For the latest amateur classical music listings in and around Portsmouth, including Fareham, Petersfield, Chichester, Havant and Hayling Island

Chantry Quire Passiontide Meditation 30 March 2021

For several years now the Chantry Quire has performed an annual Passiontide Meditation – a programme of music and thought-provoking readings – in Boxgrove Priory.

The concert has been sponsored by Rathbones, which has enabled us to give the proceeds to support the Aldingbourne Trust, a local charity that does remarkable work with young disabled people; over the years the choir has raised over £5000 for the Trust.  As those of you who have attended previous performances will recall, we have always included a short presentation from a member of Aldingbourne’s staff, and from one of their young clients themselves, to remind us what it’s all about. We feel a special connection with the Trust as the mother of two of our singers was instrumental in setting it up.

But of course Covid-19 has changed everything.  We had to cancel last year’s concert, and we won’t be able to perform this year’s either – or not in the normal way.   We did, however, want to honour our commitment both to Aldingbourne and to Boxgrove.  So our musical director, Peter Allwood, came up with the idea of performing a rather shorter programme of music and readings, which we would all record separately at home, and then have combined – by technical wizardry – into a single video concert.

We are giving it our best efforts: learning the music, following the guide tracks pre-recorded by a group of four young soloists at the beginning of their careers so as to get our timing exactly right, and then recording ourselves at home.  It feels very strange, but it is still wonderful to get back singing together, even if virtually.

This all costs money, of course – the soloists, the musical director and the video producer all need to be paid.  So we appealed to everyone we could think of for help, and the response was amazing!  In fact, we have raised more than we needed, from more than 30 different sponsors – local companies, friends and family, choir members past and present …   We are so grateful to everyone who has helped to make our video dream a reality.

The video will actually be launched at 6pm on the Tuesday of Holy Week, 30th March.  You will be able to access it via the Chantry Quire website, so do please watch it, either then or later – it will remain freely available.  It will include a short introduction from Aldingbourne, and viewers will of course be warmly encouraged to make a generous donation to the Trust.  You may even spot – among the postage-stamp-sized faces – a few faces you recognise!


St Richard Singers: Come & Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion

Here we are in a New Year with new challenges, almost a full year after we entered the first national lockdown! Things are definitely looking up now with vaccines available and some of you possibly having received a first dose. Unfortunately, in-person gatherings and concert performances appear still some way off. However, we have a treat for you this Lent.

Last year we planned a ‘Come & Sing’ with Stainer’s Crucifixion at the end of March. It had to be called off to everyone’s disappointment just a few weeks before the event. Having sampled the possibilities, and indeed opportunities, which virtual music-making has to offer with our Christmas Carols project (now up on our very own YouTube channel), we would like to invite you to our first Virtual Come & Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion.

If you wish to be part of this project, and enjoy singing a few familiar pieces of great music, please head to our website for more information and payment details.

For £5 you can join SRS for this Virtual Performance of some pieces from Stainer’s ever-popular work in your own time and at your own pace. Please encourage others to join in, as we are no longer limited by time and space.

The edited “performance” will be released online on Palm Sunday 28 March, exactly a year after the original planned event would have taken place. Once your payment has been received (BACS or cheque) the resources and instructions will be made available to you. Any profits will go to Parkinson’s Disease Association.

Think of the finished product as a TV programme that features yourself which you can re-play and re-play, and which will thrill & impress family & friends the world over.

If you have any question prior to booking, please use the contact form on our website. Please also revisit our website for further updates regarding the Festival of Chichester 2021.

We hope to “see” you at our virtual Come & Sing. Stay Safe and Keep Singing!


The Portsmouth Choral Union is recruiting!

Are you looking for a friendly group to share your love of singing? Ever thought about joining PCU?
If the answer is yes, then read on!

If you have some experience of singing in a group and reading music, then you are welcome – even during lockdown.

At the moment we meet each Tuesday evening via ‘Zoom’ video link at 7.30 p.m. for about 1 hour or so. No need to worry about other people hearing you, as singers are muted during the sessions!

