Tag Archives: Chorus

In-Choir within: Ruth Webster

Continuing our series introducing choral singers at the University. This week, second-year BioSciences student, Music Scholar and alto with Minerva Voices, the Cecilian Choir and University Chorus, Ruth Webster.

How did you get into choral singing ?
I always loved singing as a child and was part of various primary school choirs. When I was ten, I auditioned for the Derby Cathedral Girls’ Choir and began my 7-year career as a chorister there. The rest, as they say, is history!

Ruth Webster Chorister PicWhat’s your favourite piece ?
I’d be lying if I said I could pick just one favourite piece. My most favourite pieces involve anything Christmassy, especially Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Handel’s Messiah. The final verse of Oh Little Town of Bethlehem gets me every time!

What’s your best/worst memory about singing in a choir ?
During my first ever performance of Handel’s Messiah as a little eleven-year-old I had a coughing fit in the middle of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus.’ My eyes were streaming throughout the whole piece and I remember seeing my mum in the audience holding back the giggles! My favourite choir memories involve the amazing travel opportunities I’ve been afforded and the incredible venues in which I’ve performed such as Notre Dame, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

What do you find the most inspirational aspect of choral singing ?
Along with the beautiful music and stunning venues, I love the sense of community and camaraderie you feel as part of a choir. Hours of rehearsals and a mutual love of choral music makes for a great sense of togetherness among singers. The more experienced members of the choir are able to take new singers under their wing and help them build on their skills while new members can look up to and learn from their peers. I’m looking forward to see how our new upper-voice choir, Minerva Voices, grows and develops as a team this year!

Ruth is on Twitter @himynameisruthy.

In-Choir Within: Alice Hargreaves

Continuing our series featuring choral singers at the University. This week, first-year soprano with Minerva Voices, Chorus and the Cecilian Choir Alice Hargreaves.

How did you get into choral singing ?
From a young age I loved choral music, as I watched my older sister sing in many concerts, but it started properly when I performed a solo in my Junior School Concert at the age of 10. I will never forget how nervous I was, and how amazing it felt after I had sung.

Alice Hargreaves

Alice Hargreaves

What’s your favourite piece ?
There are so many pieces that I love. But if I had to pick one, it would probably have to be Silent Noon by Ralph Vaughan Williams. It is such an amazing piece and it sends shivers down my spine every time I sing it.

What’s your best/worst memory about singing in a choir ?
My worst memory would have to be when I was 12 years old and had been practising for a choral concert, it was an unusually warm day and I remember in the rehearsal on the day, I was so ill that I couldn’t actually make the performance. I was so upset at the time but looking back I think it was for the best!

My best memory, well, I have two! My first would be when in July I sang ‘Pie Jesu’ from Faure’s Requiem in St Paul’s Chapel, Ground Zero in New York. It was a special moment and one I will never forget. My second would be when my school were fortunate enough to perform the choral work Every Purpose Under The Heaven written and conducted by Howard Goodall.

What do you find the most inspirational aspect of choral singing ?
Being able to meet and sing with so many other people, and connect with them through beautiful musical works, with the result of this connection being something special and magical.

Alice is on Twitter @alhargreaves_

Chorus is cleared for take-off…

The Director of Music gets this year’s Chorus underway earlier this week…

Rehearsals are now underway for the University Chorus, with over 150 singers in fine rousing  voice.

The magnificent Music Society Committee did all the ‘processing’ with impressive efficiency  last  Monday and everyone is now armed with their scores of Orff’s Carmina Burana ready to fit all those tongue-twisting  thirteenth century Latin and German words to all those notes. There was also an ‘X-Factor’ moment when we tackled the famous opening bars..!

Susan Wanless