Summer singing project brings St Albans choir back together ahead of concert season
- Credit: St Albans Chamber Choir
Amateur choirs have been badly affected by the global pandemic.
Many of them have been unable to sing together in person for most of 2020 and the first half of 2021.
Not so St Albans Chamber Choir. They not only succeeded in rehearsing indoors in a COVID-secure way during the autumn of 2020 but as soon as the 'Rule of Six' was lifted in mid-May, they started to meet outdoors, socially-distanced in a member’s garden.
Choir member Lindsey Jackson said: “We were so happy to be making music together again that we decided not to have a summer break.
"Instead we decided to challenge ourselves to sing every piece in a book of choral music by European composers.”
‘European Sacred Music’ contains 54 pieces spanning five centuries and includes favourites such as Allegri’s Miserere as well as works by Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Mozart.
The choir drew from its members and their families to provide a different conductor each week.
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One evening, the singers enjoyed a live accompaniment from a notable local violinist and her cellist son.
Over the eight weeks, all 54 pieces were sung at least once.
Lindsey added: “We had been really worried about whether our singing voices would ever recover from so long not singing, but all those worries have now been dispelled.
"Not only have we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but we now feel better prepared for the start of the new choir season.
"The weather has stayed dry, we’ve seen some spectacular sunsets and heard some amazing birdsong.”
The choir is looking forward to welcoming an audience at its next public performance – a family-friendly afternoon concert on Saturday, November 13 at 2pm in St Saviour’s Church in Sandpit Lane.
Entitled ‘The Lark Ascending’, it features works for solo violin and choir including a new choral arrangement of the well-known Vaughan Williams piece of that name.
There is also a retelling of the children’s story ‘Ferdinand the Bull’ for violin and narrator, two pieces by local composers Cecilia McDowall and Alexander L’Estrange, and a 19th century choral mass by the German composer Rheinberger.
More information about the choir can be found on its website: www.stalbanschamberchoir.org.uk