The evening includes a fun vocal warm-up; a chance to enjoy singing well known classical music repertoire works e.g., Verdi Requiem, and even some time to work on identifying and pitching musical intervals, finding notes in chords and other elements of music to help with sight-reading.

Feeling daunted? Relax, the PCU registrar is here to help. She is happy to answer all your questions and ensure you feel very welcome.

Email: PCURegistrar@gmail.com


Petersfield Musical Festival Newsletter Autumn 2020

It’s been the toughest year on record for musicians, with professionals deprived of their livelihoods and amateurs unable to take part in the groups and activities they love.

The Festival was stopped in its tracks by the March lockdown and lost its planned Choral Workshop in September. However, planning for 2021 continues, though necessarily on a smaller scale than usual.

Meanwhile, individuals and groups have found enterprising ways to keep singing and playing – whether online, outdoors, or socially distanced under strict conditions.

Our autumn Newsletter reports on the Festival’s online AGM, and brings stories from local singers and instrumentalists about how they have succeeded in making and sharing music under lockdown,

Read the full newsletter: 46 Petersfield Musical Festival Newsletter_33_Autumn_2020_colour

If you would like to support professional musicians by contributing to Help Musicians (formerly The Musicians Benevolent Fund) please click here.

 


Conclusions from research on virtual rehearsals

Please read this post for the background to the project.

Click this link to read my conclusions from research on virtual rehearsals paper. I trust that these insights are useful for singers and instrumentalists alike, and look forward to continuing the discussion.

In addition, Making Music has written these very helpful notes:
https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/resource/zoom-online-rehearsals-vocal
https://www.makingmusic.org.uk/resource/making-most-online-rehearsals

Here’s another article that caught my eye: https://blog.chorusconnection.com/virtual-learning-taking-your-choir-rehearsals-online


Research on virtual rehearsals

I am doing some research on virtual rehearsals on behalf of vocal and instrumental groups in my area. If you already rehearse virtually or have plans to do so, your input would be most gratefully received.

Please email me at info@musicinportsmouth.co.uk or via the contact form, or fill in the form at https://forms.gle/TgHLmn2HAPCQEQpUA. Please come back to me by Saturday 25 July.

The findings will be published (without mentioning names) on the Noticeboard, for the benefit of all singers and instrumental musicians.

Thank you.

Read the conclusions of the research.

1. What is your group size?
2. Which channel(s) will/do you use (Zoom, Facebook Live, a combination, etc.)?
3. What is the reason for your choice of channel(s)?
4. Do you/will you rehearse in sections or as a whole group?
5. What are the numbers of people that you (will) rehearse with in one session? Have you encountered limitations on the maximum number of people? Please explain why, if you like.

The remainder of the questions assumes that you already have experience of such sessions.
6. How often do you meet for virtual rehearsals?
7. How long do the sessions last?
8. How much time do you allow for breaks, if at all?
9. Do you combine singing/playing sessions with social sessions?
10. What % take-up of your total group have you experienced?
11. What have been the barriers to people getting involved that you have encountered? Access to PCs, etc? The “fear factor”? The limitations of the technology?
12. What do you feel works to keep people “onside”?
13. Are the sessions led by the MD, by another key individual or by individuals working with each other as colleagues, or a mix of these?
14. Do you record the sessions? What do you do with the recordings?
15. Broadly, what works and what (if anything) doesn’t?
16. In these sessions, do you work specifically on vocal or instrumental technique?
17. What else do you focus on?
18. Are you working towards producing performances of complete works as the result of doing virtual rehearsals?
19. Will these be made for public consumption?
20. If so, are you going to use video or just audio?

Please add any other relevant comments or questions. Thank you!


How to get the most out of singing online – a guide for singers

Given that it will be just you singing at a screen, what can you do to get the most out of an online singing session?

It can be scary singing by yourself, especially if you normally sing in a choir. Suddenly you find yourself at home staring at a screen without much feedback and without hearing the other singers.

Read more at the link below.


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