Holmfirth Choral Society
Updated 4 February 2021
4 February : We are still required to "stay at
home" so no singing together yet, I'm afraid. I
passed 70 some months ago, but have not yet been called for
vaccination; I think that we ought not to meet fully until most
of us have been vaccinated, but I will arrange a sing-song for
those keen to re-start as soon as it becomes practicable.
Meanwhile, stay safe, and keep your voices exercised at
RECEIVED EMAIL TODAY 4 Feb
isolation choir is planning a performance online of Mahler's 8th
- Symphony of 1000, one of the most exciting choral pieces to
perform, not often done because of the forces needed. Why
don't you join in? - see https://www.theselfisolationchoir.com/mahler-symphony-no-8
2 January 2021 : Quite a few members indicated
that you would like to start singing together again in the New
Year. Now that vaccinations have started, it's looking
more likely that we may be able to re-start soon, but also the
infection rate locally has increased, and I don't wish to add
you or me to the list of those infected. I do hope to be
able to organise something perhaps towards the end of January,
but it's likely to be restricted in numbers. I'll be more
specific as soon as I can.
Meanwhile, you can still join in with various "lockdown
choirs". The Self-Isolation choir starts rehearsals for
Mozart's Requiem on Monday 4th January - details at https://www.choraline.com/the-self-isolation-choir.
9 December : Members should have received an
email from me that I sent by MailChimp a few days ago. If
not, you can sign up for future emails by clicking here.
further details about the email newsletter towards the bottom of
The news that vaccines are now becoming
available means that we can look forward to meeting again, but I
doubt whether we can have a full concert before the summer
2021. However, if we can meet, maybe in small groups, from
early 2021, I will arrange for that to happen. We will in
any case postpone the Brahms Requiem until we can resume full
rehearsals - we will restart with something simpler. Many
thanks to those who have replied to my emails - I would
appreciate opinions from other members too - do please let me
know your views on returning to sing. My email address is
further down this page.
27 October : Many thanks
to those members who have written to me in response to the
newsletter I sent out some days ago - another will follow
shortly. A few have wondered if we can arrange something
online, but I feel that this would have only a small
response. For those who miss singing and want to take
part in something online, I do recommend the various online
choirs that are offering this. The Self-Isolation choir
is linked to below (in my paragraph of 28th July). I
have today received an invitation for singers to join in an
online production of Mozart's Requiem - this sounds exciting,
and I do recommend members to give this a go if you want to
sing. It's at https://www.runbysingers.org/virtual-vienna
2 September : We now as an amateur
society have government permission to meet to rehearse,
subject to social distancing, and the guidelines also
suggest other precautions to avoid virus
spreading. We are also subject to conditions set
by the owners of the room we hire for rehearsals.
All of these combine to make it impossible currently to
resume rehearsals, and I would imagine that many of our
members would be quite diffident about returning at the
moment. So the present view is that we will not
prepare for a November or December concert, but hope to
resume rehearsals in January 2021, deferring our planned
programme for 2020 by a year. However, if it's
possible to meet in December, we will organise a "Come
and Sing" event in place of our planned December concert
(December 12th), singing perhaps part of "Messiah" with
some Christmas music.
We have had a communication from tenor Jonathan Hanley,
who has been one of our soloists on a few occasions
in recent years:
I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch.
You may remember I came to sing for you in Holmfirth on a
few occasions while I was studying at York. I am now a
freelance singer and part of my work includes being a
member of Stile Antico, the early music vocal ensemble.
We’re performing in a special online festival called ‘Live
from London’, which will showcase amazing ensembles such
as The Sixteen, Voces8, the Academy of Ancient Music, and
Stile Antico are delighted to be a part of it. Concerts
will be broadcast weekly from 1st August. I hope you will
consider joining us virtually for it!
Season tickets are priced keenly at £80
for all 10 events, whilst tickets for individual concerts
are available at £12.50. Stile Antico’s performance, Treasures of the English
Renaissance, which features stunning music by
Tallis, Byrd, Sheppard and others, will be streamed
as-live on September
26th. All tickets include full on-demand access
to the broadcast(s) they cover until 3rd October, and
subsequently to post-produced concert film(s) in 4K
UHD from 4th-31st October.
The festival has been structured to help
support all these ensembles financially, helping us to
offset some of the losses suffered as a result of the
COVID-19 pandemic. Ordering tickets through Stile Antico
will further benefit us at no additional cost to you. You
may also add a donation to the group, should you so
choose. You can buy tickets at www.stileantico.co.uk/livefromlondon.
28 July: There's been very little change in the guidelines
for choral societies, so it seems unlikely that we will be
resuming normal activities in the near future. I had
hoped that we would be able to perform the Brahms Requiem
as our November concert, and whilst this isn't definitely
off, it's looking less likely.
My church choir has been continuing to sing - at home - to
tracks I've prepared, and Jim Morgan and I have put the
recordings together and created choral videos which we've
put out each Sunday since lockdown started. We've
managed an anthem each week in addition to hymns
(including some we couldn't sing live because there aren't
enough of us, but one singer can record more than one
part!) : these can be found on New Mill church's website newmillpc.org.uk
. As a result of this, Holmfirth Choral has taken a
back seat - but I have recommended members to consider the
Self Isolation Choir - which is
still expanding and I'm getting more emails about their
activities. Do look them up.
