Komm, Jesu, komm On Saturday we held the final workshop in our Bach Motet series which started back in January. J.S.Bach wrote 6 motets, all with just organ continuo accompaniment. Most were written to be sung at a specific funeral, but that’s not to suggest that they are in any way funereal! Most are bright and exciting. Four are for 8 voices; one is for 5 voices and just Lobet den Herrn is for 4 voices (which is also the only one with an independently written organ part). With workshops every other week in January, Feb and March, we just got Jesu, meine Freude in before lockdown andRead More →

Hi everyone. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to start singing together again after a six month gap. We all accept that things are constantly changing and that this may be a brief window of opportunity, but most of the choirs that I know of in Lewes have re-started rehearsals and choristers have been delighted to sing once more. For me, first off were the Lewes Chamber Choir. We meet in Cliffe Hall where we are restricted to 19 people. We’ve met twice in September. The hall has put in place its own precautions and restrictions making it ‘Covid secure’. Then the choir has itsRead More →

It’s over 3 weeks since my last post. Last week Robin and I were in Ripon, North Yorkshire. Lewes Singers were to have sung the services in the Cathedral over the Bank Holiday weekend, but of course that was cancelled nearly 2 months ago. But we had a holiday cottage booked for the week, so took it as our Summer holiday. While we were up there we visited Ripon Cathedral (obviously); Fountains Abbey, which is a vast but well preserved ruins of a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1120. We spent a day in York, visiting the cathedral and having lunch in the Guy Fawkes InnRead More →

Many of you will know that I was born in Coventry and becoming a chorister at the cathedral there set me up to become the musician that I am. Before then, I remember having aspirations to become a fireman, but after a year of two as a chorister, all that was forgotten and all I wanted was to become a cathedral organist. I lived in Coventry until I went to university, and apart from returning for holidays as a student, I’ve only been back a handful of times in the last 40 years; my parents even moved away when they retired. Coventry has over thoseRead More →

I know I did a post earlier today, so I hope you don’t mind me doing an update on how I’m reacting to the current buzz of discussion about the future of choirs post Covid19, and to reassure you that I’m thinking of all my choir members and what our shared future might be. First: thanks to a number of people who made me aware of this work going on: Sing into the funnel please: inside the Covid-19 lab hoping to declare singing safe https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jul/22/sing-funnel-covid-19-lab-hoping-declare-singing-safe Second: York University are doing some research relevant to choirs;  “The University of York is researching the impact of COVID-19 on choirRead More →

Yesterday, Robin and I took an adventurous trip to London having booked tickets to see the Titian exhibition at the National Gallery. We boarded the train with our face masks on (cute matching ones that Robin ran up last week). The 11.06 out of Eastbourne was 8 carriages long, and until we got to Croydon, there were no more than 6 people in ours (a few more joined at Croydon and Clapham J). When we moved towards the ticket barriers at Victoria, I remembered I had to take some photos for this blog. Have you ever seen it so empty?! We walked out of Victoria,Read More →

It’s a lovely sunny day here in Eastbourne. I think June and the early part of July were a bit disappointing in terms of weather, so it’s important to make the most of the lovely days. I enjoy watching the highlights of the cricket test matches, so was very happy to see the England side win the 2nd test, making it 1-all with 1 to play (starting on Friday). Both the 2nd test and the final one are being played at Old Trafford in Manchester, so I’ve been comparing the weather here and there. Let’s just say, I’m very pleased to live on the CostaRead More →

On Thursday 19 March, 108 days ago, Robin and I sat down to a game of Scrabble and decided we would do a ‘lockdown challenge’. Since then we’ve played each evening and thus consumed a lot of wine and too many accompanying crisps and ‘snacks’. Robin pulled quickly ahead, which I think is as it should be – her being a bit of a wordsmith an’ all. But soon we evened up and it’s been neck and neck since. So it seemed appropriate to call a halt yesterday, Saturday 4th July ‘Independence from lockdown Day’ with Robin winning the final game making it 54/54. That’sRead More →

Firstly, the dahlias have started blooming.   This was taken yesterday by Robin (I can’t do classy photos with out-of-focus-backgrounds like this on my phone). And today the rain looks well set in, but I’ve been out and many more blooms will be out shortly. I really haven’t put a great deal of effort into keeping the slugs and snails away, so I feel very fortunate that there has been minimal damage so far – touch wood. Good news seems to be on the horizon. Boris says we can re-start church services, but I’m still waiting to hear whether anyone at the Church of EnglandRead More →

This week I decided to take some action on the future for my choirs. As my name is not Boris Johnson I was limited in my scope. I sent out a One-question survey to the East Sussex Community Choir (100 members); Lewes Chamber Choir (31 members) and Brighton Singers (32 members). Assuming it is within Government guidelines for Choirs to meet again in September, and assuming we meet as we normally do in Lewes, please say how likely you are to return to (named) Choir in September 2020. On a scale of 1-4, 1 being least likely, 4 being most likely, how do you stand?Read More →