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Autumn Newsletter 2018

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Friends

Autumn loveliness is upon us and a fresh new singing term has begun! We are working towards our Concert for Peace, with the wonderfully talented Helix Ensemble, which will take place on Saturday 10th November at 7.30pm at St Giles’ Church, West Bridgford, NG2 6AY. This will be an evening of British and European music, celebrating the end of WW1. As part of this concert, we will also be lucky enough to enjoy the dulcet tones of Mike Dewis, baritone, and the excellent harp playing of Heloise Davies.

Gerald Finzi’s Requiem da Camera (1924) will be one of the main pieces of the evening. Using texts by MasefieldHardy and Gibson, this emotive work reflects on a past English bucolic idyll, which so sharply contrasts with the sadness of war and the loss of all the men who had worked those fields.

Finzi’s elegiac style portrays the transient nature of life, through evocative melodies, clashing choral moments, and sudden rhythmic and pitch shifts for emotional impact. Having lost his father, his teacher (Ernest Farrar) and his three brothers during his youth, perhaps it comes as no surprise that Finzi’s music can be so heartfelt in its exploration of difficult themes.

We will also be performing Reconciliation from Ralph Vaughan Williams cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, part of which was written in 1911 and the remainder in 1936. This movement sets to music the poetry of Walt Whitman. The Choir, at points, echoes a baritone soloist, whilst the melodic, sweeping strings add to the emotional texture. This plea for peace leaves us with a striking image of bending over an open coffin to kiss the white face of the ‘enemy’, who, according to the narrator, is ‘a man divine as myself’.

Vaughan Williams and Finzi were friends, and another connection in our programme is that between Finzi and Ivor Gurney, whose piece Since I Believe in God the Father Almighty (1925) we will be performing.

Finzi and his wife, Joyce Black, did not meet Gurney but catalogued and edited all of his works. He studied under Stanford (who also taught Vaughan Williams) but suffered from mental health problems (bipolar disorder) and was also gassed during the war. He spent the last fifteen years of his life in psychiatric hospitals but, despite all of his struggles, he produced hundreds of poems, over three hundred songs and some instrumental music. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ seems particularly relevant here.

The motet which we will perform is for unaccompanied double choir, with words by Robert Bridges. An ambivalent relationship with God is explored - the writer believes in God but questions how anyone can know, or understand, Him. This possibly touched Gurney very deeply, as he struggled in his ‘hours of anguish and darkness’, wrestling with ideas of God, beauty and freedom. The image of the ‘tortured artist’ seems particularly relevant here as the music definitely seems to reflect inner struggles, with its haunting melodies, clashing chords and tonal jumps.

Another treat for tenor, choir and orchestra is the Vieille prière bouddhique, a work by Lili Boulanger (who died in 1918 at the age of twenty-four), composed between 1914 and 1917. The text, a ‘prayer for the whole universe’, is an excerpt from the Buddhist Visuddhimagga, translated into French by Suzanne Karpelès, and takes the form of an Eastern incantation, utilising solemn chanting and humming, flute and tenor solos and ending with a grand, almost operatic flourish. Boulanger weaves voices and orchestra together, using some clever counterpoint, and she creates mysterious, hypnotic effects, with harmonic changes producing exotic tones.

Songs published in 1911 by George Butterworth, setting some texts from A. E. Housman’s collection of poems, A Shropshire Lad (1887), completes our varied programme. Butterworth, who was also good friends with Vaughan Williams, was shot by a sniper in 1916 and this fact enhances the poignancy and tragically prophetic nature of some of the pieces.

These lyrical and emotive songs are not to be missed. The evening is sure to be a moving and memorable one, and it would be lovely to see you all there.

Tickets are available from:

They are priced at £15 (centre), £12 (side aisles) and £5 for students.

We appreciate your support and wish you a happy Autumn!

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 12-Oct-18 12:51

Summer Newsletter 2018

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Warm greetings to you all!

Spring is finally here and, with renewed vigour, the Choir is busy practising some beautiful pieces for the June concerts. What a contrast this is to the extremely cold and snowy evening in March when our last concert took place in St Barnabas Cathedral!

