I’m sure that many of you will be wondering about the way forward for the choir from September. Joel and the committee have already had a discussion about this and while we don’t yet know what we’ll be allowed by government to do by then, we can at least make some plans – even if we have to change them!
At the moment we are considering two ways of meeting as a choir, and we’re hoping to use them in conjunction with each other somehow. One is for part of the choir to meet one week and the other part the next week. How we divide into parts will depend on how many people sign up next season and want to come to ‘live’ rehearsals, and also what the advice on distancing will be in September.
The other proposal is that we use an online video communications tool, probably Zoom, which some of you will undoubtedly have been using to keep in touch with family and friends. It’s not ideal, but it’s a way for members who feel they are not ready to return to ‘live’ rehearsals to take part in ‘virtual’ rehearsals. There will be issues to sort out, but we feel strongly that the choir needs to be doing something, even if, at the end of the day, we can’t perform the concert for whatever reason. We just don’t know what will be happening a few months down the line, but we can at least sing either in small numbers or individually online – no-one else can hear you!
Clearly we will have to postpone our planned programme of Elijah and sing things we can easily manage with whatever number of singers we have. We are thinking in terms of carols with just an organ and/or piano accompaniment.
I wanted to let you know what was in our minds so that you too can be thinking about the way ahead. It is undoubtedly a tricky time for choirs but we’ll find a way!
I also wanted to tell you, if you didn’t already know this, that when our last concert was cancelled, we honoured a good part of the fees for those musicians who had been booked. In fact they received 70% of their concert fee and were all incredibly grateful for this. Work has completely dried up for professional musicians and Joel and the committee felt that this was absolutely the right thing to do.
I will email again in a few weeks with more details in line with what we are allowed to do, and to seek your responses. In the meantime, stay well.
I’m sure you’re all expecting this official email from the Ember Choral committee, and here it is. I’m sad to have to say that all rehearsals and both concerts, 28 March and 6 June, have been cancelled as from now. In the light of the government’s latest announcements about self-isolating and taking into account the choir’s age profile, it would be foolish to carry on. We have a duty of care to everyone whether they are old or young and the next few weeks are going to be difficult.
There are a few things we need to do:
We need to collect in the scores. I will speak to our librarian about this, but we will be asking you to drop your scores to a named person’s house. Please erase all your markings.
We need to collect in the tickets which you’ve sold so that our treasurer has an accurate record of them. Refunds can be made if required by sending your tickets and bank details to her.
She can send a cheque on receipt of the returned tickets if you prefer.
Some groups in the same position as us have found that people don’t want their money back, but instead prefer that the choir keeps the ticket money to help offset the choir’s losses, for which of course the choir will be very grateful. If this is the case with your friends, please send the tickets back anyway.
If any members, especially those without family nearby, are worried about getting in shopping or anything else, please contact me or any other committee member to ask for help. Please do not feel you are on your own; give us a ring for a chat!
At the moment we are looking to resume rehearsals on September 9, but I will keep you in touch with the current thinking at the time. Please all take good care of yourselves.
Tickets for our next concert featuring Britten ” St Nicolas”, Rutter “What Sweeter Music”, Rutter carols and other carols for choir and audience are now available. Tickets from Peter Robson on 020 8398 2440 or email him at: tickets(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)emberchoral.org.uk.
Choir members can also obtain tickets at rehearsals.
We’re always happy to welcome new members to the choir and there are no auditions – just an enthusiasm for singing choral works and a willingness to do some private practice, if necessary.
However, in March 2020, we are performimg Bach’s “St Matthew Passion” and we really need some extra tenors to bolster that section of the choir and to make the concert spectacular. Rehearsals for this concert will begin in December. Please spread the word!
A great evening at The Menuhin Hall! The programme featured “Ein Deutsches Requiem” and “Liebeslieder Waltzes” all sung in German (a challenge for some of us!) with piano accompaniment. The soloists were Rebecca Hardwick, soprano, and James Atkinson, bass, with pianists Linda Bridges and Pam Kent.
The following pictures were all taken by John Siviter with kind permission of The Menuhin Hall.