A message from the Chairwoman 22-Sep-2020
I hope this finds you all safe and well.
It will come as no surprise to you I am sure, that due to the dismal news about the rise in Covid infections across the country, and the imminent news from the Government that there will be more restrictions put in place over the coming weeks, we are sadly unable to restart rehearsals at this time.
This is very disappointing for us all. Even last week we thought we would be able to go ahead. We were delighted that so many of you were keen to return. We had received reassurance that it would be possible within Covid-secure Government guidelines and we had
done an extremely detailed risk assessment. However, the nature of this pandemic is that things change very quickly, and I am sure you understand that we have, therefore, had to make this decision.
We are hoping that if the situation changes towards the end of next month, we may be able to arrange to get together to sing some carols and perhaps organise some carol singing events leading up to Christmas. Our plans for the proposed concert in December have had to be cancelled.
A little bit of good news. We will now restart our 'virtual' weekly term on Wednesday 7th October and have several exciting and interesting ideas which we are planning with Robert and Tom, and we hope will involve you, and at least keep us all connected. If any of you have ideas to share, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Financially we are secure, which is largely due to your generosity last term, for which we are extremely grateful. Robert and Tom will continue on the retainer until such time as we can sing together again.
It has become very clear that the choir means a great deal to us all. It is not just the singing and the taking part, it is the personal connection we have with one another which we are all missing. 2021 will be the 70th anniversary of FHCS and some wonderful music and a party are in the planning, so lots to look forward to.
Take care, keep safe and 'see you' on the 7th October.
Start of the virtual autumn term 30-Sep-2020
Following up on our last email regarding a virtual term, we are pleased to tell you that next week will be the first session. We plan to offer weekly emails in a similar format as last term. The Committee is well aware that although we have been meeting regularly throughout this past year, many of you have not had a chance to reconnect with each other. Therefore, for our first virtual session, it was our wish that you, too, have an opportunity to see each other and say a few words should you want to, to say hello or to ask any questions you may have. Of course, you are welcomed to just listen in if you are feeling shy!
Agenda - FHCS Zoom Choir Get-together
Wednesday, 7th October - 7:15pm
Welcome from the Committee
Sue Hill: Update and plans
Robert & Tom: Hello, updates, plans, concerts...
Choir members: everyone who wants to will have a chance to say a few words
Suggestions for future activities
Any other business
We look forward to "seeing" you next week.
Ideas for the virtual autumn term 14-Oct-2020
We so enjoyed seeing those of you who joined in on our first Zoom meeting last Wednesday evening! It seems to have been a great success and the feedback was that members would like to have more moving forward. If you weren’t able to join last week not to worry, we have some great ideas coming and there will be more live sessions during this virtual term.
Following is a list of ideas that were discussed, and we of course would welcome more input:
Tom or Robert live performance of a short piece followed by Q&A / general chat
simply a talk about a piece of music or music theory (like a lesson)
a mini desert island discs
a “social” in which people put on performances - singing, poem recital, dancing,
whatever! - although not sure how many volunteers to perform there would be
- quite a number said they definitely wouldn’t!
a talk on wine by Robert
Lastly, in our Zoom meeting last week, one of our members mentioned she is currently singing the Nelson Mass in a church in Sloane Square. Some singers are there in person and some are singing virtually. For more information please contact Anne Samson (Soprano) directly.
A message from Rob 14-Oct-2020
I have often been asked (especially at school) what my favourite piece of music is. Much like food (and wine!), I do not have one single favourite; just like food (and wine!!) the glorious and endless variety that exists means many pleasures can be enjoyed without ever becoming boring. But if I had to choose one piece (Desert Island disk style) I would say....
Palestrina Missa Papae Marcelli.
For me it is simply perfect. Its melodic lines weave effortlessly in glorious 6-part polyphony. It is totally seamless. Its balance between consonance and gentle dissonance is marvellously judged.
Some of you may have sung it. In future years it could definitely be something the choir could consider if we wanted to present a Renaissance based programme.
Usefully there are many recordings.
If you wish to listen try this link:
You can also follow the score if you wish. This link is only the Kyrie. Do also listen to the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei.
I had the privilege when I was at Canterbury Cathedral of performing in Palestrina (it's a place near Rome - he was named after where he came from!). Not surprisingly we performed a lot of Palestrina!!
Wine and Music 28-Oct-2020
Robert is going to give us a live talk about some wines he is particularly fond of and will play some appropriate music.
Robert will be discussing 3 wines:
Californian oaked Chardonnay
Gran reserva Rioja
Desert Island Discs 4 and 18 Nov-2020
Remembrance day 11-Nov-2020
A lovely evening presented by Paula and Carol on the theme of Remembrance.
We've learned a lot about composers who fought and for some of them died during the 1st World War.
Several choir members have shared memories of their family members who have served during the wars.
2 lovely evenings presented by Jane and DJ Ana where choir members have shared their favourite music and some personal memories.
Griselda: If I had my way
Belinda: Zadok the Priest
Charlie: Gabriel's oboe
Rodney: For those in peril on the sea
Mary HB: Summertime
Shanette: Va pensiero
Sonia: Fidelio quartet
Barbara: How Great Thou Art
Christmas DIDs 2-Dec-2020
Another successful Zoom meeting presented by Jane and Ana on the theme of Christmas.
Jane: On Christmas Night All Christians Sing
Francesca: Tu Scendi dalle Stelle
Mary: In the Bleak Midwinter
Ana: Verbum Caro - Cancionero de Uppsala
Ann: O Holy Night
Sue: O Magnum Mysterium
Shanette: Let There Be Peace on Earth
Belinda: O Come O Come Emmanuel
Tom: Bethlehem Down by Peter Warlock
Carol: In Dulci Jubilo
Carol: Troika from Lt Kije suite by Prokofiev
Jane: For Unto us a Child is Born – Messiah
Tom: Quartet Bella iglia dell'amore Rigoletto
Judy: Fairwell to stromness - Peter
Francesca: Piano quintet no 2 - Dvorak
Valerie: Clair de lune - Debussy
Lisa: Il penseroso, ed il moderato Handel
Frances: Dance du grand calumet de la paix - Rameau
Zanna: Dio, Che nell'alma infondere amor - Verdi
Special Christmas gift from Rob - Brahms Sonata no 3 Opus 5
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