Notes from Rehearsal with Carolyn – 26/11/19

Published on November 30, 2019,

Dear Singers,

A 69% turnout at Tuesday’s rehearsal. As usual, here are the highlights, especially for the 30 who were missing. “30 again, “ I hear you say, “does he make the numbers up?” No there is a remarkable consistency each week of 29 or 30 absent singers – not the same people obviously. And while I’m looking at the numbers, congratulations to the 7 choir members who have a 100% attendance record this term. Gold stars for all of you! (I guess you were hoping for more, but that’s the best I can do without committee approval). We had a new four-legged member of the choir join us during the evening – Tabitha the assistance dog in-training. She decided to join the ALTOs, which only reinforces my strong belief that dogs are superb judges of human character and will naturally associate with inner beauty and virtue. (Still making amends for a rude remark earlier this term.)

I was so exhausted after the warm up, I wasn’t fit to record the chromatic heights and lows we achieved. But I know it was the most profound the basses had ever reached. So straight into the rehearsal notes…


Wassail the silver apple

To quote our music director, “Ten out of ten. Not quite. I lied” But a good start

Break forth o beauteous heavenly light

TUNES practised getting the very high note at “the power of Satan…” Please practice at home with the sound files if you missed this. Needs to move with pace in all parts. Don’t slow at the end of the verse because we do a repeat. Carolyn will slow us a little at the end of the reprise. Know the words for the last few lines and watch her.

Hark shepherds


Masters in this hall


The holly and the ivy

Keep the pace going when we break into parts in the chorus. There’s a tendency to slow. Watch Carolyn at the end of the last chorus where she will slow the pace.

Mummers’ carol

This one needed a bit of rehearsal. Back to the sound files, us all.


That’s the first half of our concert programme done. “Sounds amazing.”


Coppers’ Christmas song

Amended lyrics for the BASS part only: verse three, line 4 to start “Lift their footsteps sure” not “And they lift their footsteps sure”

‘Tis now the season of the year

Got there in the end. Problems keeping to the beat when the three parts sing together – particularly in the final fast repeat. Watch Carolyn

Hail smiling morn

A familiar old favourite that needed a bit of revision, particularly amongst the BASSes. Back to the sound files again. Be sure to sing the following lyrics: “All the gay face of nature doth unfold…..” We have sung “All the bright face of nature doth unfold….” In previous performances.

When the snows of winter fall

Basses carry the tune in this one. A plea from Carolyn for the BASSes to be more elastic, listen to each other, express the sentiment of the words, be more tender and “less Pavarotti-like.”

While shepherds watched

I didn’t make a note. I think we sang this, but I may have nodded off. It was a long rehearsal

Santa Claus is comin’ to town

We sorted out the “Ooos” in the TOPs, TUNEs and ALTOs. Please consult the sound files if you’re unsure.


Readers rehearsed their poems – a couple more to hear next week


Finally, some NOTICES:

  1. I will email separately those people who have volunteered to sing carols at the Night Shelter next Tuesday (before rehearsal), 03-Dec-2019
  2. I will send another separate email to those who have volunteered to sing at nursing homes on Sunday, 08-Dec-2019
  3. I will email those who have asked for a performance folder, to confirm that I have logged your request. If you haven’t heard from me by close-of-play Friday that means I’ve lost the bit of paper with your name on it. So please chase me!
  4. ALL OF US – please put the lyrics in order in your performance folder – see running order attached (again) for ease of reference
  5. It’s not too late to buy tickets for the Christmas concert on 10-Dec. They will be on sale at rehearsal next Tuesday or can be purchased on-line at https://winchestercommunitychoir.co.uk/buy/tickets/
  6. If this is your first performance with the choir or if you need a reminder, please look at the information about performance wear at https://winchestercommunitychoir.co.uk/performance-rehearsals/


‘Bye for now and hope to see you next Tuesday (the final rehearsal before our concert).


Best wishes,



Membership Secretary

Winchester Community Choir

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