There was a buzz in the air as we gathered for a day of rehearsals in preparationP1110249 for this evening’s concert, a buzz that continued through lunch eaten in the sunshine.

During the day’s rehearsals the choir polished movements of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Byrd’s Civitas Sancti Tui, Mozart’s Veni, Veni, Spiritu, and two songs from Rutter’s When Icicles Hang.

The lower voices rehearsed Stanford’s Songs of the Sea with Mike Gregory, and the upper voices learned the opening movement of Pergolesi’s wonderful Stabat Mater, which I have always wanted to sing. Jane McDouall gave us great tips for raising the soft palate for a bigger sound and ensuring the shape of the mouth is right for a richer tone.

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But what of the instrumentalists? The saxophone group – 4 alto saxes and 1 tenor – were swinging some Gershwin.

Third from the left is Gill Henshaw, a clarinetist and one of the tutors and conductors.

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The Wind Band blew the years away with a medley of Beatles numbers.

Here’s Helen on percussion. Drum stick not in mouth at this point, but later. Sometimes two hands are just not enough.

And there’s Chris on bass. Wait a minute, isn’t that Chris on sax above? ¬†Not in the picture, but blowing their hearts out, were the tootling flutes, oboes, saxes and a french horn.

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The strings ran through Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite – ah, memories of school orchestra days, and isn’t there a piano version? A bit of trick photography in this shot – Owen didn’t have his back to anyone…!

After a final rehearsal, orchestra and choir together for the first time, we tucked into a wonderful buffet made by Jo from Beeston’s Local not Global Deli. Very tasty.

Here’s the final rehearsal with Angela Kay. More news tomorrow.

Helena 

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