Friday, 25 November 2016

and the kiddies rush home with their presents.....

The Bradford Chorale will be holding their Autumn Fair tomorrow morning at Shipley Baptist Church. Doors open at 10.30. Lots of goodies available - would be nice to see you!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it....

Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag.

It was lovely to see Alex Woodrow again, and even better to hear him work magic on the cathedral organ.

Thankfully, the concert went better than rehearsal, the Mozart sounded musically confident and rhythmically together, and some of the Cathedral choir felt it went so well, they decided to join us for the Faure as well. The audience seemed to enjoy both pieces very much, and it was great to see so many people coming to join us for the first concert in our 40th anniversary season.

Onwards to Christmas! (only 4 weeks to go!)

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Close your eyes and count to ten...

The Chorale has a busy weekend ahead.

On Friday, we celebrate our 40th anniversary with a choir meal, welcoming back some former (and some founder) members to celebrate our years of music making.
Saturday afternoon sees a final rehearsal with the Cathedral choir, our returning singers and Mr Woodrow back on the Bradford Cathedral organ, before the concert in the evening.

Tickets will be available on the door, hope you see you there!

Friday, 28 October 2016

so time waits for no man

and no choir either.

Sorry, for the delay, we've had a couple of unsettled weeks at choir, with Jon unfortunately missing the last two rehearsals due to illness and a cathedral tour.

Thankfully, we have an excellent assistant director of music in Ian, so we've continued to get ready for the November concert,(now only 2 weeks away, eek!)

We've been putting up posters all over Shipley, Saltaire and Bradford, so keep an eye out for them. Alternatively, ticket details can also be found on the Chorale website

Sunday, 2 October 2016

You say Potato, I say Potahto....

Vowel sounds have become something of an issue over the last couple of weeks. There are a number of proud Yorkshire accents within the choir, but for the concert, a more unified (and slightly more RP) sound is being aspired to. Jon has us doing a range of exercises to try to unify the sound, and we're trying to listen more to each other. We'll get there.

In other news, I'm attempting to track down a recording of the Mozart to listen to during the week. All the ones on YouTube that I've found so far are taking stately to a new level, and I'm longing for a tempo dial to speed things up a bit! Any recommendations - let me know!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Easy as 1, 2, 3...

it's 3, 2, 1 that I was having problems with last week.

Jon had us doing a warm up which involved singing up a scale note by note, going up by one, then coming down, while singing the corresponding numbers. Sounds more complicated than it was, but I discovered that I can concentrate on getting the notes right, or getting the numbers right, but doing both was beyond me.

The Faure is coming on well, but I have to admit I'm a bit worried about the Mozart. There's simply so many notes, and there's so many runs in different places, that I'm struggling to get hold of which bit goes where. We have some time though, and I'm sure that there's a plan.

As they say in these parts,

Be Reet!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Thunderbolt and lightening...

.... very, very frightening. Or disconcerting at any rate.

Although the Chorale technically started rehearsals last week, this Tuesday was my first rehearsal of the new term. The weather certainly added an extra dimension to proceedings with powerful lightening strikes lighting up the windows, and thundering rain of biblical proportions sounding on the roof. I have to admit, it was a bit distracting, and my attention wandered a little.

Holidays are still playing a part on numbers, so parts weren't quite up to full volume, but we managed to make some decent sounding notes. As ever with first rehearsals there's a lot of work to do - especially with ironing out some of our Yorkshire vowels, which are proving a little problematic, let's say.

Also very pleased to discover that Alex Woodrow will be returning to the Chorale to play for the November concert. Our accompaniment is in safe hands!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Hello, is it me you're looking for?

Sorry this has taken so long, but it's taken a few weeks (and a rather protracted round of answerphone ping-pong) to get things finally settled.

Interviews and auditions for the Musical Director role were held a few weeks ago. It was odd being on the other side of the table for a change, asking the questions instead of trying to answer them, but the candidates acquitted themselves well, and the audition rehearsals, though very different in character, were equally inspiring. It's reassuring that musical leadership in the area is in such good hands for the next few years.

Every member of the Chorale was given a vote, and Jon Payne was elected to be our new Musical Director. Jon is taking up the role of Assistant Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral in September, and the Chorale looks forward to working with him in our 40th Anniversary season.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Heard it on the grapevine...

so Saturday's concert went very well, I'm told. The large audience were appreciative of the variety of music (and the afternoon tea), and the choir really enjoyed themselves. I'm very sorry to have missed it, though I was being kept informed with regular updates (although I'm protecting my source ;-) ).

