Amici rehearsal Grenville’s trip to Brisbane and STBP

Cari Amici Feb 14

Cari Amici,

Sing to Beat Parkinson's

Very much looking forward to the resumption of rehearsals together next week Wednesday 21 st February when we will rehearse And with his stripes, and Amen , revising choruses learned so far and visiting Brahms Requiem too!

Please do come and hear highly acclaimed pianist Clare Hammond who will play at St Gregory's on Sunday 18 th 15.00 . The  programme like her playing is scintillating;

  • Haydn · Fantasia in C major, Hob XVII: 4 
  • Chin · Études Nos. 4-6 
  • Schubert · 4 Impromptus, D. 899 
  • Beethoven · Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
  • Scriabin · Sonate-Fantasie No. 2, Op. 19 
  • Stravinsky · Petroushka Suite 

(Amongst so many achievements and extraordinary collaborations musically Clare was the the younger version of Maggie Smith’s character, ‘Miss Shepherd’, in the Alan Bennett film adaptation, The Lady in the Van, directed by Nick Hytner.)  A feat of a programme on your doorstep with tickets at the door, free parking, and no need to catch a train to hear world class playing!

Brisbane and STBP

My trip to Brisbane to contribute as key note speaker and conductor for the final Sing to Beat Parkinson' s concert was very rewarding. The symposium held over three days in the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University , was both  to examine and promulgate the results of a six month research programme using group singing with seventy eight people with Parkinson's ( PWP) none of whom had sung before in a choral group. The weekly programme of singing activities ,held in three different locations and facilitated by three choral leaders similarly fresh to the experience of working with PWP, was devised by Dr Yoon Irons whom I met three years ago in Brisbane and who came to our Aldeburgh training in 2017. The rigorous protocol utilised shared resources, identical time allocation, weekly 'homework' for the participants and a variety of recording methods to capture some of the activities en route.

At the end of the six month period standard assessment tools were used to measure the impact of the group singing, ( pdq 39, DASS etc) producing a huge amount of data which was analysed by Dr Irons and Prof Don Stewart, professor of public health at Griffith .

The results are quite wonderful ( both with regard to the trial and by implication)  with improvements shown in each of the areas measured with only one exception.The main outcome is that singing reduced stigma, in which was noticed the biggest improvement compared with other aspects of quality of life measures. Singing in groups also improved emotional wellbeing, social support and reduced depression, anxiety and stress levels. In all these improvements, Yoon Irons and Don Stewart detected a statistical significance and whilst  ' clinically' speaking, it is probably a  'small' improvement any improvement must be welcomed in a condition associated with gradual deterioration. Additionally all the participants were interviewed and this  data demonstrated quite amazing achievements during the six month period.

Yoon presented all the results as part of the first days research and delivery team seminar in great detail with sub section analysis of the data. She then made the 'public ' presentation on Friday to a wider audience which included speech therapists, voice and speech pathologists, a consultant gerontologist and others including some members of the three singing groups. 

Her presentation was prefaced by a panel discussion ,Parkinson's Disease, Neurosciences and the carer: implications for singing programme. ( still using disease here!) with significant and assuring contributions from  neurologist Prof George Mellick ( convinced through his research  that singing is as worthy an intervention as any drug...he was made Dean of the School of Medicine the day before!) and Prof Melissa Kendall, psychologist in the Rehab Dept of a Brisbane hospital and whose mother is a PWP and as such contributed  as a carer too).

Again an interesting mix within the audience of medics, allied health professionals and arts and health practitioners.

I followed Yoon with my keynote presentation for the remainder of the morning, whilst in the afternoon another presentation confirming the impact of group singing from Robin Matthews , Parkinsons Disease and community based singing therapy in Tauranga , New Zealand. A RCT with very positive outcomes which formed also the basis of his PhD.

A final panel of contributions from Robin as a speech therapist, Erica Rose , dance therapist and director Dance for Parkinson's Australia, and Robyn Lamont , Physiotherapist , presented reaffirming evidence of the efficacy of arts for PWP. 

