Hi everyone. I hope you are all keeping well during this 3rd lockdown. It’s a bit depressing being locked down again, but I’ve decided to make sure I do a few things each day, including phoning friends, writing the occasional blog and organising musical life in the 2nd half of this year.
It would be easy to just write off everything until the Autumn, but I like to retain a positive outlook, putting things in place so that they can happen if at all possible. So here’s what I’m up to and maybe you can help me with a few ideas of your own.
My East Sussex Community Choir will get back to rehearsing just as soon as we are allowed, be it socially distanced or not. We have a concert booked for the end of June, but I’m prepared for that to not happen. We are scheduled to sing Dvorak: Mass in D. Here’s the Gloria to cheer you up!
I’m putting my money on us being back to near-normal for the new season starting in September.
Christmas 2021: Many choral directors plan their Christmas concerts in the Summer, but I find NOW is a great time. I’ve got carols and pieces in my mind that I’ve heard this Christmas that I want to include in my concerts next December. So if you’ve got anything YOU would like sing, or hear, let me know. I may not include them all, but I can promise I will consider them.
I should also be directing the Brighton Singers in a December concert – yet to be planned, but I need to get on with it and create a bit of enthusiasm in these dull times.
One job I did yesterday was to contact all the recitalists scheduled for our First Sunday Recital Series at St Michael’s Church, Lewes. Last year’s series began with ‘your truly’ giving an organ recital on the first Sunday in March, and the rest of the series was cancelled, or at least postponed to 2021. Yesterday I just wrote off this year’s March and April recitals. We will resume as soon as we can. If you’ve never been one of these recitals: 1st Sunday of each month at 3pm. You don’t pay to get in, just pay to get out! Recitals have helped raise money for repairs to the church roof, and more recently the renovation of the organ.
Talking of which: the renovation of the organ at St Michael’s is now complete, including the fancy new computerised piston system (don’t you just wish you had one of those?). I need to play the organ as much as possible now to run it in and identify any ‘snagging issues’ which might need sorting out. As soon as I’m happy with it, I’ll record something for you to include in a future post.
As soon as we are allowed to, Ruth Kerr (Soprano) and I will resume our rehearsing and working on a couple of recitals that we had to postpone last November. In our programme of French song and Piano Duets, we will include Faure’s: Dolly Suite. Here’s the 3rd movement Le jardin de Dolly, which I will be practising later today – I’ve got to practice those arpeggios which this lady makes sound so effortless and lovely.
The Lewes Singers are hoping to sing Evensong at Westminster Abbey in August, actually two evensongs – a Friday and Saturday. Our weekend visit in 2020 was cancelled, so this is to make up. Of course it’s not certain that the Abbey will be able to welcome visiting choirs by then, but we have our fingers crossed. The Lewes Singers, or at least 11 of them, were able to give a short Christmas concert last month in St Thomas Church, Lewes. Here’s them singing John Gardner’s Tomorrow shall be my dancing day from that concert.
Now, my blog wouldn’t be complete without at least one photo. Last Wednesday, Robin and I went out for a walk on the downs around Willingdon – a short drive for us. It was a lovely crisp day and as you can see, the sun shone.
And we all love a cat photo don’t we? Every year, Robin is sent a hamper by one of her clients. Once the contents are eaten, what to do with the lovely wicker basket? This year, Bobby (who is one of the 4 cats from the flat below us, but he comes and hides in our flat quite a lot) found a very nice use for it.
Well, look after yourselves. And don’t forget to feed back any suggestions for my planning.