A wee reminder

that we’ll be holding our very first Counterpint in the Cafe of 2017 tomorrow evening.

There are still a couple of spaces left for anyone who isn’t an alto, though please note that you’ll need to be there before the 6.30 start time as this is when the door to the shop is locked.

Looking ahead, our next PDtP session takes place on February 6th i.e. back in its usual Monday slot at the Horse and Stables.

Booking will go live at 5pm on Friday January 27th, with a second batch going live on Saturday the 28th; have a look at this page for the booking links later in the week.

I know a number of you are waiting for another Counterpint in Kingston. I promise you that I am working on finding the time(!) so bear with me for a while longer.




STOP PRESS: PDtP is coming to Manchester, August 8th!

It’s only 2 weeks away, but I’m hoping there’s still be enough time to get the word out.

PDtP Summer Tour 2016 Manchester poster final

The venue is called Odd Bar (which somehow seems fitting for this enterprise) and is the hipstermatic Northern Quarter of the city.

Full details, including how to sign up, are here; please let your Mancunian singing friends know about it and encourage them to take part – they’ll forgive you one day.



Tremendous Christmas singalongs

Thanks to all who took part in last week’s PDtP Christmas Special, which was pretty special indeed.

Once again, we welcomed between 60 and 70 people, so it was just as well that we had a couple of double-choir numbers on the setlist, including Victoria’s fantastic Alma Redemptoris Mater a 8, surely destined to become a regular favourite.

Which is not to say that we didn’t experience moments of pure ludicrousness, as plates of nachos and burgers were being distributed to the sound of the most glorious music.

Other favourites for me were the H Praetorius Joseph Lieber, Joseph Mein and the rather more understated but still quite singable Stadlmayr Conditor Alme Siderum – it’s not often you get to sing plainchant verses in a pub.

All in all, another great night of singing, which is also how I’d describe our more public outing in Trafalgar Square last Friday.

Thanks again to all of you who took part; you raised £225 for BBC Children in Need, which is not too bad a result!

While it was great to revisit the PDtP setlist, there’s no doubt that it was the regular carols that went down extremely well with the crowds, so we’ll definitely include more of them in next year’s session.

That’s it for pub singing this year but look out for the new dates for both PDtP and Counterpint, which will be published very shortly – and we’ll also be posting a very special announcement before Christmas, so keep an eye out.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the wonderful sketches of last Monday’s session from resident PDtP artist Sue Harding.



Forget Bond – it’s Bach who is back!

Back in July I posted a mournful note to say that the Bach Vespers series at St Mary-at-Hill was possibly no more, owing to the departure of Cantor Martin Knizia.


I am very pleased to share the far more joyful news that the Music at Hill team have now appointed a new cantor, Erik Eichelberger, who will be leading a performance of the monumental BWV 80 Ein Feste Burg this coming Sunday, October 25th.


I am sure Eichelberger will prove to be a worthy successor to Knizia and it’s great to see that many of the fine musicians from previous vespers will be returning.


Full details are here and I strongly encourage anyone who loves the choral music of JS Bach (and ovpp performances of it in particular) to get along to the service.

Giving the gift of Bach


In other JSB news, I have just discovered the fantastic allofbach.com, although no doubt all of you digital hipsters were way ahead of me on this one.


It’s a beautifully simple idea from the Netherlands Bach Society: every Friday, a video of one of Bach’s works is uploaded to the site – and all for free.

In addition to the high quality performances and video, each work is supported by a background article, the text and translation of the vocal works and (as if that wasn’t already enough) supplementary videos of interviews with the musicians, providing even more insight into each work.


So far they have uploaded some choral works (various cantatas, the Magnificat and even the St Matthew Passion), organ preludes and a couple of concertos among others – and it’s wonderful to think that by this time tomorrow there should be a new work up there!


The Netherlands Bach Society rightly describes it as a gift to the world – it’s certainly one of the most extraordinary and ambitious acts of cultural generosity I have ever come across – so let’s all share this gift as wide as we can and get the whole world immersed in Bach!