Sunday, June 24th 2018
Dear Members of Harleston Choral Society
Many, many thanks for all of the hard work that each of you put into making Saturday’s concert such a success!
I was so very proud of your musical achievements – the level of attention to pronunciation was very good throughout the performance and made all the difference in terms of keeping the pitch. You were super attentive to my conducting gestures, which helped enormously in projecting the vitality of the piece to the audience and making clean endings of phrases (no mean achievement with such a large ensemble).
We’ve been on a bit of a musical rollercoaster in terms of learning hundreds of notes and then staying focussed in the endless repetitions of certain words in rehearsals. Those challenges were made all the more onerous where we kept going over and over certain passages.
I am sure that it is now apparent to every one of you that through that learning process we have been developing our collective understanding of how best to sing those notes and words in order to bring out the drama of the music in the concert performance. On Saturday night you really brought the music off the page and gave a totally committed and very dramatic performance. To be honest, there’s not much more that a conductor can wish for in an end of term concert performance!
My extra singers enjoyed singing with you and were keen that I passed on their thanks for making them feel so welcome. Understandably they were bowled over by the hospitality that they received in between the rehearsal and the concert.
It seems to me that hospitality is a great strength of HCS. You have the collective knack of making new singers, guest singers, instrumentalists, soloists (and new conductors) feel welcome and valued. That’s a very special gift and something to be held onto and celebrated.
As Saturday was my first concert experience with you I was keen to see how ‘things’ worked on the day. From the side-lines it seemed to me that there were several teams of people allocated to specific tasks and that those teams got on with their jobs extremely well both before and after the concert – I am thinking particularly about the catering team, the stagehand team and the front of house team.
You may well be aware that the concert was perceived to be such a great success by some members of the audience that they spoke to me about joining the choir in September. What a great piece of recruitment advertising!
I have enjoyed every minute of our collective music-making to date and am very excited about exploring with you the repertoire that has been planned for the next two concerts.
Make the most of your summer break and come back ready for more great music-making in September!
With very best wishes