Roll On September

Seems I’m not the only one missing choir. Julie Burgess sent me this poem today:

Roll on September!
Tuesday nights are not quite the same
During the summer break……..
I’ve tried a quick swim – and walks up the lane
And biked around Stanwick Lake,
I’ve tried solo songs – reminiscing
Of concerts, from previous seasons,
But “something” is simply “missing”
And I’ve just realised the reasons!
A musical space in my time, is unfilled,
‘Though “rests” are important, of course!
For on Tuesdays, at Choir, I just feel sort of “thrilled”
By the powerful musical force!
We listen – except when we’re chattery!
We strive with songs known – and unknown.
We smile at the praise and flattery,
(Occasionally of course, we groan!)

We all persevere with notation,
Make those harmonies fit into place.
We memorise sections – (well, sort of!)
And work hard with dynamics and pace.
With Sally up front as the driver
And Chris adding strength to the show,
It all comes together for concerts
And other events – hey presto!
When I sing with that great group of locals
(And a few from much farther afield!)
The challenge of “stretching my vocals”
Makes the stresses of life somehow “ healed”.
There’s Altos, sopranos and basses
And tenors – some, lower, some higher.
All singers with smiling faces ……
That’s what makes Raunds Community Choir!
Yes – Tuesdays will be back to normal
When “R.C.C.” congregate.
So – make sure I’m on that list – formal!
Roll on September – can’t wait!

Er …. P.S. Ooops! Apologies, can’t make the first session as holidaying again!!!

Choral Diplomacy

I’m missing choir, which is taking a summer break. So I’m looking for something to replace my weekly fix.

This Radio 4 programme caught my eye. First I didn’t know that there was a Parliament choir and second, I had heard nothing about this joint venture with their counterparts, The Bundestag choir.

The Parliament choir seems to have been in operation for 14 years and came about after a discussion between Lord Filkin and Simon Over (the then Director of Music at St Margaret’s Westminster) about the difficulties of belonging to a choir for parliamentarians. Evening work commitments made it almost impossible to attend regular rehearsals. So this special choir was born, which holds weekly rehearsals in St Mary Undercroft (the chapel within the Palace of Westminster). The rehearsals take place during parliamentary sessions, and MPs and Peers are allowed to leave rehearsals at the sound of the division bell in order to vote!

Apparently, due to the complex nature of the Britain’s relationship with Germany and the rest of Europe, the Bundestag were initially reticent about the idea of a joint concert. It was the 100-year anniversary of WWl which finally brought the two choirs together. The concert took place on July 9th as part of the WWl commemorations, in Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster.

Both choirs were determined to make it a joyous occasion and chose to sing Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, an uplifting piece written to celebrate the triumph of knowledge and the promise of the future.

Worth a listen.