Welcome to YOUR Section of our Website
Here you will find a selection of key documents underpinning the running of our Society, many of which the Charity Commission requires us to hold.
Also here is information about such things as a useful general guide to providers of online rehearsal tracks to help with learning your part when it comes to tackling a new work; the annual rehearsal schedules for both choir and orchestra and information about current concert dress and platform etiquette.
We intend using our website to help us move towards a more environmentally friendly pattern of providing you with information. Click on the links below or scroll down to see what’s here – and do keep an eye open for new posts. Let us know if there are other items you’d like to be available on the website.
Introductory Information for New Choir Members
An introduction to the current Season for new choir members gives some general information about the choir including the current programme, subscription details, rehearsal and concert dress:
We invite prospective members to our Open Rehearsal on Monday 16th September 2019 at 7.30pm in the Main Hall, Watford Grammar School for Girls. If you then decide to join the choir you can download and print the application form. 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.
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 9:00pm. Car parking is available in the grounds of the School. The latest schedule of rehearsal and performance dates and times can now be downloaded from the following link.
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.
Orchestra – Workshop, Rehearsal and Performance Dates and Times
Unless otherwise stated rehearsals are held in the Tennet Hall of Watford Grammar School for Girls, Lady’s Close, Watford, WD18 0AE on some Wednesdays from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Car parking is available in the grounds of the School.
Prior to each joint choir/orchestra performance there is a Monday evening rehearsal with the choir.
A series of orchestral workshops, open to all musicians in the Watford Area, are often arranged every season (usually one per term) to play selected works of interest. Past workshops have included the Schubert and Haydn symphonies, and all nine Beethoven symphonies. The latter was followed by a public performance of his 9th symphony with our choir in 2018. Details of each workshop are published in the News section on the Home page.
A full current rehearsal and performance schedule can be viewed following the link below.
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.
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.
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.
Rehearsal aids for the 25th June 2022 Concert
Most, if not all, of the music for our summer concert on the johnfletchermusic.org website. Music outside of copyright is available for free, but to access anything within copyright (Les Mis, Abba, George Shearing) you will need to register, paying a small fee (£4 for 4 months, £10 for a year). WPS has paid for group membership allowing members to use all the music files available on the site that relate to the items in the Summer concert. Joining details were sent out to all members by email on the 2nd April (2022).
Aids by professional singers to develop and maintain good choral technique can be obtained from Choraline https://www.choraline.com/ One such website is Choral Clinic http://choralclinic.co.uk/ run by vocal coaches Debbie Miles Johnson and Brian Parsons. Their training aid “Choral Clinic – Voice Tutorials” can be purchased from their website as a digital download using ‘EasyPlay’ or as a CD from Presto Music via Choraline.
Online rehearsal tracks
Online rehearsal tracks (usually instrument-based with one instrument highlighting a specific voic) can be accessed from one of the following:
- Cyberbass www.cyberbass.com
- John’s Midi File Choral Music site: www.learnchoralmusic.co.uk
- John F’s Rehearsal File (registration is required to access the files, with a subscription needed for works still in copyright): https://johnfletchermusic.org/
- Choralia: http://www.choralia.net/index.htm
- ChordPerfect: https://www.chordperfect.com/ This website has a limited repertoire but with the advantage of trained soloists singing each voice part.
- YouTubewww.youtube.com and other websites Our conductor may recommend You Tube performance clips of choral pieces currently being rehearsed. It is a great way to get “performance-ready”.
- Spotify https://www.spotify.com/uk/: playlists of performance tracks of music we are learning can be made up on this website to help us with rehearsing.
Margaret Burke (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WPC Rehearsal Manager
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!
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 email@example.com. It would be good to get a group together to build up a repertoire.
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.
2021 AGM Documents
Because of the Covid pandemic the delayed 2021 AGM was held at 7.00pm on Monday 11th October 2021 at Watford Girls Grammar School.
The AGM documents, together with the latest version of our Constitution, are available for viewing and download using the links below.