For our Spring 2022 programme, Simon has chosen some amazing music. We are going to be singing two works by Mozart, the Coronation Mass and Solemn Vespers (Vesperae solennes de confessore) both in the Bärenreiter editions. They are both fantastic sings with some wonderful moments, including the great Laudate Dominum in the Solemn Vespers.

Our term will start on Wednesday 12 January (a change from the originally announced 5 January) and, after a half term on 16 February, will finish with an end of term concert on Saturday 26 March.  All rehearsals start at 7.30pm and finish at 9pm.

In-person rehearsals

We hope to carry on with in-person rehearsals at UCS. We are planning to set up an upper limit of 60 in person subscribers owing to the continued high level of the virus in the community. This is as long as there is no change in Government advice or our covid risk assessment.  As you would expect. we are constantly keeping matters under review given the changing public health outlook.  So please look out for further emails.

Existing members should have received an email which provides a link for you to register if you are interested in taking one of these places, which we plan to allocate on a first come/first served basis.  Only pre-applicants can be sure of acceptance, so please don’t turn up at rehearsals, hoping for the best.  If you are not on our mailing list and would like to sing with us (either in person or online), please contact us via this website.

We will be asking those who attend to wear masks while moving around the school buildings, although wearing a mask while singing will be optional.  We will, unfortunately, be discouraging socialising inside (historically an important feature of the choir’s activities) but you will be able to see your friends and chat outside.  A simple set of guidelines on behaviour has been developed intended to protect all attendees, which we are asking all participants to respect.  These found here.  Please read them carefully as they represent our contract with each other.  We hope that compliance with these measures will make our rehearsals safer. In the light of current recommendations, and as a courtesy to others, participants should also consider taking a lateral flow test on the day of the rehearsal.

Online rehearsals

We will continue to make available a Zoom alternative for those who are shielding or who do not yet feel comfortable about meeting in person and places are not limited for this.  Although this will not offer the full experience of communal singing, participants have found it a good way to practice/learn the music and to stay in touch with the choir. The email already sent to existing members explains how to register for online rehearsals.

Subscriptions

The subscription for the term if you plan to attend in person is £80 (of which the tuition element will be £16).  The cost will be £25 for the Zoom term. These fees do not fully cover the cost of staging these rehearsals so any additional donations will be gratefully received.

Rehearsal Schedule

Click HERE to download the rehearsal schedule for the term

Recordings

The BBC’s Building a Library programme had difficulty deciding between Trevor Pinnock’s 1994 recording (which is available on Spotify) and Colin Davis’s 1971 recording (available from Amazon to download).  The Pinnock recording has both pieces which we are singing.

Simon’s recommendation to follow.

Scores

You will need to acquire your own scores.

For Mozart’s Coronation Mass, we will be using the Bärenreiter Edition, published in 1991, catalogue number BA4880-90 which is available new from Presto Music or Amazon (who also have second-hand copies). There may be second-hand copies available elsewhere via Abebooks or Ebay.

For the Solemn Vespers (Vesperae Solennes de Confessore), we will be using the Bärenreiter Edition, published in 1990, catalogue number BA4894-90, also available new from Presto Music or Amazon, with the same suggestions for second-hand copies as before.

You may prefer to buy from your local music shop such as Dot’s in Camden Town and Les Aldrich in Muswell Hill.

Learning aids

Many of the learning sites provide aids to help you learn your part.  We find the following to be particularly useful:

  • Cyberbass – has a wide range of major works.  You can listen to individual voice parts or all voice parts, you can select a short passage to listen to over and over again, or you can speed up and slow down recordings.
  • John F’s Rehearsal Files – John Fletcher has an extraordinary range of music on his site, with individual files for each voice part or for all parts together. You need to set up a membership – this is free for out of copyright music.  There is a paid for option if you want to access copyrighted music – there are various options, but the individual rate for one year is £10.
  • Saffron Choral Prompt – you can order CDs at a modest price from saffronchoralprompt.co.uk 01799 586269.  You tell them the name of our choir (for a discount); which piece of music and name of publisher; your voice part.  You will receive a useful (though not beautiful) recording of a voice singing your exact line with a piano accompaniment playing the other parts.  This is clearly most useful for large scale works.

How does Hampstead Chorus Online work?

There will be plenty of help on hand but most members have found it quite straightforward:

  • download ‘Zoom’ to your computer in advance of the session – it’s free video conferencing software
  • each week you are sent a link via email from Hampstead Chorus, which you use to join that week’s Zoom session from 7.15pm for 7.30pm start
  • sessions are an hour long and will be led by Simon Walton with assistance from Heather Tomala
  • sessions are typically a warm up, some rehearsal time in parts (you will be introduced to ‘break out rooms’!), a sing-through probably with a recording and finish with time for feedback and a catch up
  • a point worth emphasising is that, when you sing in Zoom sessions the only person who can hear you is yourself.

If there are two of you in the same location, unless you are the same voice part, you may wish to sign in from two devices so that you are put in the right breakout room.  If you are sitting near each other, please ensure both devices are kept on mute otherwise there will be a horrible feedback noise.

Further information on setting up Zoom and what to expect can be found here.