While you all no doubt have only one thing on your minds at the moment i.e. the next session of PDtP, I thought it worth pointing out a couple of other up-coming musical happenings that may be of interest.
On September 19th, the Wild Street Ensemble are putting on a ‘come and sing’ event, to include excerpts from some of the great Baroque choral works; details here. (I understand that they are running a 2-for-1 ticket promotion but you have to be quick as it expires today; see here for details.)
I haven’t yet heard these guys but I’m always keen to support young musicians just starting out on their careers so I hope that some of you may be able to get along to sing with them.
Other performing arts, such as theatre, have come some way in addressing the issue of diversity (although frustratingly there’s still a long way to go) but if you are anything like me, you may have often wondered why the orchestras and ensembles that we love to hear and to support appear to have little or no ethnic diversity within their membership.
The Chineke! Foundation, set up by Chi-chi Nwanoku (founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Englistenment and its Principal Double Bassist), is attempting to address this imbalance.
It’s better to let Chi-chi herself speak about the aims of the foundation (have a look here & also here) but I would like to do my bit by encouraging you all to attend what I have no doubt will be a truly superb concert, not least because it combines a contemporary work (Philip Herbert‘s Elegy) with the music of a largely forgotten composer (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor‘s Ballade for orchestra) and tops it all off with Beethoven’s apotheosis of the dance, Symphony No.7.
…till Polyphony Down the Pub crashes back into our lives on September 14th, like a constantly inebriated but ultimately entertaining friend.
A quick reminder that while it’s a drop-in session, you are still most welcome to nail your colours to the mast of HMS PDtP in advance, just in case it turns out we have enough men to sing Robert Carver’s O Bone Jesu. (You never know…)
Sign up here and don’t forget to invite your singing friends.
December 14th is currently pencilled in as the date for our Christmas Special but please note that we won’t be able to confirm this until nearer the time.
As always, in addition to the masterworks of the 16th century, in each session we’ll be sticking in some 4 part marvels from the collection of Bach chorales, so don’t delay – sign up to each session now!
Those of you who follow the PDtP Twitter feed will know that I have recommended these Vespers performances over the past few months so I urge you to ignore (nay, defy!) the rain and get yourself over to St Mary-at-Hill for your last chance to hear one of these very fine performances of the music of JSB.
Many thanks to all who came, whether you dropped in for a quick motet or stayed to the bitter end – or perhaps I should say the end of the bitter, as we drank through a couple of casks of ale, apparently!
By my reckoning, we welcomed around 50 singers in all, which is by far the most popular session we’ve had in a long time. Whatever the number, you made a big sound, so much so that at times we drowned out the stereo downstairs.
Thanks too to our wonderful guest conductors, Laura, Kathryn and Lucy, bravely standing up in front of a bunch of alcohol-fuelled singers and keeping you all in line.
We also made Twitter history (probably) by providing the world with the first live tweeting on the progress of a 16th Century motet – we truly are innovating in all sorts of incredibly useful ways.
We were fortunate to have 4 or 5 ‘audience members’ last night, all of whom were effusive in their praise for the sound you made, which is very nice to hear.
Oh, and by the way, if any of you are in choirs short on basses, send your recruiting officers around to PDtP as we have them in plentiful supply!
Highlights for me were of course BWV 437(very well done for getting through it!), the Mouton Ave Mariaand de la Rue’s Incessament; drop a comment below to let me know which numbers you particularly enjoyed.
We are taking a short break for the summer, during which we will research some more wonderful music for later in the year. Dates for September and October will be published towards the end of August so please keep an eye out for updates. (Don’t forget that we are also on Twitter:@pubpolyphony)
Looking further ahead, future themes will include the return of our Christmas Special, as well as sessions focussing on the Italian and Iberian Masters; we will also need something big for our 1st Birthday Extravaganza in October so please do drop us a line with your suggestions, including links to free sheet music whenever possible.
We’ll also be working with our non-London/SE friends to try to set up PDtP sessions elsewhere in the UK and internationally; I don’t know about you, but I am very excited by the prospect of a PDtP network!
Finally, if you enjoy PDtP, please do shout about us to all your singing friends as we want to welcome as many people as we can to these sessions!
Many thanks again to you all and look forward to seeing you after the break.
PS I’ll no doubt still be annoying you all with the odd post during the break and I’m always happy to hear your thoughts in return…
Looking forward to tonight’s session – numbers are looking good, with some new faces making an appearance, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing out the season with a bang and defying the current weather with some radiant singing.