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Summer Programme Announced - 'Summer by the Seaside'

Summer Programme Announced - 'Summer by the Seaside'

Saturday 13th March 2021

The Royal Leamington Spa Bach Choir goes to the seaside - musically and virtually, if not literally!

Many people will be thinking in terms of UK holidays this summer, so it is very appropriate that our Musical Director, Lee Dunleavy, has put together an appealing summer programme with a seaside theme. An Edwardian seaside, what is more, as all the pieces were composed around the turn of the 20th century, in the years leading up to the First World War. A timeline showing how all these composers fit into the framework of Sir Edward Elgar's lifetime is available via the document link below.

Our programme begins with a choral arrangement of Sir Edward Elgar’s much-loved Sea Pictures from 1899. Then comes Sea Drift by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912), whose best-known work Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast was performed by the choir in April 2017.

The next piece, To sea! the calm is o’er is by a little-known female composer, Florence Ashton Marshall (1843-1922). Florence wrote mainly songs and operettas, and with her husband worked on parts of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford(1852-1924) is best known to many singers today for his church music, but he also wrote orchestral and chamber works. His Songs of the Fleet dates from 1910. The programme ends with a piece by one of Stanford’s many pupils, John Ireland (1879-1962) - his Sea Fever has been arranged for choir by our very own Lee Dunleavy.

The choir is looking forward to learning these pieces during the summer term, and we fervently hope that we may be able to put on some sort of performance at the end of the term - whether to a live audience or as a recording, or by whatever means proves possible. We are so keen to share our music-making with a wider public once more!

DOWNLOAD Related Document (1.70Mb)

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A big “thank you” to the Town Council

A big “thank you” to the Town Council

Sunday 1st November 2020

We are delighted to announce that our choir has been awarded a community grant of £2,000 towards the costs of having our website professionally redesigned and redeveloped.

The Cultural and Community Committee of Royal Leamington Spa Town Council makes a number of grants each year towards projects which it considers are of benefit to the local community. As well as looking for projects which “support arts and cultural opportunities”, the Committee is also keen to support initiatives which “promote health and wellbeing”, “promote community spirit and cohesion” and “address social isolation and loneliness”. We all know that singing is good for your health and wellbeing, and in the dark days of the pandemic, we can also testify to the role of our ‘virtual’ rehearsals in helping members of the choir to feel less lonely and isolated.

So we are very grateful to the Town Council for awarding us this grant, and also very grateful to our Chair, Melanie Forse, for writing what was clearly a very eloquent and persuasive application! It is particularly important at the moment, with the prospect of another lockdown looming, for the choir to exploit all possible ways of making our members feel that they ‘belong’, and of sharing news and information with one another. The website is in effect our community space, during these strange times when we cannot meet in person. Soon, we hope, we will be able to start advertising our concerts and workshops again, and looking for new singers to join our ranks, and then the website will have another vital role to play, in bringing us to the attention of a wider audience and generating support for our activities.

Thanks to the generosity of the Town Council, we were fortunate in being able to engage a professional web designer to redevelop our site for us. We already had an excellent working relationship with Ed Holding of Creative Differences (Click Here), who designs our concert programmes, flyers and posters. When we discovered that Ed also designs websites, he was the obvious person for the job - although we did follow due process and invite tenders from other companies as well. The new site has been very well received, with many people commenting on its clarity and ease of use, and the eye-catching and pleasing design. It is also very important to us that the new site is technically reliable and easy to update. So a big “thank you” also to Ed for his hard work and design skills, and for being such a pleasure to work with!

The award of this grant from the Town Council has reinforced our sense of belonging to the local community in and around Royal Leamington Spa , and we hope it will not be long before we are to able to give something back to the community, by inviting you to enjoy our music again in person!

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