The programme was made up of three devotional pieces of a very contrasting nature. The first item was the performance of four motets by Anton Bruckner, full of rich, sonorous harmonies. This was followed by the wonderful Festival Anthem by Gerald Finzi, Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice, which portrays the liturgical drama of the Eucharist.

The Choir gave a particularly moving performance of this piece, as did the three soloists taken from the Choir, Sue JollyMatt Burton and Theo Drabble. Finally, the Choir performed the wonderful Requiem by Maurice Duruflé. Based on the Gregorian Chant themes of the Mass of the Dead, this is Duruflé’s most famous composition and sets a mood of rest and tranquility with its lovely ethereal sonorities.

The Choir was ably accompanied by Michael Overbury on the organ. He also played a magnificent French piece by Messiaen - Apparition de l’Eglise Eternelle. We are very grateful to those of you who braved the elements to attend and we hope to see you at the Summer Concerts. (Thank you to Angela for the concert review) 

Returning to Spring warmth and joining us in June, we have two very talented soloists - both finalists in the 2017 Nottingham Young Musician of the Year.

On Saturday 23rd June, our guest soloist will be Reuben Tendler (French Horn) playing, amongst other pieces, Alan Abbott’s Alla Caccia and Melodie no.1 by Rubinstein

On Saturday 30th June, we will be welcoming the harpist, Bethany Caswell, who will be playing several delightful pieces, including Harpicide at Midnight by Pearl Chertok and Guridi’s Viejo Zortzico. We are all looking forward to hearing these two amazing young performers - book your tickets soon! 

The Choir will also be singing some exciting songs - we have a Stanford selection, including the beautiful Blue Bird but we will also be dipping a toe into the worlds of French Renaissance drinking songs and Swedish folksongs…

Another highlight, especially if you enjoy Eric Whitacre’s compositions, is his work Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine, with a libretto bréve by Charles Anthony Silvestri and Italian fragments taken from the notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci himself. This challenging, but very rewarding, piece paints a colourful, dynamic picture of Leonardo’s journey towards conquering gravity, whilst ‘tormented by visions of flight and falling’. Numerous voice parts interweave, creating a rich, colourful texture which reaches a dramatic climax in the middle of the piece as Leonardo ‘takes one last breath, and leaps’!

Tickets for both concerts are priced at £8.00 (£5.00 for full-time students under 21) and are available from Sandra Wakefield on 0115 9606236, or from the Sinfonia Chorale website.

We hope to see you in June and thank you so much for your continued support!

Here’s to a music and sun-filled summer!

Sinfonia Chorale

Created: 12-Oct-18 12:45

Winter Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Following a wonderful concert in October, (Mozart's Requiem, which some of you may have attended and, hopefully, enjoyed) we are now hard at work preparing for our joyful Christmas Carol Concerts! Please join us at Patchings Farm Arts Centre on Sunday, 10th December at 7.30pm (tickets £8.50) or at St Simon and St Jude’s ChurchRainworthat 7.30pm on Tuesday12th December (tickets £5.00). It would be lovely to see you for some festive fun - audience participation and tasty mince pies are included at no extra cost! Tickets for the Patchings concert are available in advance from Patchings. Tickets for the Rainworth concert are available in advance from Amanda Lees on 0115 9652946 or through PayPal on our website. There is also the option of purchasing tickets on the door for both concerts, but these events do tend to sell out…!

In addition, our hugely popular Come and Sing event will be taking place on Saturday20th January 2018 at St Michael and All Angels ChurchBramcoteNottingham, from 9am until 5pm. We will be singing the much-loved Duruflé Requiem and several Bruckner Motets, directed by the ever-professional and enthusiastic Richard Roddis. It’s a mere £20.00 for the whole day, or £25.00 if you would like a delicious lunch, too! Please see our website for booking forms.

If the Come and Sing inspires you, please come to our performance of the Duruflé Requiem at St Barnabas CathedralDerby RoadNottingham, on SaturdayMarch 3rd2018, at 8.00pm (tickets £12.00). It should be a memorable evening of beautiful music. We look forward to seeing you there and at our other events.

Best wishes from your friends in Sinfonia Chorale, and thank you for your continued support and interest in the Choir.

The Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:40

Autumn Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the 2017/18 season of Sinfonia Chorale.

We hope that despite the very mixed weather, you have all had a relaxing summer and are now looking forward to an exciting season of concert going.

Having thoroughly enjoyed our 50th Anniversary celebrations, the choir are now preparing for the new season.

Our first concert is on SaturdayOctober 14th at St John’s ChurchMansfield Road, Carrington, at 7.30pm. We shall be performing Mozart’s Requiem along with other choral items. The Requiem will be accompanied by piano duet in a transcription made by the great pianist and piano teacher Carl Czerny.

The pianists will be Gill Bithel and Beate Toyka who will also perform Schubert's Fantasie in F minor.

Tickets are £12 (£5 for students) and will be available from Sandra Wakefield Tel: 0115 9606236, via the website or on the door, subject to availability.

Looking further ahead, our Christmas concert at Patching's Farm Arts CentreCalverton will take place on SundayDecember 10th at 7.30pm. Tickets for this will be available from their website.

The following TuesdayDecember 12th at 7.30pm we shall give a carol concert at the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude, Rainworth.

As usual, we start the New Year with our annual Come and Sing event. This will be held at Bramcote Parish ChurchNG9 3HD on SaturdayJanuary 20th. The main work for study will be the Duruflé Requiem.

As usual, this work will form the centrepiece of our Spring Concert, along with pieces by Bruckner and Finzi, which will be held on SaturdayMarch 3rd at St. Barnabas CathedralDerby RoadNottingham at 8.00pm.

We hope that you will find this an interesting programme for the season and we look forward to your continued support.

The Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:40

Summer Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Well, the end of our 50th Anniversary year is rapidly approaching, but what a fabulous year it has been!

Starting in November, we performed Richard Roddis’s own composition Lauda Creatoris. What an exciting work this proved to be! This was followed by our two Annual Christmas events in December at Patchings Art Centre and West Bridgford Methodist Church. In January we held an extremely well-supported Come and Sing/Play workshop when we studied Bach’s magnificent B Minor Mass.

The performance of this monumental work in Southwell Minster in March was the highlight of our year.

Under Richard’s excellent direction and supported by the Baroque Ensemble, led by Nicolette Moonen, the choir gave one of its most memorable performances. We all felt that it had been a privilege to be a part of such an event and judging from the many comments and tweets from the audience, they too felt it had been a very special occasion.

So now we reach our Summer events which bring our anniversary year to a close.

Sing Joyfully is the title of our concert on June 17th, at St Jude’s Church Woodborough Road, Mapperley, NG3 5HE at 7.30pm.

This will be a re-union event and we shall welcome back some of our former members. The programme will include some of the choir’s favourite pieces, both sacred and secular.

There will be English madrigals, including the Silver Swan and Hark, all ye lovely Saints above, Tudor Anthems Sing Joyfully and If ye love Me, European Sacred music Locus Iste and Crucifixus. From the twentieth century repertoire we have part of the G Minor Mass by Vaughan WilliamsThe Hymn to St. Cecelia by Benjamin Britten as well as pieces by Eric Whitacre, and arrangements by Richard Roddis – an altogether eclectic mix!

Tickets are £10 (£5 for students) and are available from Sandra Wakefield, Tel: 0115 960 6236, the Sinfonia Chorale website or at the door.

On the following day, Sunday June 18th we are performing for Waterworks – a charity providing clean water and hygienic sanitation systems in Malawi. This concert will be an hour long and will take place in Oxton Village Hall at 2pm. Admission is free but there will be a retiring collection.

As this season ends we are, of course planning the next. Our first concert of the 2017/18 season is at St John’s Church, Carrington on Saturday October 14th at 7.30pm. This will be a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in the Czerny piano arrangement for Piano Duet. Tickets are £12 (£5 for full time students) and will be available from the usual outlets.

As always, we are extremely grateful for your continued support and we hope you have enjoyed celebrating our 50th Anniversary with us.

We look forward to seeing you at our future concerts.

The Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:39

Spring Newsletter 2017

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Preparations are fully underway for Sinfonia Chorale’s forthcoming 50th Anniversary Concert on Saturday 11th March at 7.30pm in Southwell Minster NG25 0HD. This performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor promises to be one of the highlights in the musical calendar for 2017. It is a monumental composition which never fails to inspire the listener.

We have a magnificent line-up of soloists along with the Baroque Ensemble (Leader Nicolette Moonen). As usual, the Conductor will be Richard Roddis.

Tickets priced at £15£12 and £10 (restricted view) available from:-

  • Sandra Wakefield Tel: 0115 9606236
  • The Cathedral Shop ,Southwell Tel: 01636 812933
  • Sinfonia Chorale website
  • Sinfonia Chorale Choir Members

Tickets for full time students U21 are £5.00

As usual, we look forward to seeing you there.

Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:38

Winter Newsletter 2016

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Sinfonia Chorale’s 50th anniversary year began with a superb concert at St. Giles’ Church, West Bridgford. The main work in the programme was Lauda Creatoris, composed by our Musical Director, Richard Roddis. This was very well received by both audience and choir alike.

Now, of course, rehearsals are in full swing for our Christmas performances.

On Sunday, December 11th the choir will be singing at Patchings Farm Arts Centre, Calverton NG14 6NU. Details and tickets for this are available from Patchings Tel: 0115 9653479 or from their website.

The following TuesdayDecember 13th we shall be singing at West Bridgford Methodist Church, Musters Road NG2 7PQ starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 and £5 for full-time students, available from Sandra Wakefield, Tel 0115 9606236, Jayline, Tudor Square, West Bridgford or from the Sinfonia Chorale website.

At this concert there will be a retiring collection in support of the Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People.

The programme will contain the usual mix of Carols old and new, along with readings and, of course, audience participation.

The first event in 2017 is the Come and Sing/Play led by Richard Roddis and Nicolette Moonen. This will take place on Saturday January 21st, commencing at 10.00am and concluding at 5.00pm. The venue is Bramcote Parish Church,NG9 3HD. We shall be studying Bach’s Mass in B Minor. The cost for the day is £20 (£25 with a hot lunch)

Information and booking forms are available from the Sinfonia Chorale website.

Anyone who has been to these workshops before knows what stimulating and satisfying occasions they are, so we do hope you will come and join us.

On 11th March 2017 we have our major celebration concert in the magnificent surroundings of Southwell Minster. We shall be performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

The soloists will be: 

  • Soprano - Lisa Cassidy
  • Countertenor - William Purefoy
  • Tenor - James Gallimore
  • Bass - Michael Dewis

The Baroque Ensemble will be led by Nicolette Moonen.

Tickets are priced at £15, £12 and £10 and will be available in January from the usual outlets.

Do come and join us for what promises to be an exciting event. It will be a great opportunity to hear this magnificent piece performed with the kind of resources that Bach himself would have used – a chamber-sized choral group accompanied by Baroque instruments.

As usual we thank you for your continued support and hope to see you at our future concerts.

We wish you a Happy Christmas and send our best wishes for 2017.

Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:14

Autumn Newsletter 2016

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

Once again the summer holidays are over and the new season of Autumn activities are upon us.

This 2016/17 season will be a particularly exciting one for Sinfonia Chorale as we celebrate 50 years of choral music making.

We have three major concerts which offer a wide range of varied choral music.

The first of these concerts is at 7.30pm on Saturday, 12th November 2016 at St Giles Church, West Bridgford, NG2 6AX.

The main work is a composition entitled Lauda Creatoris by our own Musical Director, Richard Roddis. It was originally composed for the 50th Anniversary of the Derby Bach Choir where it was extremely well received. The work celebrates all Creation through the words of the Canticle of St. Francis and the writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins. For this second full performance of his work, Richard has re-arranged the orchestral score for two pianos.

The soloists are Natalie Windsor (Soprano) and Dana de Waal (Baritone), with pianists Michael Overbury (our new accompanist) and Clive Pollard.

Also in the programme will be performances of some of Handel’s Coronation Anthems including the ever popular Zadok the Priest.