The final day started with a live radio interview on national radio, at 7.00 ,followed by a further three tv interviews! and ended with a moving celebratory concert by the three research groups, testimony to the results which had been revealed the day before .  The media coverage has been immense with news bulletins leading on the symposium and national television including coverage in their news output throughout the remainder of Saturday Feb 3. This  media interest is mirrored by the desire for Sing to Beat Parkinson's ®to be the vehicle for a measurable impact on the lives of PWP, in Australia, New Zealand ,China,South Korea and the UK.

A small,pebble thrown into the pond three years ago in Brisbane has resulted in wonderful ripples of change for these and others in the future. All three groups intend to stay together and be part of our international organisation, Sing to Beat Parkinsons!

All best wishes

A bientôt

Grenville

Here are some of the media links :

ABC News - http://www.abc.net.au/news/ 2018-02-04/parkinsons-singers- trial-australian-first/9394346  

Seven News - https://www.facebook.com/ 7NewsCQ/videos/ 1813877301958447/ 

ABC Radio National Breakfast - http://www.abc.net.au/ radionational/programs/ breakfast/2018-02-05/9396046

 

Amici message January 26th

Cari Amici,

A very good rehearsal again this week. Glorious music in both works which we are approaching with typical Amici enthusiasm and expertise. Kerry will take the choruses forward over the next two weeks whilst I am absent. Additionally (if time) we will embark on no VII Selig sind die Toten and Since by Man came death, Messiah no 46 .
I look forward to taking up the baton again on Feb 21 with a reminder that there is NO rehearsal one Feb 14 (Ash Wednesday).

If you are reading this message and have not been able to be at a rehearsal for a variety of reasons, please will you ensure that you revise independently the choruses that we have worked on to date:

Brahms Requiem

  • no I Selig sind
  • no IV Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen

Handel Messiah

  • no 28 He Trusted in God
  • no 12 For unto us a child is born

The following fifteen choruses will be rehearsed for performance on December 9th 2018. Without exception they are demanding and need to be very well known to be able to deliver a memorable performance

  • Part 1 Nos 4, 7, 9, 12, 17, 21
  • Part 2 Nos 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 33, 44
  • Part 3 Nos 46, 53

I attach projected costs for both concerts to be given in Collyer Fergusson based on 400 ticket sales (max) at either £15 for £20. This may be useful in our deliberations with regard to fund raising.

Finally confirmation of the remaining spring time rehearsal dates.

  • January 31
  • February 7, 21, 28 (note not 14 Feb)
  • March 7, 14, 21
  • April 11, 18

All best wishes

Grenville

and here is a message from Maggie:

Many thanks to everyone who came with the right money to collect scores yesterday.  We have sold out of Messiah but still have a number of the Brahms left.
Thanks again
 
Maggie

Amici rehearsal on 24th January

Cari Amici,

What a great start to the term last week! It was so refreshing and uplifting to work intensively on the first movement of the Brahms and cement once again our relationships which make Amici such a special group. It is a privilege to make music together! ( If you were unable to be at the rehearsal please listen to your individual line courtesy of e.g. Cyberbass free to listen online or $15.99 to download, or Choraline which can be downloaded for £8.99 less 10% discount using code CANTERBURY. Further details on Resource page, in advance of this weeks rehearsal)

We will revise the two Brahms choruses rehearsed so far, in German of course. (Very impressed by Amici's grasp of German pronunciation!) together with choruses from Messiah ( He Trusted in God, For unto us a child is born) .
Peter's edition and Novello ( Watkins Shaw) edition.

Reminder too that Kerry will rehearse Brahms and Handel whilst I am in Australia and that there is NO rehearsal on Wednesday Feb 14, Ash Wednesday.

Grenville

Details of concert on Dec 13th and dates for next year

Cari Amici,

A very productive rehearsal yesterday.We worked very hard on both Brahms and Berlioz. Whilst singing both in English it offered an exciting insight into Brahms German Requiem. Challenging, very beautiful and so different from Mozart and Jenkins. (Still people commenting on the impact of the November 11 performance).

