Summer Term 2024 – Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo

We are looking forward to welcoming friends new and old to the Summer Term of our 2023/24 season which starts on Wednesday 1 May 2024 and, after a half term on 29 May, will finish with our traditional end of term summer concert and party on Saturday 22 June.

This term, by special request of Simon our Musical Director, we will be rehearsing and performing Michael Flanders’ and Joseph Horovitz’s Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, a light-hearted oratorio based on a re-imagining of the well-known bible story and drawing a range of popular musical styles: a link is provided here for those who would like to hear more in advance.

If you have friends and family who you think might like to try choral singing, this summer term’s repertoire is a very good opportunity and the first two rehearsals will be available to all to try out.  If so, please feel free to forward to them any emails you receive from us or ask them to contact us via this website

Concert Tickets and Poster

Details to follow.

Rehearsals

We will start rehearsals in the Music Lecture Theatre at UCS on Wednesday 1 May 2024  concluding with a concert on Saturday 22 June 2024. The concert will be followed by our annual choir summer party.

We will have a break for half-term on 29 May.

A detailed rehearsal schedule is available here

Don’t worry if you miss the occasional rehearsal or join the term a bit late – you can always use the learning resources described on our website to catch up.

The first two weeks’ rehearsals will be taster sessions for those who would like to try out so, if you have friends and family who would like to have a go at choral singing, please ask them to come along. And, if you have friends in the choir who have not been attending recently, please encourage them to re-join too.

If you are on our mailing list, you should already have received an email with an invitation to register for the term – if you cannot find it, please check your spam folder.

If you are not on our mailing list and would like to sing with us, please contact us via this website.

Subscriptions

The subscription for the term is £50 (of which the tuition element will be £13) plus a £5 contribution for this term’s music.  There will be an additional charge of £10 for those who wish to attend our traditional summer party after the concert on 22 June. The overall cost for the term including music rental and the party, is £65.  A request for payment will be sent to all participants after the first two weeks of try-out rehearsals is complete.

Scores

We will be borrowing copies of the music for this term so there will be no need for you to source the music yourself. To cover the costs of rental, we are asking singers contribute £5. If you do want to buy your own copy, perhaps because you want make extensive markings, it is available from the usual on-line and retail sources, but please buy a copy in good time as this is not a lengthy term.  Please note that we will be using the SATB version of the score.

Rehearsal Schedule

The rehearsal schedule for the term can be found here.

Warm-up exercises

All our rehearsals start with warm-up vocal exercises.  Simon has prepared videos to help those who are less familiar with the exercises:

Simon’s regular warm up exercises

If you want to keep your voice going between rehearsals, these are the tools to use.

Recordings

There are recordings on YouTube and Spotify – some by schools and amateur groups.

In addition, there is a brief episode of the Thoroughly Good Classical Music Podcast dedicated to Captain Noah.  This is available on Spotify and other Podcasts – Spotify link here.

Learning aids

There are fewer learning aids for this piece than usual but the following are available:

  • 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.  The advantage of John Fletcher’s site is that you can download the recordings to use offline.  He has this term’s music on his site.
  • Learn Choral Music provides downloadable midi files by voice part – here

In-person and online rehearsals

We have been rehearsing in the Music Lecture Room (MLT) and M7 since November 2021 and have been able to achieve good levels of ventilation. Depending on outside temperatures, it can get a bit chilly, but these are the best conditions we believe we can achieve in terms of infection management (other than singing outdoors!)

So going forward, here are a few reminders about rehearsal etiquette to reduce infection risk:

  1. We are continuing with live rehearsals, combined with Zoom rehearsals (hybrid model). We are regularly reviewing the situation for any signs of increased infection rates and are ready to take action as necessary.
  2. Please only attend live rehearsals if you are fully vaccinated. We ask that if you have any signs whatsoever which could indicate infection (with or without a positive test) you STAY AWAY from live rehearsal and attend by Zoom.

With these regulations in place, we feel confident to continue choir rehearsals, always mindful of the evolving situation and ready to react if necessary.

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 a 7.30pm start.
  • 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.

It would be very helpful to let us know before the rehearsal if you intend to attend online.

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