Not one but two opportunities for January boozin’-‘n’-singin’!

Finally able to confirm not just the next PDtP but also the next Counterpint too, which is all just too exciting for a post-Christmas Sunday afternoon.

PDtP will be on Monday January 18th in the usual place; sign up here.

Our second Counterpint session takes place a few days before, on Wednesday January 13th and I am very pleased to tell you that it takes place in the famous Punch Tavern on Fleet Street.

Please note, though, that we may have to limit the numbers for this session as the Punch’s backroom is considerably smaller than we are used to.

Therefore, anyone coming along will need to pre-register here. We are unlikely to be able to accommodate drop-ins on the night except perhaps later on in the evening but I’ll be able to confirm this nearer the time.

Don’t forget to listen to The Choir on Radio 3 this afternoon at 4pm; our Meet My Choir segment will be on about 30 mins in.




FM 90.2 MHz – 90.6 MHz, Sunday December 27th 2015, 4pm

The above info is all you need to tune in and hear London’s Favourite Night of Renaissance Motets & Booze!™ over the airwaves!

You may remember that some months ago we recorded some clips of our singing, plus some of your thoughts on PDtP, all in the hope that they might be of interest to the makers of everyone’s favourite BBC Radio 3 programme The Choir, specifically for the always lovely Meet My Choir segment.

It gives me great pleasure (and to be honest, just a little bit of pride) to let you know that they have chosen our little singing event for the Christmas edition of the programme.

Just in case you can’t listen in to the whole programme, our 3 minutes of fame will be on around 4.30pm; alternatively, the clip will be live via this page once the broadcast is over. (Thanks to Michelle for providing a pic that manages to sum up brilliantly everything about us!)*

I haven’t heard the segment myself so I have no idea whose interviews they have decided to use (you’ll be relieved to learn I wasn’t allowed to speak) but many thanks to you all who shared your thoughts at the time.

Also, in keeping with our rough-and-ready-backroom-of-a-pub approach to music-making, the clips were recorded on a phone, so it’s fair to say that the sound quality won’t be gold standard.

However, I am sure that the excerpts used will be a great showcase for what we manage to achieve each session!

Thanks again for all your efforts, not just in the recordings but throughout the year.

New dates will be published early next week so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2016.



*I also love the fact that the pic has allowed us to sneak some filthy madrigal lyrics onto the Radio 3 website…

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.




That was my reaction when Eventbrite notified me that there are no pre-registration places left for tonight’s PDtP.

This means that we are going to be really quite busy so please be patient and bear in mind that it might be a bit of a tight squeeze.

That said, we should be in for a wonderful singalong so don’t forget your music (don’t leave it till you get to the pub as the wifi is fickle) and remember too that we are collecting for the Royal Voluntary Service; suggested minimum donation of £5 so give – and sing – till it hurts.




Give some moolah (and/or your time) for a couple of good causes

I’ve been contacted by the Royal Voluntary Service, highlighting their current Sing Your Heart Out initiative, in which they are encouraging choirs around the country to donate the proceeds from Christmas concerts to support their efforts in reaching out to lonely and vulnerable elderly people.

Although we don’t have an entry fee to donate, I have asked them to send me some collecting tins to rattle at the PDtP Christmas Special as I have no doubt that all you PDtP fans are as generous as you are enthusiastic!

I’d like to suggest a £5 donation for anyone coming on the night but please give whatever amount you can, whether it’s less or more.

(Just a reminder that the sheet music is now ready for download; see this post for highlights and links.)

While we are on the subject of supporting good causes, PDtP regular Celia is looking for tenors & basses to sing carols at Victoria Station on Tuesday December 15th, 5.30 – c.7.30pm, to collect money on behalf of the Family Holiday Association. If you are able to help out, please contact me via the comments box at the bottom of this page and I’ll e-mail you with the details.

Many thanks and look forward to seeing you all on the 14th.



Christmas has come early!

By which I mean that there is a big, bulging digital sack of contrapuntal goodies already waiting for you all via this page.

There’s a good mix of English, Spanish, Italian & German seasonal wonders and I’ve chucked in 1 or 2 double-choir numbers (including the wonderful Victoria Alma Redemptoris Mater a 8 from last month’s PDtP). If you have already signed up via Eventbrite, I may well drop you an e-mail assigning you to Choir 1 or 2 to save time on the night!

The Bach chorales are back in force and I have even tried to link 2 of them (‘Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ’ & ‘Wachet Auf’) to the Master’s Renaissance Lutheran forebears.

With apologies to purists, I’ve also re-worked one of the Christmas Oratorio chorales to partner with his Vom Himmel Hoch stile antico motet from the first version of his Magnificat, though we may well stick them in the post-10pm slot; let’s play it by ear on the night.

Finally, if you have signed up for the Trafalgar Square motets and carols on December 18th and haven’t yet had a confirmation e-mail from me, give me a reminder prod! (I’ll be e-mailing all of you separately with notes etc.)

Have a great weekend and enjoy looking through the set-list.






Big Berlioz (for a petite price)

At the opposite end of the choral spectrum from the intimate Renaissance a cappella that we sing at PDtP is Berlioz’s gigantic Grande Messe des morts (aka Requiem).*

It’s gloriously over-the-top but has many, many first class moments of music and is well worth hearing when you get the chance, which is not so often, given that it calls for massed voices accompanied by a huge orchestra, including a vastly expanded percussion section (multiple timps, cymbals and tam-tams) and an extra 4 (count ’em, 4) brass ensembles, positioned at separate points around the main orchestra – or sometimes even around the concert hall itself.

Our friends the Goldsmiths Choral Union are performing this titanic work next Monday (November 30th) at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside the Brighton Festival Chorus and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Brian Wright.

For a limited time you can get top and second price tickets at a hugely discounted rate via this Time Out offer – but you’ll have to hurry as it expires at midnight tomorrow (November 27th).

And don’t forget, once you have calmed down from the experience of super-sized French Romanticism, you can join us at our final PDtP of the year on December 14th, which will include lots of seasonal goodies – so sign up here.



*Interestingly, one of the movements of the Requiem is actually a cappella, though you’d perhaps struggle to describe anything sung by hundreds of voices in a huge Victorian concert hall as intimate.