Ticket prices are £10 (£5 for all full-time students) and are available via the website or from Sandra Wakefield (Tel:- 0115 9606236)

Our annual Christmas Concert at Patchings Farm Arts Centre, Calverton, NG14 6NU (from where tickets will be available) takes place on Sunday, December 11th at 7.30 pm.

On Tuesday, December 13th at 7.30pm our second Christmas Concert will be held at West Bridgford Methodist Church, Musters Road, NG2 7PQ. There will be a retiring collection in aid of Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People.

Tickets at £8 (£5 for all full-time students) will be available from Sandra Wakefield (Tel:- 0115 9606236) and the website.

As usual, the programmes for both these events will include new and traditional music and readings.

On Saturday, January 21st 2017, from 10am to 5.00pm our annual Come Sing and Play event will be held at Bramcote Parish Church, NG9 3HD. We shall be studying Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the day will be directed jointly by Richard Roddis and Nicolette Moonen.

Those who have attended our workshops in the past will know how exciting and exhilarating these days are. The cost of the day will be £20 (£25 with lunch).

Information and booking forms are available from our website.

Sinfonia Chorale thoroughly enjoys singing Baroque music, particularly when accompanied by authentic instruments. It is very fitting that we should celebrate our anniversary by performing what many consider to be J.S. Bach’s masterpiece, his magnificent B Minor Mass, in the glorious setting of Southwell Minster, NG25 0HD on Saturday, March 11th at 7.30pm.

The soloists will be:

  • Lisa Cassidy (Soprano)
  • William Purefoy (Counter-tenor)
  • James Gallimore (Tenor)
  • Michael Dewis (Bass)

The Baroque Ensemble will be led by Nicolette Moonen and the performance will be directed by Richard Roddis.

Ticket prices will be £15, £12, and £10 (£5 for all full time students)

They will be available from Sandra Wakefield (Tel:- 0115 9606236) and on the website nearer the time.

The conclusion to our celebrations will be a concert at St. Judes’ Church, Woodborough Road, Mapperley, NG3 5HE to be held on Saturday, 17th June at 7.30 pm.

This will be in the nature of a reunion with a programme chosen by Members both past and present

The culmination of the evening will be a performance of Thomas Tallis’ 40 part motet Spem in Alium.

Tickets for this concert will be £10 (£5 for full time students)

More details about the programme will be available in subsequent newsletters.

We are anxious to trace as many past Members as possible, so if you (or anyone you know) sang with the choir, please let our Secretary, Diane Roberts have the details via e-mail.

We do hope you will join us for our special celebrations and we look forward to seeing you at the concerts.

The Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:13

Summer Extra Newsletter 2016

News from The Sinfonia Chorale
The Sinfonia Chorale

Dear Subscriber,

We are fast approaching the final two concerts of Sinfonia Chorale’s 2015/16 season.

On Saturday, June 25th, the choir will perform at Linby Parish church at 7.30pm and on July 9th the final concert will be at West Bridgford Methodist Church.

We shall be performing a variety of pieces, most of them inspired by William Shakespeare whose 400th anniversary we celebrate this year. His words have been set by numerous composers over the years and our programme includes a wide ranging selection, both serious and humorous. There are part songs by 19th century composers such as Charles Wood and George Macfarren and contemporary settings by Christopher Brown and Gyögy Orbán. The programme also includes selections from Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story inspired, of course, by Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.

Our guest artist at Linby is the talented young Tuba player, Harry Smith

Harry was the Brass Finalist in the Nottingham Young Musician Competition 2015. He will be performing two movements from Edward Gregson’s Tuba Concerto, as well as Galop by Gordon Jacob and Czardas by Monti

At our West Bridgford concert we are delighted to welcome back the Saxophonist Alistair Parnell as our guest artist.

Tickets for the Linby concert are £8 (£9 if purchased on the door) students £5 and under 16 free.

Tickets for West Bridgford are £10, and £5 for students under 21.

Tickets for both concerts are available from Sandra Wakefield Tel 0115 9606236 or via the website.

As usual we thank you for your continued support and hope that you are able to come to one of these concerts. If not, we hope you have an enjoyable summer and that you will be able to support us next season in our 50th Anniversary events.

The Sinfonia Chorale


Created: 16-Nov-17 17:13
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