Next weeks meeting will take the form of an open rehearsal together with a community carol sing! The schedule will be:

Setting up/helping team 1​6.45​. Seats from hall to chancel.
Amici arrive from 17.20
Warm up and rehearsal Brahms, Berlioz, Jenkins, Irish Blessing, Christopher Gower
Guests arrive for 18.00 sitting in nave

Programme open rehearsal/carols

Oh How lovely are thy Dwellings Brahms
Carols
God shall wipe away all tears Jenkins
Carols
Shepherds farewell Berlioz
Carols
Kings and Shepherds Christopher Gower
Carols
Irish Blessing Bob Chilcott
Carols

Wine and mince pies!

Dates for next year 2018

Amici Chorus rehearsal of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem/Handel Messiah

January 17
January 24
January 31
February 7 No rehearsal February 14
February 21
February 28
March 7
March 14
March 21
March 28

Summer term (opera choruses)

April 18
April 25
May 2
May 9
May 16
May 23 No rehearsal May 30th
June 6
June 13
June 20
June 27

Autumn Term Handel Messiah

September 19
September 26
October 3
October 10
October 17
October 24 no rehearsal October 31
November 7
November 14
November 21
November 28
December 5
Performance Handel Messiah Colyer Fergusson Hall, UKC Sunday December 9 ​ 2018​ 15.00
December 12

Future concerts

Performance Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem Colyer Fergusson Hall, UKC Sunday March 17 ​ 2019 15.00 ​

Until Wednesday
Grenville

Amici – Leiden and next rehearsal and concert

Cari Amici,

Such a lovely weekend has been spent together with our Dutch friends from Excelsior choir making music and cementing our choral relationship which his now almost three years old. Congratulations for such sensitive singing offering a lovely contrast to Excelsior’s programme and the combined Vivaldi Gloria performance. Many thanks and further congratulation to Charlotte Hardwick for her lovely solos in Jenkin’s Kyrie and her duet with Kitty Jansen and to Jennifer Brisk for her glorious Vivaldi arias. Rumour has it that plans are in hand for the next trip …best watch this space!

Our next rehearsal is on Wednesday December 6 when you will be able to purchase Peter’s edition Brahms Requiem at £6.00 each score. (I have paid for 80 copies in advance to ensure this exceptional price.) Please bring your copies of Christopher Gower’s Kings and Shepherds
We will rehearse

  • Berlioz L’enfance du Christ
  • How Lovely are thy Dwellings
  • Christopher Gower Kings and Shepherds

Wednesday December 13

End of term sing with friends
All above plus carols

Please CONFIRM your attendance for 6th/13th December by posting

Name…………………………….
I will be attending Amici 6/13 December
I would like to invite a guest

to

info@canterburycantatatust.co.uk

by December 4th

A reminder

Cantata sing
Hooray Handel!
December 10th St Eanswythe’s Folkestone

  • Handel Dixit Dominus
  • Handel Zadok The Priest
  • Handel Choruses from Messiah

and on December 16
Cantata sing
Britten Ceremony of Carols
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
15.00

Grenville

Amici plans for the rest of this term, and Memorabilia

Cari Amici,

The weeks ahead.

Next Wednesday 22 November

Rehearsal for singers going to  Leiden

  • Gloria Vivaldi
  • Cantique de Jean Racine  Faure
  • Kyrie from Armed Man  Jenkins
  • Viva La Musical  Erod
  • Irish Blessing     Chilcott

Wednesday November 29th  NO REHEARSAL

Wednesday December 6th

Amici

  • Oh how lovely are thy dwellings   Brahms…in English translation
  • The Shepherd’s Farewell  Berlioz   English translation
  • Irish Blessing   Chilcott
  • A new piece by David Jones
Wednesday December 13

End of term sing with friends

All above plus carols

Note!!

Cantata sing

Hooray Handel!
December 10th: St Eanswythe’s Folkestone
15:30

  • Handel Dixit Dominus
  • Handel Zadok The Priest
  • Handel Choruses from Messiah

Please click here to download or print the poster.

