Come and Sing: Derby Cathedral Sunday, July 29 (09:00-19:00) Eucharist (10:45)/Evensong (18:00)

Event, News

The St. Mary Singers are a group of singers from all over England who learn music in advance and come together for a full day, normally either a Saturday or a Sunday, to rehearse and sing together in cathedrals and churches all over England and Wales. Their programme is set out here. Most of the venues  are in the South of England but one is set in Derby  Cathedral on July 29th. The last one at Derby attracted around 30 singers and the programme provides an opportunity to sing in some of our leading Cathedrals in the company of singers used to performing Church Choral music  to a high standard. Anyone interested in singing with them, or in registering  interest for future events, must contact James Reed ( in advance. Bob Middleton.

An Opportunity to perform Opera

Event, News

An Opportunity to perform Opera

            –  in Amsterdam – May 30th – June 2nd/3rd 2019

                 – and /or in Nottingham Sept 9th 2018


We are pleased to announce we finally have details of our third trip. 

My email in November was titled ‘Grand Opera in Berlin’. As some of you know, the plan for Berlin was abandoned for a range of reasons, and we have now settled on Amsterdam. Closer venue, and so the plans below are similar to the Paris trips. We still have an Option for making your own way, but the coach trip would be much less daunting than to Berlin

Following Verdi with a work that includes exciting music for chorus, and orchestra, and would attract an audience is not an easy task, and therefore Opera ‘chunks’ has been the choice. Derek has always loved, and been thrilled by Wagner, and he feels strongly that  this is a great opportunity to experience new and amazing pieces.

The decision to tackle ‘chunks’ of Opera was made with the awareness that most Choral Societies do not have these pieces in their repertoire, and would need to learn the works. As was included in the November email, and discussed at the Lunch last September, we will hold 2 events in 2018, a Taster Day in April and a Choral weekend in September.

We will offer You Tube links, downloads/ books of scores and parts to support this learning. 

( Details to follow)

The proposed programme will include :-

Carmen – Bizet – Act 1

Tosca –  Puccine – Te Deum

Lohengrin – Wagner – Elsa’s Procession

Meistersingers – Wagner – Final Scene

If, like me, you are unfamiliar with opera, wait until you hear some of the links that we’ll send out. I bet  you will become enthused to be part of this glorious noise!

Trip to Amsterdam – 30.05.19 – 2/3.06.19

We will travel using Equity again, and have arranged 3 options.

Option 1   ( 3 nights )     – Travel by coaches leaving from Nottingham & Derby early Thurs 30.05

via Dover / Calais.

Stay in de Rjiper Hotel in Eilenden ( 30 minutes from Amsterdam )

Perform in Einkhauzen (by the Zuyder Zie ) Fri 31st May

Perform in Amsterdam Sat 1st June

Return Sunday 2nd June.

Option 2 ( 4 nights )       – As above but with an extra night for a free day in Amsterdam.

Return Monday 3rd June.

This Option is dependent on sufficient participants to fill a coach.

Supplement of £83

Option 3 ( 3 nights ) – Own travel arrangements to and from hotel, otherwise as Option 1.

Includes coach provision for internal journeys.

( NB Eilenden is about 40 minutes taxi from Schipol Airport.)

Prices – Option 1 – not more than £405

Option 2 – not more than £485

Option 3 – not more than £355

Final prices depend on number of participants.

Some single rooms are available for a supplement.  Non -singing partners are welcome.

This trip will be run by Nottingham Music Enterprises – we have formed our own company!

Equity are asking for the first £50 deposit by April 2018.

If you would like to  register for this trip please let me know.

Send a cheque payable to ,Nottingham Music Enterprises’ for £50 to Nottingham Music Enterprises to:-

Adrian Benselin, 3, Maylands Avenue, Breaston, Derbyshire DE72 3EE

Once we have bank a/c details confirmed for bank transfers we will let you know.

There are pictures attached of the performance venues and the hotel at the bottom of this email.


Events in UK 2018

Please can you let me know if you are interested in taking part in either / both these events, and I will send more information.

Taster Day – Sunday 22nd April – St Benedict’s School Derby DE22 1JD

10.30 – Registration – singers & players to rehearse separately

1.00 – lunch ( not provided )

1.45 – All participants to rehearse together

5.00 – Workshop ends.


The cost will be £10  to cover expenses.

Tea & Coffee during the day will be provided


Choral Weekend  – Saturday 8th Sept – St Benedicts, Derby DE22 1JD

                                    Sunday 9th – Albert Hall Nottingham – workshop followed by a performance.

