Introductory Information for New Choir Members

Rehearsal and Performance Dates and Times

Choral technique

Choir Rehearsal Resources

Orchestral Workshops

Performance Requests

Come and Sing Days

Weekly newsletters

Introductory Information for New Choir Members

An introduction to the 2017/8 Season for new choir members gives some general information about the choir including the 2015/16 programme, subscription details, rehearsal and concert dress:

Introductory information for new members

Although we generally invite prospective members to an Open Rehearsal at the beginning of the season, this year we had already begun rehearsals for our November concert during the previous term. We suggest that you join us at our first rehearsal for the Christmas concert which will be on Monday November 13th.  If you then decide to join the choir you can download and print the application form (Form A) here . Please hand the completed form to our New Members Secretary with your payment at the next rehearsal.

Members have the opportunity to reduce their subscription by selling tickets for our concerts. Details of our Ticket Incentive Scheme can be found HERE

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Choir – Rehearsal and Performance Dates and Times

Unless otherwise stated rehearsals are held in the Main Hall of Watford Grammar School for Girls, Lady’s Close, Watford, WD18 0AE on Mondays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Car parking is available in the grounds of the School.

The 2017/8 rehearsal and performance schedule can be found  here

Ladies please be aware of the need for uniformity in concert dress:

          • Trousers: black, plain, ankle length (no culottes)
          • Skirts: black, plain, ankle length
          • Tops: matt black, plain, 3/4 or full length sleeves, discreet neckline
          • Feet: black shoes, black tights or knee high pop sox
          • Earrings to be a simple stud, no necklace or other jewellry
          • Choir favour (blue flower) available for purchase for £3.

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Orchestra – Workshop, Rehearsal and Performance Dates and Times

Unless otherwise stated rehearsals are held in the Main Hall of Watford Grammar School for Girls, Lady’s Close, Watford, WD18 0AE on some Wednesdays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

Prior to each joint choir/orchestra performance there is a Monday evening rehearsal with the choir. Car parking is available in the grounds of the School.

A series of orchestral workshops, open to all musicians in the Watford Area, will rehearse Schubert’s Symphonies. Dates for 2018 to follow. Details of each workshop will be published in the News section on the Home page.

A full workshop, rehearsal and performance schedule is available here here.

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Choir: Choral Technique

Warm-up exercises before rehearsing and developing and maintaining good vocal technique are essential for satisfactory rehearsals and, ultimately, good concert performances. We sometimes schedule additional rehearsal time (30 minutes before the rehearsal) to improve our musical skills. No dates scheduled at present.

There are also many helpful tips available on improving choral technique and thus our standard of singing. Several CDs made by professional singers are available from Choraline (01285 644845 www.choraline.com ). Another good website is Choral Clinic www.choralclinic.co.uk from which a “Vocal Exercises” CD can be downloaded. Copies of the CD itself can be purchased from Choraline.

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Choir: Rehearsal Resources

Choir members are asked to spend some time between rehearsals learning their part. CDs and online resources help singers to learn their own vocal line leaving more time in rehearsals for musical interpretation. Recordings on YouTube help singers become familiar with the whole work.

A list of available resources is available here:

Choir rehearsal resources

On occasion our conductor may opt to hold a one-day pre-concert choral workshop for more complex works. Details are given under the specific concert for which it applies.

Choir Rehearsal Resources for the 28th April Concert

For each concert we provide a specific list of available online resources – for our 28th April concert these are shown below:

Rehearsal CDs specific for your voice part are available from Choraline (01285 644845, www.choraline.com/) for both Dvorak’s Mass in D major and Beethoven’s “An die Freude” from his 9th symphony. Choraline’s “Easy Play” service is also available, at a lesser cost, with streaming to your digital device or downloading of tracks as mp3 files. Other websites with rehearsal tracks for both works are www.cyberbass.com and John’s Midi File Choral Music site: www.learnchoralmusic.co.uk

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The preferred YouTube link for a performance of the Dvorak Mass in D major can be accessed HERE

Likewise the YouTube link for an excellent rendition of the Beethoven Symphony no. 9 in D minor can be accessed HERE

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Choir Rehearsal Resources for the 27th June Concert

For our Songs for a Summer Evening concert on the 27th June rehearsal tracks specific for your voice part are available for Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium only on John’s Midi File Choral Music site   http://www.learnchoralmusic.co.uk (Major Works and Anthems section)

Choraline (01285644845, www://choraline.com) rehearsal CDs and their Easy Play service are available for Orff’s Carmina Burana. There are also online rehearsal tracks on Cyberbass www.cyberbass.com for this work.

There will be a pre-concert choral workshop (The “Two Choirs” Workshop) on June 9th to rehearse Carmina Burana.  We will be joined for the day by members of Tonic Choir and their conductor who will introduce us to a selection of pieces from their repertoire.  Further details of this workshop can be accessed HERE

A YouTube performance of the Lauridsen Magnum Mysterium  can be accessed  HERE

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Orchestral Workshops

Under our conductor, Michael Cayton, we are running a series of Orchestral Workshops, rehearsing Schubert’s Symphonies.  Further details for each workshop, including contact details, are published in the News section on the Home page.

The workshops are open to all musicians in the Watford area.

Choir members might like to volunteer to help out at these workshops. All are welcome – especially cake bakers!

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Performance Requests

Occasionally the choir is asked to provide a small group of singers for weddings, funerals or other events. These provide valuable revenue for the Society. If you are a member of a church choir and are familiar with not only the standard hymns but also anthems and other short pieces please contact Tim Venner at a choir rehearsal or by emailing timvenner@aol.com. It would be good to get a group together to build up a repertoire.

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Come and sing days

Each week, we try to post a selection of ‘Come & Sing’ events offered by both professional and amateur choirs and their conductors, all within reasonably easy reach of Watford.

Those of you already familiar with these activities will know how enjoyable they are, and how much they can help in broadening our repertoire and improving your confidence as a singer. If you’ve never participated before, there are some tempting offers this season – do give them a try.

Generally, the details posted include online contact information for the organisers so that you can make your own booking arrangements.  Occasionally, you will be able to pick up a copy of a booking form from the table at the back of the hall at rehearsals.

The list of come and sing days is included in the weekly newsletter.

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