Chris Pulleyn (who played one of the pianos in Carmina
Burana, and sang tenor solos for us) was to have organised
a celebratory concert, which was cancelled. So he
instead streamed a concert online on Saturday 25th April,
7pm, on YouTube. You can watch this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=floj8oiNcss
3 April: I've had several more emails from ChoraLine
about singing at home - some of you may be interested in
this, and the details are on the ChoraLine website.
Do let me know please if you are taking part in any of
29 March: email from ChoraLine about
singing Messiah at home. See below, and the
Isolation Choir website.
28 March: We are postponing the March concert until
Sunday November 8th. (This becomes the 3rd
concert of the 2019-20 season). The three concerts of
the 2020-2021 season will take place hopefully on 12
December 2020, 20 March 2021, and a date in June/July
to be decided.
March: CORONAVIRUS - we are now following
government advice, and SUSPENDING OUR THURSDAY
REHEARSALS until further notice, most likely the end of
the summer break, but watch this space!
12 March: CORONAVIRUS - we have decided to
postpone our March concert, to a date to be decided,
possibly in September.
REHEARSALS when re-started will be at Holmfirth
Methodist Church, Thursdays 7.30 until 9.15 (normally). New members
welcome! 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.
March Concert: We have been
fortunate to borrow a set of Brahms Requiem copies
locally, enough for all members. However if anyone
insists on buying a copy, we are using the Peters Edition
(EP 3672). This edition (each page has the number
10115 at the bottom) was first published almost 100 years
ago, and can be freely downloaded from imslp (but has 95
pages of music), but is still in print. The
publishers price is £8.95, and it's available at
musicroom.com at that price, but amazon.co.uk and
ebay.co.uk both have copies available more cheaply
(search for EP3672 under books).
20 March 2021 (Holmfirth Civic Hall) - Mozart Mass in C
; Beethoven Mount of Olives
Summer 2021, date, venue and programme to be decided
We are affiliated to MAKING MUSIC,
organisation which provides resources for choirs and other music
groups throughout the UK and beyond.
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. The
MailChimp database is fully compliant with GDPR [General Data
YouTube videos worth a view:
Brahms Requiem: The reduced orchestration we will be using : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh7xf_QsJO4
or, better (?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqwCYUbS2Y4
BBC Prom recording (with Bryn Terfel):
ChoraLine have produced a new "app" allowing you to
download rehearsal material - see www.choralineapp.com
- I have fliers available at rehearsal for this.
The app is free, but there may be a charge for the downloads,
which are likely to be of much higher quality than the free
material I have previously recommended (mentioned below).
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/
for further details.
There is also http://www.cyberbass.com/
which offers part learning aids, including Brahms Requiem.
This site has been highly recommended by a few people I've spoken
A good source of midi files which are useful for playing parts
through if you have a computer is
Covered by this site: Handel's
Brahms' German Requiem (but I'm told that there are a
few difficulties with the Brahms files - I've not checked them
has been recommended to me as an alternative.
The midi player program I have mentioned before, MidiPlay_v2p6.exe
(actually this link is to a later version) will allow you to play
files from this site, and adjust the volume of your own part to suit
We will perform the Brahms German Requiem in German rather than in
English translation - many of you want to do this, and certainly
the work was written to be performed in German. That being
the case, there are several online aids to pronunciation - see
YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ilw_aW0ncz0
. There's also a written guide to pronunciation, with a
translation, at https://www.choraline.com/files/Brahms_Pron_Guidebook.pdf
Margaret Conroy's daughter, Frau Ciaran Barthel, who has lived in
Germany with her husband for the past six years, and whose daily
language in German, has kindly recorded the Requiem text. She has
repeated each section twice, with the number at the
beginning. Her recording can be found in two versions - her
original in .aac format, or my
conversion of that to .mp3 format. (Either
should play on Windows Media Player).
We still have a number of items for sale, proceeds to Holmfirth
Choral Funds, including: our 2002 CD Holmfirth in Harmony
(which includes Last of the Summer Wine and Pratty
Flowers, hated by some but loved by others!!!); our 50th
anniversary souvenir booklet, a recipe book (recipes submitted
by members a few years ago), and still a few copies of Postcard
Pops, a cassette (if you remember these!) made some years
before the CD, and also with performances of those favourite(!)
pieces. Speak to me or email me for details or to buy
one. These are of course also for sale to people outside
the society (who may or may not be viewing this members'
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
click here to go to The Self Isolation Website
Be ahead of the game ...
Learn to use the Choraline App - please
Thank you and please stay at home to stay safe and keep
singing every day - you may wish to try our graded vocal exercises
recording which has been specially made to warm up your vocal chords
and keep you voice in excellent working order - please
click here to hear a sample - also available on the App
An email received from Phillip Tolley:
The latest edition (February 2020) of the
British Choirs on the Net ‘Chorister’ Newsletter is now available
online at http://www.choirs.org.uk/chorister/2020/feb2020.pdf
Please feel free to share this newsletter
which I hope you will find both useful and interesting - feel free
to print it off, forward or simply ignore.
If you would like to view past editions
of the ‘Chorister’ Newsletter please visit http://www.choirs.org.uk/chorister.htm
Thank you, Phillip Tolley
For those new to this mailing British Choirs on the Net, www.choirs.org.uk,
is a free listing of over 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. To see how email data is
collected and how it is used please visit www.choirs.org.uk/mailings.html
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)
Several of you took part in the RSCM
Festival in Leeds Cathedral on 23rd May 2015. If you are not on my local church music 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 https://hudds.org.uk/churchmusic
. I've also some spare music copies from that event for
sale at £3.50 each.
Please try to communicate
information with those of your colleagues who might not have
access to web pages such as this.