 
 
 
 
 
Cantata sing

Britten   Ceremony of Carols
December 16: Beaney House of Art and Knowledge
15.00

2018

Rehearsals begin on January 17

Brahms Requiem Scores

Peters Edition

German Text

Music Room Price  £5.56

*************************************************************************************

Memorabilia

I have received a great number of messages about last weeks performance and want to add to them with any more reflections that you have about singing in this concert.

Please do send any reflections on the music, the performance, what it meant to you and others to info@canterburycantatatrust.co.uk

Here’s a few of the many

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed singing with the Amici on Saturday. . I thought it was a wonderful and moving experience and I found it hard to hold back the tears during the Benedictus on the Armed Man . 

I couldn’t believe that the choir was not professional, as your singing certainly was. 

As for ‘The Armed Man’ it was terrific! I usually close my eyes when listening but it’s so visual and exciting that it’s impossible not to want to listen and watch.

Thank you so much…… Perfectly timed for Armistice weekend.

Having let the dust settle a bit, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the experience of  singing the Mozart and Jenkins at the Colyer Fergusson Hall. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Thank you for a fantastic evening of music making.

First of all thank you personally, for such a wonderful chance to sing amongst such talent, skill and enthusiasm.

The choir were abuzz with how wonderful an experience it was and so excited we had done as well as we had.

 

The orchestra were wonderful and I think both pieces were much better in performance, inspired no doubt by the calibre of the orchestra, the venue, the soloists  etc and a lot to achieve , 2 major works in one concert!! It was so impressive to have sold out as well

Amici Rehearsal 15th November

Cari Amici

Over forty eight hours have elapsed since we realised the last notes of the Jenkins on Saturday. A truly memorable performance by a group of remarkable people in concert with an equally remarkable group of musicians which is Orchestra 2012. I was impressed and thrilled by your commitment and engagement, your attention to detail ( always facilitated in rehearsal by Christopher) and your immersion in the drama of both pieces. Our soloists added to the beauties and mysteries of the works and I am looking forward to collaborating with them all again very soon. Grazia tanto Amici!

On Wednesday we will rehearse together the choruses from Vivaldi Gloria ( as a bonus rehearsal for Leiden deputation!) , Oh How Lovely are Your Dwellings from Brahms German Requiem and ...........from Berlioz L'enfance du Christ.

If you do not have copies they are downloadable here;

German Requiem
https://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/7/71/IMSLP272902-PMLP11297-Brahms-Requiem-English.pdf

p47/55 Initially before we decide on the edition we will use to sing from (in German) this is in English.

Berlioz (also in English)
https://imslp.nl/imglnks/usimg/8/8c/IMSLP333162-SIBLEY1802.24973.01a4-39087011305739score.pdf

p 11-20

All best wishes

Grenville

Here are some photos of the concert on November 11th:

Amici Concert – Countdown!

Cari Amici,

We are here once more ... almost ​two years exactly since our last big concert in Colyer Fergusson and with six hours or so between us and realising these great pieces.

Thus:
Please ensure copies are well marked ...continual reminders about word endings, and some phrasing, dynamics and breathing suggestions.
Please remember the performance will be the sum of parts ... each and every one of us both important and responsible for a successful concert.

Tomorrow Wednesday we will spend the majority of the time with Mozart. 17.30 start

Friday November 10 we will spend the majority of the time available with Jenkins. We will be joined by a few of the wind players who will be with us on Saturday.
This rehearsal will begin at 17.00 and finish at 19.00

Saturday November 11.
Arrange seating, dressing rooms etc 12.30
Rehearsal for soloists and orchestra 13.00
Tutti Mozart rehearsal from 13.45
Break 15.30
Tutti Jenkins rehearsal from 16.00
Break 18.00
Performance at 19.30
Concert ends c 21.45

Dress
Ladies: Long black trousers or skirt, long sleeved blouses/shirts/jackets etc No bare arms please.Splash of colour and poppy.
Men: DJ, white shirt, bow tie of any description, poppy.

Help needed for general clear up at the end of the concert and for poppy selling etc. Please contact Anthea.

Tickets!
Huge demand for tickets. If you know that you are unable to use a ticket you have reserved PLEASE let Box Office know and they will release for sale.

