehearsal track and the score… just shows what a talented lot we are in Weston!  Here is what the Musical Director (Jeff Ward), said to all the choristers:

    Dear Altos,
    Thanks to the excellent hearing of one of our members, an error in the ALTO MP3 backing track has been found in bars 73 and 74.
    We have fixed the mistake now so please can you download the corrected MP3 before you start.
    Apologies for any confusion!
    All the best
    Jeff
  • Like a Rainbow used for International Conference
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 15 Jun 2020
    The wonderful "Like a Rainbow Shining" recording, in which some of our Weston Choral members sang along with Worle Chorale and Spanish / Portuguese choir members, was used during the opening ceremony at the online Model United Nations@ Newton International Academy conference which was live streamed over the weekend. Unfortunately the stream was not super quality so not really able to listen effectively here.... however it's great that we were  a part of it! Well done all!
     
  • Like a Rainbow Shining - Well Done to All!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 28 May 2020
    You may have heard that my ensemble choir, Worle Chorale, were hosting a Spanish and Portuguese choir here in Weston during April this year. We were planning a couple of concerts and social events together. Obviously everything had to be cancelled, along with our own Weston Choral concert....much to everyone's disappointment. However, as many other choirs, we have tried to keep in touch via zoom. Every Friday two choirs from the UK, one from Spain and one from Portugal have been meeting virtually and having a chat and as far as we can, a sing! When I heard that Will Todd had composed an anthem called ‘Like a rainbow shining’, specially for this ‘lockdown’ period it seemed an ideal opportunity to have a go at this together... albeit from a distance. So each person, including some Weston Choral members, recorded their track and sent it to Ellie our sound mixer, who did a fantastic job producing this final version. The words and music are inspired and really are a message for our time.
    Enjoy!

    Howard

    PS:
    Howard sent the above message to Will Todd (composer of the piece) and received this response:

    Wow

    this is SO LOVELY

    thank you guys

    Wx
    (Will Todd, Tyalgum Press and Will Todd Music)
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Weston Choral Singers doing it in Lockdown!
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Fri, 1 May 2020
    Ellie has done a fantastic job putting together this video of Haydn's "The Heavens are Telling". Well done to all the singers and big thanks to Howard and Ellie for organising everything....
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Carols for Weston Hospice Care....
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 18 Dec 2019
    Well sung all the intrepid WCS members who turned out for carol singing! I wonder... did Sainsburys actually notice we were there?  No idea - didn't see any of their representatives.... Thanks though to the many lovely people putting coins in the Weston Hospicecare boxes which we eventually found via a pleasant security guard....
    Maria
    :-)

    Many thanks to those members who turned up for the Carol Singing at Sainsbury’s on Tuesday 17th December. It was a blast! Special mention to the men who gave a stirring rendition of the verse in Good King Wenceslas!

    The interpretation of the "wind" deserves another thumbs up!
    It will be interesting to know how much we raised for Weston Hospice Care.
    When we know, we will let you know.
    Happy Christmas.

    Bill and Kay.

     
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Feedback from the Faure concert...
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 6 Dec 2019
    Hope you all enjoyed the experience - some of the feedback received is shown below...
  • A date for your diary...
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 14 Nov 2019
    Just to let you know that the premiere performance of Bob Chilcott's Christmas Oratorio (which Weston Choral will be singing for our Christmas 2020 concert), was recorded live by BBC Radio 3 and will be broadcast on Thursday 19 December at 7.30 pm.

     
  • Blooming Brilliant...
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Thu, 17 Oct 2019
    Please do have a listen to Ellie’s version of Les fleurs et les abres. I was asked, "Is this good enough for homework this week?" Accolade for the best reply please...
     
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Very Pronounced French...
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 15 Oct 2019
    Maybe we can take a few tips and improve our accents for all the French pieces we are practicing at the moment.....?
     
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Brilliantly Blues'd !!!
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 19 Jun 2019

    The anticipation, excitement and commitment certainly paid off with a concert , that I think, will be one of the Society’s finest.
    Having the musicians there for the afternoon rehearsal just brought it all together. Hearing the double bass come in after the first fews bars in the opening Kyrie, made my tears run rendering me voiceless for a minute or so, as my late father was a great bass player, playing with the big dance bands plus other jazz groups. I could see him so clearly strumming and bowing away getting wrapped up in every note that was played. It was a very poignant moment for me.

