Benslow Music holds a special place in the music world. Apart from being the choir’s regular rehearsal venue, it is a much-loved destination for hundreds of musicians, singers and enthusiasts who visit its Hitchin campus every year for courses and concerts. The pandemic has had a drastic effect on Benslow’s income, and £200,000 is urgently needed to secure the long-term survival of this unique charity.
Amazingly, by early September over £187,000 has been raised, but they still need to reach £200,000.
To donate, search for Keep Music At Benslow Alive on JustGiving or click the link.
The Self Isolation Choir now has more than 5,600 subscribers all over the world. We are very proud to report that our Music Director, Harry Bradford, is to become their Course Director for a new series of Requiems at Home.
Harry is to lead the teaching for the Faure, Brahms, Verdi and Durufle Requiems, with a cathedral organ/piano backing and the Recordare Chamber Choir. The first course will be available from 24 August. Each course will be a mix of live streaming and recorded learning, for each voice, and there will be a live ‘concert’. In January there will also be the Mozart Requiem led by their Music Director, Ben England.
Harry has been honing his online skills with our weekly choir sessions over the last few months and we can vouch for his skill and talent in this medium.
The essence of a choir is to gather together to make music; to rehearse and to perform. Every Thursday the North Herts Guild of Singers rehearses, and we have a concert four times a year. We have not been able to do this since March. However, we are meeting together online, as many as 80 of us at a time.
Every Thursday evening we join Harry Bradford and Colin Spinks from our homes. During these sessions we have continued to work on Bach’s wonderful B minor Mass. We have also taken a look at the Rossini we had planned to perform in July. We have sung rounds to videos of ‘The Four Harrys’, and we always have a warm up, which no doubt attracts the curiosity of our neighbours on the warm evenings.
Other sessions have included an overview of sight reading and Colin’s ‘Debunking Choral Myths’, American choral music and close harmony, as well as some early music and a range of works both familiar and new to us. Choir members requested their own favourite items for the penultimate meeting of the term.
We are still making plans for our 2020/21 season, and look forward to seeing each other and our audiences before too long.