Come & Sing – Fauré Requiem and Rutter Anthems

For those interested, this is Saturday 11 July at St Anne’s Church on Western Road in Lewes.  Peter Farrant will run a workshop for singers, beginning at 2.00pm, followed by a performance of Faure’s Requiem at 7.45pm.

(Friends’ Fabric Fund to benefit.)

For bookings and/or further information call 01273 475201.



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Madrigal Mayhem for Women Only!

A message from Conductor/Singer Ruth Kerr:
Madrigal Mayhem and A Capella Camaraderie!
I invite you to take part in a morning workshop devoted to the discovery and enjoyment of unaccompanied choral part-singing – women only!  Some singing experience would be useful, but we will take our time learning the notes.  I intend to look at music ranging from 16th century madrigals, via romantic part-songs, through to close-harmony barbershop-style repertoire – something for everyone!  All the music will be unaccompanied (a cappella) so you will be singing in 3- and 4-part harmony… possibly more!

Here are the details:

10.30am – 1pm
,  Sunday June 21st
St John-Sub-Castro Church Hall, Talbot Terrace, Lewes
£15 including coffee and biscuits 

To book a place please email me ( or call (01273 472867).
Hope you can make it!
All warmest wishes,


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Strike It Up, Tabor by Thomas Weelkes

taborThomas Weelkes (1576-1623) was an English composer and organist at Chichester Cathedral. He wrote mostly vocal music, including many madrigals. The Oxford Book of English Madrigals has more songs by Weelkes than any other composer.
For a church organist he appears to have been quite an unruly character. In spite of that, he remained in this post until his death. He was once fined for urinating on the Dean from the organ loft during Evensong.  So….a sense of humour, then.

The tabor is a drum, as shown in the photo.

Don’t worry about the geography of the piece yet. We’ll work that out in one of our sessions. Just learning notes and rhythms and familiarizing yourself with the text is enough for now.

AUDIO: All 3 Parts

Strike it up, Tabor_3Parts_P1
Strike it up, Tabor_3Parts_P2
Strike it up, Tabor_3Parts_P3

AUDIO: Soprano with Drum

Strike it up, Tabor_Sop

AUDIO: Alto with Drum

Strike it up, Tabor_Alto

AUDIO: Bass with Drum

Strike it up, Tabor_Bass

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Singing in the Rain!

Singing Rain

Hi Gang,
We have here a fun arrangement of Singing in the Rain, written by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed.  Remember when you’re learning this that the quavers are sung in a swing rhythm––not as straight quavers.  Listen to the audio and you’ll see what I mean.  We can talk about this more when we meet.
Download PDF score here
Looking forward to seeing most of you on Thursday!


AUDIO: All 3 Parts

Singing Rain_3parts_P1
Singing Rain_3parts_P2
Singing Rain_3parts_P3
Singing Rain_3parts_P4
Singing Rain_3parts_P5

AUDIO: Soprano

Singing Rain_Sop_P1
Singing Rain_Sop_P2


Singing Rain_Alto_P1
Singing Rain_Alto_P2


Singing Rain_Bass_P1
Singing Rain_Bass_P2

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Name That Tune, Too!

Here’s some more fun for those inclined towards musical puzzles.  Remember––––no cheating!  This is sight reading only.

Have fun and don’t forget our next meeting is this Thursday night, the 26th!

The PDF version to download and print out is here.

Name that Tune 2

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Soave sia il vento | A trio from Mozart’s opera, Cosí fan tutte


Greetings, Voiceworkers!

We’re tackling Wolfie Amadeus this week, so have a look and a listen and a sing through, if you have a few moments to spare.  It’s not long but it is in Italian and presents some challenges vocally.  I’ve put the Italian and its English translation at the bottom of this post.

Note: This is normally sung as a solo trio.  I have embedded a video from Glyndebourne’s 2006 production DVD below the parts.

PDF of all parts for download

Audio: 3 Parts

Soave sia il vento_3-parts_p1
Soave sia il vento_3-parts_p2
Audio: Soprano part

Soave sia il vento_sop
Audio: Alto part

Soave sia il vento_alto
Audio: Baritone part

Soave sia il vento_bar

Soave sia il vento,
Tranquilla sia l’onda,
Ed ogni elemento
Benigno risponda
Ai nostri {vostri) desir.