    Will was so easy to work with and very encouraging about the sound we were producing. Well, we certainly could not let him nor Howard down after all the work we had put in.
    Performance here we come! Wasn’t it great ? You just know after the opening notes that all will be well and we took it to another level.

    I think we were rather tentative for a while about the Songs of Peace buy maybe having Will there playing made us relax and get into the pieces. Even the D sharp was spot on !! All the parts were secure and you couldn’t help but be swept away with a glorious sound and feel for the music.
    There was a real energy throughout the pieces of the Mass. I don’t know about you but when the opening bars begin and then it blasts into the double time, the adrenaline is swirling around and you become very focused for the start of the Kyrie.
    We didn't appear to be phased either by the faster tempo in the Credo ! How good was that ? HEADS UP for the last chord.... and at the end, well how much longer were we going to hang onto that note ?  For as long as Will Todd wanted  to , is the simple answer!!

    All soloists, musicians and performers were TERRIFIC making this a truly memorable evening.
    As Will Todd said, singing is a wonderful thing to be involved with.

    We are so fortunate to be able to experience moments like these throughout our singing. We enjoy coming together as a group to sing, support each other, socialise and rub out !! Some of us ,one day, may win a hamper !!

    Long may it continue.  VIVA LA MUSICA !!

    Kay Blake
  • Latest on the Todd Tendon....!
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Tue, 28 May 2019

    Check this out
    When you click the link,  go to the bottom right corner and click on the little speaker icon to turn on the fabulous sound!

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1131469611596169216
  • Songs and How to Sing Them... With Help!
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Wed, 1 May 2019
    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!!!

    Bill Blake
  • Weston Choral in New York!
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Sun, 28 Apr 2019


    What exciting things we do as Weston Choral members....

    After a 7.5 hour flight a gruelling 3 hour wait to process through US immigration and a further 2 hours to battle along the 6 lane highway we finally made it to New York City! All that was left was to collapse into the absolutely massive bed and get some much needed shut-eye... Thursday dawned and we were off exploring! Spent much of my time that first day in the city trying hard not to look as gobsmacked as I truly felt. NYC can really feel like an assault on the senses - especially anywhere in the vicinity of Times Square where whole skyscrapers flash with the biggest and most intense media show ever and every other person on the street is intent on selling you a tour of the city.... Captivating in one sense but very quickly becoming overwhelming.

    Friday dawned and we had an early rehearsal call for 8.30am. After preliminaries and issue of lanyards / security passes we met the Musical Director for our section of the concert Dr James Meaders. Due to my lack of inches I ended up in the front row... bang in front of Dr Meaders!  No need to worry though - an excellent and tough but brilliant and charismatic MD, he really showed us how to bring out the best in the music. The choir itself was fabulous - around 250 voices producing a super sound.  When towards the end of the intensive morning's rehearsal, Will Todd our composer entered the room, the younger members of the American choirs present might have been welcoming a rock star!

    On Saturday we settled in well to our afternoon rehearsal call and did an amazing warm-up routine directed by Will Todd which energized everyone for the session. These rehearsals will live in my memory - so special and the music full of emotion.

    The day of the concert was the first time anyone in our choir had seen the inside of David Geffen Hall - a cavernous space in warm wood tones. Filing onto the stage risers and rehearsing was thrilling - now I could understand why the 250 singers were appropriate... I had to keep mentally pinching myself to think that here we were, onstage in a famous hall in New York City singing with an amazing composer and musicians...

    Later that day, waiting our turn in the Green rooms backstage the familiar excitement and nervous anticipation seemed to stretch the brief wait to climb to the stage... but finally there we were - front and centre facing a huge audience and singing Will Todd's fabulous music. We remembered what we could of Dr. Meaders’ advice "the expression on your face will come out in the music" and followed his direction to our best ability... We sang with all the joy and hope that we all felt.

    The emotion in the hall was incredible and despite a programme instruction not to applaud until the end of the set of pieces, the audience responded to each movement. At the end we received rapturous applause and a standing ovation. The whole experience lived up to and went beyond my expectation and I wouldn't hesitate to do something similar again given the opportunity.  The DCINY organisers were really brilliant and they organised a reception banquet after the concert to round things off and give everyone time to come down from the musical high... it took a while!

  • Our MD Howard Sayer on Will Todd...
  •  
  •  Date Posted: Sat, 27 Apr 2019


    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."
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