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RLSBC rehearsals go virtual

RLSBC rehearsals go virtual

Thursday 20th August 2020

Like other choirs all over the world, both amateur and professional, the RLSBC has been unable to meet in person to rehearse since lockdown began in March. However, this has not stopped us from singing, and over the month of July we have enjoyed four virtual rehearsals with our new Director of Music, Lee Dunleavy, courtesy of zoom technology.

It has to be said that it is a very strange experience: each singer is singing solo (in that they cannot hear the other members of the choir) but at the same time we are all singing together, led by Lee singing and playing the piano. Clearly these are not the conditions under which to attempt anything musically complex, so we have put aside our normal repertoire for the moment, and Lee has introduced us to some easy but attractive songs by the 20th century British choral composer Herbert Howells.

We have also taken the opportunity to work on technique, with some simple exercises that Lee has taught us. It has been good to sing again, and to get to know our new conductor, and it has also been very good to see and chat to other members of the choir (albeit on a screen), especially for those of our number who have been shielding or on their own during lockdown.

To put this work in context, Lee set up a series of four discussions with Howells experts up and down the country, to explore various aspects of the composer's music - not just the church music for which he is so well-known, but also his larger scale choral works, orchestral and chamber music. The talks have been fascinating and very informative, and have also had the added benefit of making us feel part of Lee’s wider family, as members of his other choirs (Northampton Bach Choir Click Here, Huntingdon Philharmonic Click Here and Wellingborough Singers Click Here) also joined in these online events.

We are lucky to have such an enterprising, energetic and well-connected Director of Music!

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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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