English translation:
Gentle is the wind,
Calm is the wave,
And every one of the elements
Answer warmly
To our (your) desire.

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Name that Tune!

name that tune gameshowFor those of you who weren’t at our last meeting I’m posting your homework assignment. DO NOT use a keyboard to help you with these.  This is a sight reading exercise.  Have fun with it and good luck.  Directly below is a link for those of you who wish to download and print the page.

Please feel free to leave us comments about this on the website, too!

Name that Tune!






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Wind and Unkind

a_right_easterly_wind_is_very_unkind_mousepad-r9359f1c04c17012f513c00ffb0cb9003_x74vi_8byvr_324 Hi All,

Following our lovely little discussion last evening about Shakespeare’s use of rhyme in Blow, blow, though winter wind, I’ve done a little bit of Googling.  The bottom line seems to be that in Shakespeare’s time the word wind was still pronounced with a long ‘i’ vowel (probably spelled wynde) a hangover from Middle English.

According to THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE by Charles Barber, Joan Beal, Philip Shaw:
“The word wind ‘moving air’ probably has its short vowel by analogy with words like windmill, where the third consonant prevented the lengthening from taking place.  In Middle English, wind normally had a long vowel, and as late as Shakespeare’s time it rhymed with kind: thus when Shakespeare writes, ‘Blow, blow, though winter wind/Thou art not so unkind’ he is not using an eye rhyme, but a genuine rhyme that no longer exists today.”Picture 009

There are modern days qualms about this, insisting that there is no reason for us to continue an archaic usage and simply treat this as a sight rhyme.

According to The Exciting World of Creative Writing by Ruth McDaniel
“Shakespeare’s uses of ‘wind’ and ‘unkind’ is an example of a sight rhyme.”

Both I find intriguing but let’s put it to a vote just for the sake of democracy.

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Thomas Arne’s “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind” — and how appropriate is that?


Greeting music lovers,

It’s time to shiver through a sweet and lively yet wintery new piece.  Aside from posting the graphics of the sheet music and the audio parts for you to listen to, I will also post PDFs of the sheet music (find links below parts) so you can download the lot and print it out if you so desire.  Ain’t I helpful?

I hope to see you all soon!


All 3 Parts Audio

Blow, Blow_3part_p1
Blow, Blow_3part_p2

Soprano Part Audio

Blow, Blow_Sop

Alto Part Audio

Blow, Blow_Alto

Baritone Part Audio

Blow, Blow_Bar

PDFs to download
Full Score
Soprano Part
Alto Part
Baritone Part

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Local events of interest!

hymnathonHi All,

I thought I would repost the local musical events that we announced at last session.
First the Hospice Hymnathon 2015.  It takes place Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 June 2015 at Lancing College Chapel.  It’s being produced by Friends of Sussex Hospices and is a very worthy cause.  Carol and I will not be involved but if any of you want to organize a group to go, that’s great.  There is more information in the link above.

I grew up singing hymns and love them dearly but unfortunately most of the notes lie in places that cause my voice some distress, so I respectfully beg off.

Lewes SingersThe Lewes Singers are performing the Vivaldi Gloria (by Candlelight!) on Sunday 21 December at 6pm at St. Michael’s Church on the High St in Lewes.  Nick Houghton is conducting and there is a small orchestra led by Julia Bishop.  This is a very fine amateur group and worth your time.  Further info in the link.

The East Sussex Community Choir and Orchestra (also Nicholas Houghton) will be performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio plus Christmas carols for choir and audience on Saturday 20th December at Lewes Town Hall at 7:30pm.  I know that several of you are involved in this which is great.  It’s a wonderful piece.

Carol says I should also tout the virtues of an upcoming concert that I am singing the solo tenor work in.  The East Sussex Bach Choir is performing C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat and the Haydn “Nelson Mass” at St John sub Castro on Saturday 6th December at 7:30pm.


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