Despite the dreadful weather, the BDCS Christmas Concert on Saturday 15th December 2018 at St Mary’s Church, Bingham, was sold out once again. Our thanks to everyone who made it such a special event: Bingham Brass with their wonderful seasonal sound, the delightful Carnarvon Children’s Choir, and our accomplished organist Simon Hogan who supported the choir and took us on a sleigh ride of his own.
I had not intended running this year, but at the committee meeting in September ‘we’ decided that I should. I would not be able to run until a few weeks before the event as Sue and I were off to Italy the morning after the committee meeting. On return I managed some long runs and felt reasonably confident that I could get round. Sunday 14th October was wet, and cool if not cold. I decided that I would run for the first few miles in an old jumper I could throw away and this was covered by a black dustbin liner to keep me reasonably dry. To my surprise, it all went well. The circuit had been nearly all reversed, which meant that what was previously a killer hill towards the end was now a fairly relaxed decent about a mile after the start. I also chatted to another runner for about seven miles which helped. I kept the bin liner on for about 3 miles and the jumper for six. I think I managed my run better this year and felt a lot more comfortable, although very wet towards the end.
Thanks to all the members and one or two others who sponsored me.
11 MAY 2019
Eric Thiman The Lord is My Shepherd (Harriet Astbury, Soprano, Caroline Clemmow, Piano, Bingham and District Choral Society, St Mary’s Church, Radcliffe on Trent, 7.30pm.)
Forty-four years after the death of the prolific English composer Eric Thiman (who had more than 1300 pieces published in his lifetime), a setting of Psalm 23 receives its premiere on May 11th.
The manuscript was recently unearthed amongst Thiman’s effects, and is definitely in his hand, but it is unusual for a number of reasons: (a) Thiman did not, as a rule, keep his manuscripts; (b) Thiman nearly always wrote sacred music with organ and secular music with piano; (c) the copy, though very clearly in Thiman’s hand, does not carry his name; (d) in several respects, the piece is stylistically rather different from much of Thiman’s music.
The most curious thing though is that where Thiman’s name would normally appear there is the word ‘Paulatim’. On investigation it turns out that ‘paulatim’ means ‘little by little’ in Latin, and Thiman’s niece Frances has made the possible connection with ‘Eric, or Little by Little’ the title of a popular Victorian children’s book by FW Farrar. Knowing how much Thiman and his brother loved humorous word-play, Frances wonders whether Paulatim was used as a code-name.
A possible explanation for the existence of this unpublished piece, and the use of ‘Paulatim’, is that it might have been intended as an entry for a composing competition, and that Thiman was disguising both his name and his style in order to throw the judges off the scent. The manuscript is dated July 1962 , when Thiman was very well-known, so entering a composing competition would seem odd, though, if he did do so (possibly for amusement, or maybe to fox the judges who might have been friends of his?), disguising himself would seem less so.
An attractive and lyrical piece, like all Thiman’s music in an approachable, conventional idiom, The Lord is my Shepherd receives it’s premiere conducted by Thiman’s archivist, Guy Turner.
Bingham Choral Bursary winner, Mezzo-Soprano Emily Hodkinson, gave a very polished lunchtime recital at Southwell Minster on 13th July, as part of the Minster’s regular series. she sang an interesting programme mixing American and French Music, and including a number of pieces by female composers. A full quire gave her a great reception, especially after her energetic and humorous final number. The choir is looking forward to Emily performing with us at the autumn concert on November 17th.
When Guy Turner, Bingham Choral’s conductor, set out to write BYRON IN ITALY for the concert in July, he did not think it would result in an invitation to go to Italy!
Pictured above are ‘Five belles plus one’ the winning team at BDCS Quiz social evening held on Saturday 28th April. Five belles plus one saw off eight other teams to emerge as victors in a fiercely fought contest. According to the Quiz-master (Guy Turner) there were only 3 questions that no-one got, William IV and two of the Wall groups (not dissimilar to the ‘wall’ round in the BBC TV Quiz ‘Only Connect’).
This social evening as well as being good fun raised £206 via a collection for the charity Strength Restored an Anti-Bullying Organisation run by Guy’s son Tom. Tom wishes to pass on his thanks to everyone on behalf of Strength Restored. You cam read more about Strength Restored at http://www.strengthrestored.co.uk/
Bingham and District Choral Society has launched a new Bursary and Prize open to young musicians (aged under 24 years) across the East Midlands.
The final was held in Bingham on Saturday and featured five outstanding performers: a cellist and four singers. Ranging from Boccherini to Britten, the wide repertoire on display was impressive for its ambition and mastery. The difficult task of selecting the winning candidate fell to a panel of four experienced judges.
Emily Hodkinson, a mezzo soprano from Nottingham, emerged as the winner. Her confident and elegant performance comprised works by Gounod, Brahms, Purcell and Hahn. She was accompanied by Angela Foan.
Emily will receive a Bursary of £500 to help develop her musical career. This has been generously funded by the Patron of Bingham and District Choral Society, John Beaumont, and his wife Barbara. In addition, Emily has been awarded a Prize in the form of an opportunity to perform with the choir in the future.
In second place was Ben Watkins, a bass from Nottingham, while Katharine Ley, a cellist from Lincolnshire came third.
The competition is an exciting new departure for the Choral Society. It is an opportunity to increase our community involvement by helping local young talent to flourish.
At the beginning of June 2017, a large contingent of singers from the East Midlands, including a dozen members of BDCS, set off for France with the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra to perform the Verdi Requiem in Chartres Cathedral and the Madeleine in Paris.
We were joined by singers from a French and a German choir, making it a truly international experience. It was a fantastic privilege to sing one of the greatest romantic works in the choral repertoire in such legendary places. We were also blessed with four wonderful soloists (Sarah Baillie, Sandra Klara Januszewska, Richard Roddis and Geoff Williams) and the charismatic leadership of Derek Williams, Musical Director of the NSO, to spur us on.
The concerts were well publicised in advance and attracted large, appreciative audiences in both venues. We were even treated to a standing ovation! A reception in a Paris restaurant provided a fitting, celebratory finale before the long trip back home. Much fun was had and many friendships made along the way, so much so that a visit to Prague is contemplated in two years’ time. The trip was a great example of how choral singing crosses divides and expands horizons, personally and musically.
The photographs are of Chartres Cathedral interior and exterior with son et lumière, and The Madeleine, Paris.
John Rutter, the legendary composer and conductor of choral music, came to lead a Singing Day at The Minster School, Southwell, on Saturday at the invitation of the Bingham and District Choral Society. Judith Unell, Publicity Officer for the choir, says, ‘We just couldn’t believe our luck when John agreed to do this for us because he has such an incredibly busy schedule of international commitments. We feel very honoured’ The Singing Day was widely advertised and quickly sold out with more than 300 people attending. Four young members of the Minster Girls’ Choir helped ensure that things ran smoothly on the day and also took the opportunity to pose for a photo with John.
His exuberant and warm personality enabled everyone to relax and experience the joy of singing, but also to benefit from his immense knowledge of vocal technique. There were plenty of highly entertaining anecdotes too, drawn from his rich musical career. The choice of musical pieces ranged from the poignant and delicate ‘Who is Silvia’ by British composer George Shearing to the storming adaptation by John himself of `When the Saints go Marching In’ at the end of an uplifting, entertaining and unforgettable day.