Open Forum 8th November 2016



Bruce Hebbard opened the meeting by asking the members what type of choir do we want to be and how do we get there?

AD presented a paper to the Choir with his reflections

  • He had received many excellent tributes to the Choir over the year – “best concert” – “best choir” – “uplifting to the soul”.
  • Most members appreciated the number of concerts given and the variety of genres
  • A whole year of music has been chosen – this gives members an opportunity to look at what will be performed beforehand and be familiar with the piece(s).
  • AD’s believe is that membership of the choir should result in taking part in the whole programme over the year.
  • We all have different tastes but as a teacher he feels his responsibility is to introduce the members to a variety of musical styles.
  • He also feels that exposure to one style can assist performing another better – for example coping with jazz rhythms can help singing Bach better.
  • Good suggestions had come from the soprano reviews – and enthusiasm has been a key-note of the comments made.
  • He feels however that we spend too much time note bashing and that this should be the case only for 2 – 3 rehearsals and that after that time should be devoted to polish and interpretation.
  • The natural expectation of this is that members will do homework to learn the notes.
  • He hopes that we don’t just accept a lower standard and that we have an aspiration to achieve better and better things.
  • We also need to communicate more with the audience.
  • Many excellent things are happening but there is improvement that can be achieved.
  • In summary:
  • Know the notes sooner
  • Listen to recordings and practice
  • Look up more
  • Listen in rehearsals and don’t talk
  • Be quicker on the up-take


The full text will be made available on the members section of the website.

Contributions from the floor

  • Notice of the yearly programme was welcomed
  • Concern was expressed at the size of the choir and whether this was compatible with being a chamber choir
  • Singing scrambled would make individual learning more important
  • Singing part of the programme in smaller groups could be considered.
  • Learning part of the programme off by heart would promote better communication with the audience.
  • “You should have the score in your head, not your head in the score”.
  • The librarian has trouble sourcing music for 45 when the normal bundle is 40.
  • The size of the choir has to vary depending on the nature of the music and the venue.
  • Members should be asked not to sing if they are not competent in performing.
  • There should be a minimum attendance at rehearsals.
  • Concern was expressed at the scheduling of concerts and the time available for practice.
  • Learning material at home is no substitute for practicing it together.
  • Music should be rehearsed in the manner in which it will be performed.
  • It was felt that 2/3 rehearsals should be spent learning notes and that after that there was a personal responsibility for home learning.
  • There was general approval for the protocol of Andrew advising members that they should not take part in a concert if not competent to sing the music.
  • The difficulties associated with Tuesday concerts on a working day was raised – Committee will look at this.
  • The meeting welcomed the fact that Andrew has ambitions for the Choir and seeks further improvement.