Due to the worsening pandemic situation here our concert programme for this year is still in abeyance.
We will reschedule 2021/2 just as soon as we can
In the meantime we all wish 2021 will improve and hope you keep safe.
As to rehearsals…
A group of us were able to come together in a covid-secure environment to sing our Christmas programme together (quietly) !
Covid secure rehearsal with Paul Spicer & David Saint (accompanist)
It has been a joy to be singing again albeit a very different experience (so far removed from other voices).
Heart-breakingly real rehearsals are now on hold yet again and we shall continue with zoom sessions until it’s safe to venture out.
Despite the limitations of rehearsals by zoom some elements have proved very successful including voice coaching.
So far: Two sessions.
Another session is planned during this lockdown
The first session was with Joanna Tomlinson, soprano, conductor & voice coach who, amongst many other achievements, is Principal Conductor of National Youth Choir of Great Britain Girls' Choir, Music Director of Constanza Chorus, Whitehall Choir and Farnham Youth Choir and has worked with BBC Singers, London Voices, Philharmonia Voices, Britten Sinfonia Voices, Gabrieli Consort and Le Concert D'Astree and Sonoro
Our second session was with James Oldfield, a bass-baritone for a change.
James is an internationally acclaimed singer & vocal coach. His singing roles have included with ENO, ROH, Garsington, Opera North, the LSO, RPO, & Hallé amongst others. He is also a voice coach for private sessions and at courses plus he teaches at Cambridge University & Tiffin School.
Many thanks to both for their good advice, perseverance and entertainment.
All sorts of singing techniques...
using straws in water, facial contortions and sounds including lots of glugs!
Various moments from our coaching sessions.
Many many thanks to our Choir & Social Secretary
A small token of our huge thanks to our Choir Secretary who has played a Herculean role during the past 9 months keeping us all together & ploughing through the mire of rules & regulations to bring about actual rehearsals again.
We are all indebted to her selfless devotion to our cause.
At the AGM (conducted for the first time on zoom) we unanimously voted to award her the honour of Life Membership
Thank You flowers delivery!
Waiting to start rehearsals…
The new choral work by our Director of music, Paul Spicer, pertinent to this moment in history is now in print.
Choir members have copies and are waiting to start rehearsals.
This new work was commissioned by the Choir, generously funded by our past President, the late Pauline Round in her will.
It stands as a testament to this very moment in time of pandemic crisis and to Pauline’s close relationship with us.
Each movement uses a different poem for the libretto (including anonymous texts from the 12th century, the Bengali poet Rabindranth Tagore, Walter de la Mare, and Pauline Round).
The title, Sound the Invisible Trumps is from the poem by Walter de la Mare.
Paul says of the work:... it is essentially a ‘darkness to light’ theme with the pandemic as the backdrop.
A very big and satisfying job resulting in 7 movements and 23 minutes of music.
I am particularly happy with the final movement which really dances its way through and should be quite exciting.
These quick, upbeat movements are always the hardest to do and it was very important that this one should be a complete release from all that has gone before.
Pauline is the overall dedicatee of course, and I am very pleased to have been able to use two of her poems.
These are what I call the ‘sorbet’ courses between bigger, fully-fledged pieces. They are both unaccompanied.
Mike Lloyd is the sub-dedicatee of the second movement, husband to Merryn, soprano, and close friend of the Choir, who tragically did not survive the covid virus.
More about Paul Spicer
Read more about Paul’s work with The Royal Conservatoire Chamber Choir…..
Can you help us?
During these exceptional times when we all seem to be doing more & more online shopping please use AMAZON SMILE whenever possible.
Just choose Birmingham Bach Choir from the drop down list to enable a small donation to go in to our funds.
It costs you nothing but, drip by drip, can help funding for our next concert, whenever that might be.
If you'd like to join the Choir...
Last Christmas we raised just over £300 for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity
What a Gala celebration...
photo: Frank Wood
Our last concert before the pandemic hit was such a wonderful celebration for our 100 years.
We remember our superb orchestra (The Musical and Amicable Society), soloists (Anita Watson, Samantha Price, Mark Wilde and Felix Kemp) and our own Martyn Rawles (on the chamber organ) performing with us to an absolutely packed cathedral.
Aaah happier times!
Pictures below of the hardworking final rehearsal and actual concert
(with gratitude to Frank Wood & Dave Freak for their photos)
The Grimmitt Trust, The Saintbury Trust, The S&D Lloyd Trust, The John Feeney Charitable Trust, and the W.E. Dunn Trust who have all supported us recently.