Tag Archives: Carols for Choirs

Sing, choir of angels! Minerva Voices goes carol-singing for Cancer Research

A bustling Canterbury high street was treated to a festive selection of carols for upper-voices, as Minerva Voices took to the street to sing in support of Cancer Research.

czad3vqxeaagxhzThe idea was suggested by Inger Kviseth, a member of the Choir who works part-time for the charity, and asked if we would help with their fund-raising; the team leapt to respond, and were busy singing yesterday afternoon, aided by Music Society secretary, Robert Loveless, who wielded one of the collection buckets.

czad3vmwgaebaxnThe shoppers responded with enthusiasm to the choir’s bringing Carols for Choirs to life, and a brisk chill in the air was met with a warm response from passers-by.

Thanks to all the ladies – and to Robert! – for giving up their Sunday lunchtime in support of Cancer Research. The Choir will be back in action this Wednesday in a very different guise, singing as The Minervettes with the twelve-piece vintage swing band, General Harding’s Tomfoolery, on the foyer-stage at lunchtime; admission is free, bring your dancing-shoes!

Bass Desires: a poem about choirs and Christmas

Drama graduate and bass in this year’s Chamber Choir, Dave Newell, reveals his bardic side in this reflection on the choral year and Christmas carol-learning.

A Singer’s November

‘Twas two months before Christmas,
Under towers and spires,
Singers were bringing out
Carols for Choirs.

Their friends all had bonfires,
Guy Fawkes to remember.
But when you’re in a Choir,
Christmas starts in November.

“But Advent is ages away”
Their friends cry.
“You can’t yet sing Ding Dong
Merrily on High”

Then the singers will turn
Like a great wounded beast.
“Do you want Christmas
To be a musical feast?”

“Then we must take carol books
Down from the self,
‘Cos Christmas won’t sing
The damn carols itself.”

You look forward to Christmas
And I know that that’s true.
But remember the choirs
Get there much before you.

See for singers the year
Is two months ahead,
So do not be angry,
Think this way instead;

Lent in January,
All Saints in September,
Easter in February,
Christmas – November.

David Jonathan Newell

(See other views from the bass section in ‘Bass Desires’ under the category section to the right.)

It’s that time of year again

In the choral calendar, you always know that Christmas is looming when you crack open that perennial workhorse of the songster’s year,  Carols for Choirs. For the Chamber Choir, Christmas began earlier this week, when we wheeled out the copies in order to start rehearsing for the University Carol Service in December.

Hark the Herald Angels sing…

The Carol Service, which takes place in Canterbury Cathedral, occupies a very special place in the choral calendar; the occasion, the venue, the sense of community – plus the usual concerns as to how the ladies in the choir will process up the stairs in long skirts without tripping, how to hold candles and folders of music, and how not to set fire to the hair of the person standing in front of you. With such hallowed issues are carol services concerned – the singing almost comes second…

As usual, we’ll be preparing three carols to sing during the service, plus harmonised verses to ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and others. There’s usually the challenge (for Kent is the UK’s European University, is it not) of singing one of the carols in a variety of excitingly bewildering languages as well.

And, of course, we’re still in full flight towards the Gala concerts to open the new music building in the two days before the service. We’re starting to leave the piano behind more and more in rehearsal, although this has occasionally resulted in our leaving our intonation behind as well… then again, that’s what rehearsals are all about!

Meanwhile, the Cecilian Choir is branching out from the Britten ‘Ceremony of Carols’ by looking at pieces by Mendelssohn and Debussy – well, we have native German and French speakers in the choir, so it makes sense to use their advice on pronunciation!

Choral life continues…