Holmfirth Choral Society

Members' Information

updated September 21st 2017

REHEARSALS are at Holmfirth Methodist Church, 7.30 as usual.  New members welcome!

THE AGM will be held during the rehearsal on 21st September
(and not 7th September as originally intended)

If you have a copy of Mendelssohn's "Elijah", please bring it along to the rehearsals. We have forty or so copies in the society's collection.
Since it is likely that we will have a number of different editions in use, I shall use BAR NUMBERS to refer to particular places in the score.  The preferred edition will be the Novello edition published years ago - not the New Novello Choral Edition (although I'm sure this will be compatible).   If your copy doesn't have bars numbered, please pencil them in.  The convention I shall use is:
As you know, we are low in numbers particularly in the tenor and bass sections - if you know of any able tenors and basses, do please invite them.  This concert promises to be one of our best for years, and I'm certainly looking forward to it.


THE CONCERT ON June 24th - Summer Concert with Hepworth Band, Civic Hall  WAS CANCELLED

Sunday 12th November 2017 - Mendelssohn Elijah.
9th December 2017 - Handel Messiah
17th March 2018 - Orff Carmina Burana, Ramirez Misa Criolla

SIGN UP to the Members' Newsletter
- this will be emailed using mailchimp only infrequently (because the information will be on this page anyway) and will be used primarily for emergency purposes, e.g. if there is a short-notice rehearsal or concert cancellation or alteration.  You can sign up by clicking   here;  Mailchimp allows you to unsubscribe at any time too.

Several of you took part in the RSCM Festival in Leeds Cathedral on 23rd May 2015.  If you are not on the local RSCM mailing list, and you would like to receive information about upcoming events of interest to choir members, you can sign up the the mailing list at http://hudds.org.uk/rscm .   I've also some spare music copies from that event for sale at £3.50 each.

Rehearsal Aids:
I've  been told about a music teacher who records rehearsal CDs and has built up quite a reputation, I believe.  You can order your own part from him.  Some recordings seem to be piano only, others include a vocal line.   He is called Quintus Benziger, on 01799 586269, and his business is the Saffron Choral Prompt.
See also:  http://www.saffronchoralprompt.co.uk/    and   http://www.quintusbenziger.co.uk/    for further details.

A good source of midi files which are useful for playing parts through if you have a computer is http://www.learnchoralmusic.co.uk/
Covered by this site:    Mendelssohn Elijah.    
The midi player program I have mentioned before, MidiPlay_v2p6.exe will allow you to play files from this site, and adjust the volume of your own part to suit your learning.


WORKSHOP and CONCERT - Opera For All.
This is organised by the Mrs. Sunderland Festival.  Thom Meredith will run a workshop for singers, which will culminate in a concert in Huddersfield Town Hall, accompanied by the Kirklees Youth Symphony Orchestra.  You are invited to take part in the workshop and concert (registration fee £20, or £15 for students), or just listen to the concert (£10, I think)
Full details are on their website at  http://www.mrssunderlandfestival.com/home/alumni/opera_for_all/

An email received from Phillip Tolley:

Dear Friends and Colleagues, the July 2017 of ‘Chorister’ , the British Choirs on the Net quarterly Newsletter, is now available online.

 For those new to this mailing British Choir on the Net,  www.choirs.org.uk,  is a free listing of nearly 4000 choirs across the UK.  Listings are both alphabetical and geographical.  The site was originally set up in 1995 to help people who were relocating to a new area/town/city to find new choirs to join. Since then it has grown into so much more, but retains the UK’s largest free listing of choirs at its core.

 Over the last 5-6 months I have been conducting a full audit of the listings to ensure that it is as accurate and up to date as possible. Some choirs have disappeared with choirs disbanding, merging with others or renaming themselves. Other have changed their website addresses or emails and many have moved from websites to a facebook or twitter only presence.  This is the first full audit in at least 15 years so have taken some time (and I have still yet to audit the Scotland and Northern Ireland lists).

 Another trend is the gradual creep of Greater London. Some choirs which have for years been listed under parts of Essex, Middlesex and Surrey have now been subsumed into London Boroughs.  This to me seems a shame and somewhat Orwellian.

 The result of this audit means that we have lost a lot of choirs who were initially listed - however we have also found many more choirs so in fact the number of choirs listed is greater than before the audit.  For this reason many of you will be receiving this mailing for the first time.