                                     details to follow

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Jenny – NME Administrator


New competition for young musicians in the East Midlands – the winner!

Emily Hodkinson pictured with John and Barbara Beaumont.

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.

Bucket Surprise!


The collection at Bingham & District Choral Society Carol Concert raised £976.55 (including Gift Aid) for Framework the charity that raises funds to help homeless people in Nottinghamshire.

Pictured is our Musical Director (Guy Turner) clearly surprised (and no doubt delighted) at the success of the collection taken at the end of the concert.  Guy thanks all those that gave generously to support this worthwhile charity.



Barber of Seville

Event, News

Swansea City Opera tour a fully produced opera each year – in 2018 we are touring Barber of Seville, and we have performances scheduled across the UK, including Mansfield, 25/03/2018.

Each year, we offer the opportunity for a local choir to join us to support our professional cast.

The 2018 production of Barber of Seville by Rossini will be sung in English in our own translation and set in late 18th Century Spain and our design features fantastical and exaggerated costumes highlighting the humour of the opera. This will be a revival of the production originally staged in 2011 and will feature a full professional cast and orchestra of 10 musicians.

The choir will be involved in:

  • the beginning as musicians with Fiorello. Although all the choruses are only written for men we will rewrite the parts for SATB and costume the choir in masks and domino costumes so the ladies can be involved as well. Because of restrictions on space on the set, we anticipate up to 16 members of the choir will be on stage in this scene and the remainder will sing off stage. It would be an advantage if the choir members could provide an old instrument to pretend to play!
  • the Finale at the end of Act I as policemen and general crowd of both sexes, and the parts will be rewritten for SATB.
  • at the very end of the opera, again as a crowd of both sexes and the parts will be rewritten for SATB.

We anticipate having a maximum of 20 choir members on stage in the Finale of Act 1 and the end of the opera, with the facility for any additional choir members to sing off stage. All costumes will be provided – but we will ask you to provide your own footwear.

We will provide the translation and music, and will post sound clips on Soundcloud for you to listen to and learn from. Once again, we will offer 2 supported rehearsals nearer the date with our Musical and Choir Directors, along with a final rehearsal in the afternoon of the performance date.

I would be delighted if at this stage, you would consider supporting us. If so and you are able to help us with more than one performance, please do let us know – it would be lovely if all the hard work put in could be expressed on more than one occasion. I have attached the tour schedule for your information.

We would appreciate a response either way as it is a condition of our Arts Council England funding that we update date them with those choirs taking part.

Best wishes,

Dorothy Haines – on behalf of Swansea City Opera

029 20 397 341

Cropwell Bishop Singers are very keen to find a new accompanist


Cropwell Bishop Singers are very keen (not quite desperate!) to find a new accompanist as our present incumbent wants to retire in the summer.

Are you, or do you know, a competent pianist who would like to help us?

We are a village choir of a not particularly high standard singing popular music from shows, films, even the hit parade! We do it for fun and have 2 or 3 local concerts per year.

Unfortunately, we cannot afford to pay (!) but we could find reasonable travel expenses, but the lucky person would be guaranteed lots of fun!

Contact Derek Tabron (through BDCS or: 0115 989 4836, 07726 152 282,


Singing the Verdi Requiem in France – June 2017


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 leads a Singing Day for Bingham Choir


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.

John Rutter with (l-r) Joanna Bennett, Alexia Doyne-Ditmas, Anna Wood and Molly Barker from The Minster Girls’ Choir

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.

Feedback from the John Rutter singing day

John Rutter at the BDCS Singing Day

“It was a real privilege to have the chance to sing with John Rutter; he is a superb facilitator and raconteur as well as an outstanding musician, and he is so right that people rarely get the chance just to sing good music, not prepare for a performance!  His suggestions for improvement were so well paced and mostly limited to the morning when we could all expect to be fresher.  And the Hallelujah chorus after lunch is the best solution I’ve come across to what I have usually heard described as ‘the graveyard slot’!”

“I am dropping you a note to say thank you to you and to everyone in the Bingham Choral Society for organising the wonderful day we all enjoyed so much last Saturday. I have sung many Rutter works over the years including his Gloria and Requiem but had never had the opportunity to experience working with him or to be able to thank him for the joy he has given. Sadly, my husband died at the end of July last year and I chose The Lord Bless You and Keep You as the choir anthem for his funeral, it was very special and very poignant when we sang it on Saturday.”

“Just a note to say thank you to all concerned for the John Rutter singing day on Saturday.  It was a wonderful day when if we weren’t singing we were smiling.  So uplifting!