Great news from the Keep Music at Benslow Alive campaign - in the February edition of The Buzz newsletter, Benslow CEO Peter Hewitt announces that various initiatives have brought the fund to a magnificent £311,000. Although Peter says they will still need to be prudent, it does seem that this much-loved institution - and the Guild's much-missed rehearsal venue - will be back in all its glory once regulations allow.
To donate, search for Keep Music At Benslow Alive on JustGiving or click the link.
This spring the choir is rehearsing Mozart's Coronation Mass at our Thursday night online sessions. In the words of our MD, Harry Bradford, it is a wonderfully joyful piece, complete with a variety of exuberant vocal lines and musical textures. It's probably Mozart's most famous setting of the Mass.
We are also learning Durante's Magnificat and Haydn's Te Deum, both pieces new to the choir but lovely to sing. Harry and Colin, our accompanist, continue to make our online sessions fun and interesting - in spite of the odd technical difficulty - and the large numbers of singers who turn up every Thursday are testimony to their success and their important place in our lockdown life!
Christmas Charity Appeal
Date Posted: Tue, 1 Dec 2020
The North Herts Guild of Singers' Christmas Appeal raised almost £1,000 for Haven First (formerly Stevenage Haven and North Herts Sanctuary), and at our online rehearsal on January 28th we welcomed Pearl, a Haven First representative, who came along to say thank you and to tell us a little more about their important work providing support for the homeless.
The total amount donated was £770, and with Gift Aid added this comes to a magnificent £930. The choir is most grateful to everyone who donated.
Requiems at Home
Date Posted: Fri, 10 Jul 2020
The Self Isolation Choir began during lockdown and rapidly built up a huge following of thousands of subscribers all over the world. We were very proud when our Music Director, Harry Bradford, was appointed as their Course Director for a series of Requiems at Home including the Faure, Brahms, Verdi and Durufle Requiems, with a cathedral organ/piano backing and his own Recordare Chamber Choir.
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.
In January 2021 the Self Isolation Choir started work on the Mozart Requiem under Ben England.
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 music which should have formed part of our concert programme, such as Bach’s wonderful B minor Mass, scheduled for the spring of 2020, and the Rossini Petite Messe Solenelle which 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, the whole of Haydn's The Creation and of course lots of carols in December.
We are still making plans for our 2020/21 season, and look forward to seeing each other and our audiences before too long.