We usually break for the summer holidays after the June concert, but this time we're continuing for a few weeks so we can hold an audition rehearsal for our candidates for the Musical Director role - fingers crossed it goes well! It's nice going back to the Faure Requiem, for possibly the first time ever, I'm not looking at the page and thinking 'no, don't remember any of this', but actually picking bits out that have clearly stuck from last time. We've only had one rehearsal, and we've got a long summer break coming up, so I'm not counting chickens, but......

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Just one of those things....

Very sad to be missing Saturday afternoon's concert - the music on Tuesday was sounding really beautiful, and I'm sure everyone is in for a treat.
Tickets still available  - details are on the poster, but will also be available on the door.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

There must be something in the air...

or maybe in the water around here, that's inspiring wanderlust.

Only a couple of months after Mr Eyre's departure, we learnt that Mr Alex will also be leaving Yorkshire for Birmingham, or Solihull to be precise. He will taking up the role of Head of Choral Music at Solihull School in September.

Alex has been a great friend to the Chorale over the last few years, playing for several of our concert endeavours - where his ability to play more notes at once than you'd think possible has been amazingly impressive. He's also taken rehearsals as needed, and of course, stepping in as our temporary MD since April.

Massive thanks, Alex, and very good luck for your new role!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

..and one man in his time, plays many parts

Life has gone a little bit crazy of late, and I'm quite sad that for the first time, I won't be able to take part in a choir concert, as I'm going to be away.

Rehearsals are going well, the music we're rehearsing really does have something for every taste, from Faure's Cantique de Jean Racine, to the haunting Long Day Closes, to the Rhythm of Life - and lots in between.

We're also inviting our audience to join us for an afternoon tea following the concert, so they'll be lots of time to chat, and weather permitting, enjoy the sunshine!

Tickets are available, see poster below:

Sunday, 24 April 2016

We are such stuff as dreams are made on...

The concert last Saturday went really well. Our orchestra were an amazingly talented group of people and really brought Bach's music to life. Our soloists were also on fine form, including those from the ranks of the choir, and the audience were very appreciative of our performance.

I've never had a concert go so quickly before, the interval came as a genuine surprise when I turned the page! The second half went just as well, and soon that was the end of several months worth of hard work and practice.

We waved Jonathan off to Chester with a small gathering after the concert, and on Tuesday started preparations for the summer concert. We are very pleased to be welcoming Alex Woodrow, Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral to act as our interim Musical Director until we appoint Jonathan's replacement. The music for summer is an eclectic collection of pieces, so a complete change from the Bach!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

It's now or never....

So that's it. Thankfully things have really come together since my last post. There are some really beautiful pieces of music in the St Luke, and it's a great feeling when everything comes together and it sounds amazing. Really looking forward to getting into the cathedral on Saturday and hearing the full orchestra play their period instruments. It's rare that the St Luke is performed, and it's shaping up to be a really great evening.

Tickets are still available, and will be available on the door - details on the website -

Saturday, 19 March 2016

It's just the way it is....

Rehearsal on Tuesday was hard work. We sang though the St Luke from beginning to end, getting a couple of bars entry and then going straight in. Some went well, some were more difficult, but overall, I think I'd underestimated the sheer about of singing it entails. I was flagging by the end.

We've got a few weeks to get more used to all the cues, so it'll be good getting everything coming all together - it's just going to be quite tiring getting there...

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


so some sad news to bring you up to date:

The Bach St Luke will be the last concert the Bradford Chorale is lead by Jonathan Eyre. After almost two years in charge of the Chorale, he leaves Yorkshire for a new role at Chester cathedral at Easter.

The concert is shaping up well, what we need to concentrate most on now we've got notes and words pretty much there, is listening to the bits that don't concern us, and fitting the jigsaw puzzle together.

Posters will be available (and distributed around the local area) soon, but you can still get tickets by visiting the Chorale website -

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Thank you for the music....

There's been a lot going on since I last posted, and Real Life has rather taken over.

Rehearsals for St Luke are well under way, and we've now got the majority of the notes (and most of the German) under our belts. There's still a fair way to go, but there's plenty of time yet.

Just before Christmas, the Chorale was thrilled to hear that our application for a grant from The Emerald Foundation had been accepted. Their support means that we will be joined for St Luke by the Manchester Baroque Soloists playing period instruments, and this rarely performed piece will sound as authentic as possible.

Tickets are already available - visit the Chorale website for further details.