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The RLSBC is now recruiting new members!

The RLSBC is now recruiting new members!

Saturday 17th July 2021

Ever thought of joining a choir? Or taking up choral singing again after a break? Why not give us a try - the Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir has a reputation for being friendly and welcoming, as well as striving for the highest possible musical standards.

Experts agree that singing is good for you; it promotes physical and mental health, and is an excellent way of learning to focus and relax. Just what we all need after the stresses of a pandemic! Of course, there is the social side as well - in a choir, you are surrounded by like-minded people who share your love of singing.

The Bach Choir is actively seeking to increase its membership, as we launch an exciting new programme of music for the 2021-2022 season. Full details will be available on the website shortly, but we begin our season by singing Dan Forrest’s Jubilate Deo in October. There will be a concert of Christmas music in December, a programme of JS Bach motets and instrumental music in April, and the season will end with an Italian themed programme in June.

Following the relaxation of lockdown, in-person rehearsals will begin again on Wednesday July 21st, starting at 7:30pm, at All Saints’ Church, Emscote, CV34 5NJ. We will take a short summer break from August 18th, and then begin rehearsals for the new term on Wednesday September 1st. More details are available on our ‘Sing with Us’ page (Click Here). If you’d like to join us, over the summer or next term, you would be most welcome, but please do let us know in advance using the contact form (Click Here).

Melanie Forse, our Chairman, says: “The joy of singing together in person returns after an enforced break and we have missed it! If you love to sing, so do we. Please join us!”.

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What has the choir been doing during lockdown?

What has the choir been doing during lockdown?

Sunday 18th July 2021

It has been a really tough sixteen months for everyone… We have all missed doing the things we have always taken for granted - such as meeting together in person to sing.

The Bach Choir was in the midst of rehearsing for our 80th anniversary concert when the pandemic struck last March, and all live musical activities had to cease. We watched in dismay and disappointment as our plans for the rest of the season rapidly unravelled, including a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Coventry Cathedral, which was to have been the climax of our celebrations.

However, we were extremely fortunate that our new Musical Director Lee Dunleavy was more than willing to engage with the choir over Zoom - despite having met us only once! - and by the start of July 2020 we were singing again, albeit individually and online. It was a strange new experience for us all, and a steep learning curve for Lee, but he made it work and we were just grateful for the opportunity to sing and make contact with each other.

Of course the lockdowns, and the ban on singing together in person, lasted longer than any of us thought possible, and it is a huge credit to Lee and to our Chairman Melanie Forse that they managed to keep up our morale during the long winter months of isolation. We worked on a range of music in our Zoom rehearsals, from songs by Herbert Howells to motets by J S Bach. We had hoped we might at least be able to sing some of this music together, if not to a live audience, but it was not to be.

Meanwhile Lee, Melanie and the rest of the committee were working very hard behind the scenes, looking to the future. During lockdown, they have negotiated a new rehearsal venue for the choir, All Saints’ Church, Emscote, which is a light and airy space much more suitable for rehearsing in a post-Covid world. They have also been planning an exciting new season of concerts for 2021-2, full details of which will be published on the website shortly.

Finally, a subset of the choir got together under Lee’s direction at the beginning of July to record some music from Mozart’s Requiem, as part of Coventry’s ‘City of Culture 2021’ Phoenix City project. The recording will be used in the soundtrack for Duncan Whitley’s film (Click Here) which will be shown at the Herbert Gallery in the autumn, when the Turner Prize exhibits are displayed.

And as from Wednesday 21st July, we have been able to meet and sing together in person again - and it feels GREAT!!

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"Everything that I needed to know was explained to me, and I was introduced to some fellow sopranos who took me under their wings." Emma


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