 Just as the number of choirs have increased so too has the number of email choir contacts which have been added to the mailing list. How the contact details are collected and the rules under which are used can be found at http://www.choirs.org.uk/mailings.html  Many choirs do not have email contacts while other hide their contact information behind a contact ‘form’. It  means that larger information such as this newsletter and discount offers do not get out to some choirs.

 There is also an option to unsubscribe from mailings although it is hoped that the information that is sent out in the course of the year will be of interest to you and your choir.  These subjects vary from updates on my websites, choir tours, singing workshops and updates from people like Gareth Malone.

 So if you are new to the site and this mailing - welcome. I hope that you will enjoy both. The site remains basically a one man band and labour of love. Although I try to post updates to the website as soon as I can, there may occasionally be delays. For instance in the first two weeks of August I will be performing at the InterCeltique Festival in Lorient with the Abertillery Orpheus Male Choir so that no website updates will be possible during that time.

 I would also like to drawn you attention to Concertfinder www.concertfinder.co.uk This is another free listing – this time for choral concerts – so if your choir is putting on a choral concert please email me the details including the date in the format shown on the Concertfinder website and I will list it as soon as possible. This is free adverting and is used by the BBC and other organisations to find details of what’s on.   

 The other site you may find of interest is the facebook Group ‘British Choirs on the Net Choral Conductors Forum’  This can be read by anyone although you need to register to post on this site.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/britishchoirs/

So please enjoy. The July 2017 ‘Chorister’ Newsletter can be read here http://www.choirs.org.uk/chorister/July2017.pdf - while back copies of previous newsletters can be found here http://www.choirs.org.uk/chorister.htm

 Please feel free to print or send on (or indeed ignore).

 Thank you for your time.

 Phillip Tolley

British Choirs on the Net



 British Choirs on the Net is a member of the Singing Network UK and an associate member of the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD)

Tuning up for the October 2017 Isle of Man Festival of Choirs 
 11th January 2017 
Anticipation is riding high ahead of this year’s Isle of Man Festival of Choirs with the
latest entrants including Flint Male Voice Choir and Haydock Male Voice Choir.
The Isle of Man Festival of Choirs takes place in the grand setting of the Royal Hall at
the Villa Marina, which has had a £14 million refurbishment in its seaside location on
Douglas promenade, overlooking the Irish Sea. The hall has played host to the
world’s top musicians and singing artists for over 100 years and is acknowledged for
its outstanding acoustics.
This is the fifth year the Festival has taken place and it has grown quite a reputation
for creating a wonderful atmosphere in the Royal Hall, particularly on the finals’ day
where the major honours were contested for. 
NEW to this year’s festival, is a stand-alone competition for an Ensemble Class. Each
Ensemble will be required to sing contrasting pieces of no more than 12 minutes
The unique Festival has three separate sections for ladies, male and mixed voice
choirs, with the first two in each section receiving prizes of £500 and £200
respectively. Each choir will be called on to perform four contrasting pieces of their
own choice, one of which must be unaccompanied. Winners of each class go through
to the final, with the overall winning choir scooping an additional prize of £1,500.
Festival Director and political member for the Department of Education, Geoff
Corkish MLC, who is also an accomplished choral singer himself, said, “When we first
staged the festival in 2010 we knew it would be well received, but our aspirations
have been surpassed.
“The festival has established a great reputation in a very short amount of time and
we are delighted that the choirs and their supporters enjoyed the unique atmosphere
so much.
“Our two informal events - the Welcome Night and the Farewell Evening
- make the Isle of Man Festival of Choirs unique. We’ve even heard stories of choirs
giving impromptu performances in local hostelries (!), making many new friends and
creating a wonderful atmosphere over the festival weekend.”
The Isle of Man Festival of Choirs takes place on the weekend of October 20th –
222nd 2017. The registration fee is £35.00 per choir and £20 per Ensemble. A
registration form can be found at www.festivalofchoirs.im .  For further details please
contact Laura@festivalofchoirs.im The closing date for entries is June 30th  2017.

The British Choirs on the Net 'Chorister' Newsletter  (NEW JULY 2017)  is now available online. To view the newsletter please visit


(Earlier newsletters are at: http://www.choirs.org.uk/chorister.htm

Please feel free to print or send on the Newsletter

Thank you for your continued support

Phillip Tolley




Please try to communicate information with those of your colleagues who might not have access to web pages such as this.
G.L.  688487