Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ring out, wild bells...

We had an extra, and not entirely welcome member join the Chorale this week. The fire alarm of Northcliffe Church decided to get in on the act and upstage our rehearsals. After trying valiantly to out-sing the shrill bleeping in a completely different key, everyone breathed a sigh of relief when, after opening the doors to dispense the smell of burnt toast, it shut up and we could continue in peace.

We've now covered the majority of the pieces that will make up our version of Messiah, though I'll admit that I'm looking forward to the first time we run the Hallelujah chorus, (yes THAT Hallelujah chorus) as it's the only piece I'd heard of before we started rehearsals!

Tickets for the concert have been released (31st March, at Bradford Cathedral with the Reg Vardy Band) so if you'd like to come along, contact any member of the Chorale, or e-mail the website.

We have a break from Handel next week, as we start on the music for the following concert, including Faure's Requiem.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Far too many notes for my taste...*

This Tuesday saw the Chorale's first rehearsal in our new home at Northcliffe Church, where the higher ceiling meant we lost the echoing acoustic of our old rehearsal space and sounded less like we were singing in the bathroom! We had some additional members this week for Messiah and it was great to see a couple of extra men (although we could always do with more, so if you sing tenor or bass and fancy singing with us check the website, for details.)

I have to admit, I began to feel slightly out of my depth this week with a couple of the pieces we rehearsed. There's so many long runs of notes that if I didn't really concentrate it was easy to completely lose track of where we were (and my rubbish sight-reading was no help at all). Paul's solution to fudged entries - lose the words - and suddenly it made more sense, made us all sound slightly mad, using 'be' throughout, but it really helped to get to grips with some of the tricky phrasing without worrying if everyone was getting their p's in the right places. Thankfully, 'For we like sheep' is one of the harder pieces we're doing in this version of Messiah.

Speaking of which, we found out the running order of pieces that will make up our Messiah, so the mild panic I felt when I read the listings page (53 pieces!) calmed as we're doing 13 of them.

*  I am joking, Handel knew what he was doing...

Friday, 13 January 2012


The Chorale's lovely Publicity department has just sent through these photos of The Bradford Chorale's busy Christmas. (Thanks Louise)

Singing at the Bradford Industrial Museum.

Entertaining diners at the Morrisons' Christmas Dinner.

The grand finale: the Christmas concert at Victoria Hall, Saltaire
with the City of Bradford Brass Band.

New Year, New Music, New Blog

 There's something about Christmas that demands a choir. Like mince pies and mulled wine, choral Christmas music just sounds Right. Which meant The Bradford Chorale had a very busy festive season, with 5 carol singing events and our own Christmas concert. With the amazing City of Bradford Brass Band, the audience's generosity meant we raised a fantastic £4oo for Marie Curie Cancer Care. And, on a personal level, it was the first time I'd heard a brass band play live and was just brilliant.

After a short Christmas break, this Tuesday saw the Chorale ready to face our new pieces, Faure's Requiem, Handel's Messiah and pieces from the book of European Sacred Music, in preparation for our next 2 concerts. The first of which is Handel's Messiah (with added brass band, this time from The Reg Vardy Band) on 31st March at Bradford Cathedral.

The first few rehearsals of any piece are mainly note-bashing, but the Messiah is one of those that many members have sung before, so (as a first-timer) I was surprised at how good it sounded on the first run through. Another surprise was that it's all in English! That'll teach me for not looking at my music before rehearsals, but there we are. No obscure Latin phrasing to try and get my head (and voice) around!

Next week we move from Saltaire Methodist Chapel to our new home at Northcliffe Church. There's loads more room, so if you fancy joining us for Messiah, please look at the website ( for details.