A demain!

Grenville

Amici rehearsal – Jenkins update

Cari Amici,

Very much looking forward to next meeting after splendid rehearsal last Wednesday when we sang through the majority of the Jenkins and considerable amount of Mozart. I really love both pieces and consider both to be extraordinary creations…very different in style but at times able to move the listener and provoke thought about the position of Man in the biggest of landscapes.
However, practicalities need to be considered with regard to the only rehearsal with the orchestra on Saturday afternoon.
I have decided to cut a large portion of Charge whilst retaining the essence of the movement.
The cut will be from Letter B , bar 34 to letter G bar 116 taking the notes of ‘The’ from last quaver of b 33 as the upbeat to b 116. Thus we retain the orchestral scene setting, and concentrate on the thundering drum text before leading (the)Charge!. This followed by the improvisatory wailing section before the 30 seconds of silence and the sounding of the Last Post. This will be played by Kevin Kay Bradley in his Coldstreams Guard Uniform.
Only a few tickets left …hurry hurry if you have not ordered yours!

All best wishes

Grenville

Amici rehearsal notes

Cari Amici,

Another excellent rehearsal last Wednesday and looking forward to the next on Wednesday 11th October.

We spent good quality rehearsal time improving phrasing and diction. It is difficult to over emphasize the need to sound all word endings whether a syllable or sibilant clearly…an s or t sound for instance need to be engaged with fully….always pushing the sound of the letter against the next beat of the bar we are in.

Rex Tremendae

A good example is the x  in Rex of  No 3 Rex Tremendae.  The sound needs to be very full, occupying the whole duration of the crotchet but finishing precisely, clearly and accurately. 
Please enjoy the dialogue between parts. Bar 7 alti answered by soprani , tenors by basses. Bar 11.
The R of Rex must be rolled each and every time we sing it.
Big contrast in dynamic at bar 18…needing lots of support to ensure a piano  sound. Basses listen to the F of the alti to pitch your Salve Me.  Lat three bars very quiet, confident, full sound to create  the cadence with a full length crotchet.

Dies Irae

To be sung with great passion and  strength in the knowledge that the meaning of the text is :

The day of wrath, that day will dissolve the world in ashes,
David being witness along with the Sibyl
How great will be the quaking,
when the Judge will come,
investigating everything strictly.

Please make sure your copies are marked with a crescendo/diminuendo b.42 , 43,44, and again 46/48. 

Jenkins

As  enfatico as possible in no 9 . Soprano rhythm bar 19 ..be careful…I missed your reversing quaver/semi quaver rhythm…and tutti triplet Thou- sands  achieves a relaxed feel to the word.

Good singing of the last Chorale…maintaining pitch really well.

The Translation of no 1 The Armed Man is

The armed man should be feared.
Everywhere it has been proclaimed
That each man shall arm himself
With a coat of iron mail.
The armed man should be feared.

Poster

I am indebted to Stephanie Brunton for producing another beautiful poster (attached). It is quite wonderful and now we all have to do our bit and promote the concert. Two ticket sales for each Amici member will guarantee the hall half full! Here it is:

 

Click here to download the poster.

 

Sunday 15th October  Retorica

A wonderful  opening recital to the Sixth Bayle Music season to be given by  the violin duo Retorica Harriet Mackenzie and Phillipa Mo. They are staggering virtuosic players whom I met for the first time two years ago at Aldeburgh. The programme is exciting very exciting with music by Bach, Prokovief, Telemann and others. The concert is at 15.30 in the beautiful St Eanswthe's church, The Bayle , Folkestone CT20 1SW.

Why not have a morning taking in the Triennial exhibits (some marvellous responses to the title On The Edge  including the two serene Gormley figures seen at half/low tide). Extremely good independent  eating places …sea food on the harbour, Beanies Vegetarian restaurant Tontine Street, a wealth of tastes on newly restored Harbour Arm .  

Finally….

Absence not only makes the heart grow fonder  it affects the  choral experience. Copies are being marked, scores are becoming familiar with good ensemble. A few uninformed absences l can prejudice the great performance we are striving for.

Grenville