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Some of you may be aware of the tragic death of Rob Thrower a former colleague at Canterbury Christ Church University. Rob sang with the Choral Society when I was there and continued to be a loyal singer with Dr David Allinson. I copy below a message from David should any one wish to take part in this memorial service to be held at St Paul’s.
As you know, Rob loved music, and was an enthusiastic member of University Chorus during my tenure at CCCU, and for many years before that, under your direction.
I am working with Clair, his widow, to bring together current staff, students, recent colleagues, alumni and friends to sing at a service of thanksgiving for his life, to be held in St Paul’s church, just off Monastery Street, at 4pm on Saturday 16 June.
I hope very much that members of your choir which rehearses at St Paul’s, that includes alumni and former colleagues, might be interested in taking part?
To explain the commitment: depending on numbers signing up, I’m hoping that the choir will sing two fairly simple accompanied anthems, and boost the three hymns with harmony and descants, if appropriate. The music will be ‘upbeat’, and while it will doubtless be an emotional occasion, the intention is to celebrate the creative, sociable and life-affirming person that Rob was.
Might you and your choir members be willing and available to sing? I’d love to have a substantial and good-sounding choir.
Rehearsals will be in St Greg’s (singers must come to at least ONE of these):
Thursday 7 June, 5.30-7pm
Wednesday 13 June, 5.30-7pm (not possible for Amici)
Everyone will be required to attend the rehearsal on the day, hopefully at 1.30pm in St Paul’s (tbc: the vicar is currently away).
The service will last about an hour, and refreshments will be provided for all afterwards in the Cathedral Chapter House.
I hope you might be willing and able to help.
Would you pass this to your singers and any other contacts who might have known Rob, asking them to reply to me David Allinson <firstname.lastname@example.org>AND to Events <email@example.com>, giving the following information?
CONFIRMATION OF WHICH REHEARSAL(S) YOU CAN ATTEND
This will enable me to select repertoire, make copies of scores, etc. Thank you so much.
And of course, if people are unable to sing but can attend to celebrate Rob’s life, they will be welcome at the service, too.
thank you so much for your wonderful singing so far this term – it is so exciting to work with you on the opera repertoire!
Please make a note of the following dates:
Wednesday 30th May – no rehearsal (half term)
Wednesday 27th June – recording for the Canterbury Recorder – rehearsal START AT 5pm
Wednesday 4th July – 5pm rehearsal for a 6.30pm concert
Also, for anyone interested in coming along to the Canterbury Voices event later this term, the concert is at 7.30pm on June 15th at St Mildred’s Church.
Finally, those gentlemen who would like to sing the verses for the Toreador are invited to come along at 5pm on Wednesday next week. We will go through the verses to share out the lines, clarify the French and secure the notes.
I am really looking forward to working with Amici again this term.
The men will be singing the Toreador song (rather than the Toreador March in the book). I am attaching the PDF which I found online for free, – I will also print copies to bring along on Wednesday
I hope this is ok?
Cari Amici Feb 14
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
Here are some of the media links :
ABC Radio National Breakfast - http://www.abc.net.au/ radionational/programs/ breakfast/2018-02-05/9396046