Thank you all so much for your usual loyal support for the RSCM Festival at Birmingham Cathedral on 15 October. It was a splendid occasion with some 120 singers altogether, led by your stalwart efforts. The balance of parts was interesting to deal with but by all accounts the unorthodox seating arrangements ensured that the balance from the congregation’s perspective worked well.

You may be glad to hear that the RSCM Schools’ Festival which I led on Monday 17 October at St. Chad’s Cathedral also went very well: so a good result for the RSCM this year.

Thank you also for your excellent support one way and another for the Russian Choir visit on Tuesday / Wednesday this week. Those who very kindly offered accommodation for the group, helped feed them in church on Tuesday evening, those who came to support the concert and those who helped with front of house activities (tickets / refreshments / logistics etc.) displayed that camaraderie and pulling together which is such a hallmark of our music team. It’s a great reassurance to know what tremendous step-up-to-the-platers you are.

By the way, St. Mary’s Facebook Page has just had a comment from a visitor checking in:

“I was a choir boy (at St. Mary’s )1958/9 with Canon Cribb and Mr Fryer, the choirmaster. Ah! Happy, happy memories!”

It’s the team spirit that creates these happy memories. Mark and I have both replied to him inviting him to renew his acquaintance.

Now to the future: This is the time of year when, because of special services, the normal routine is subject to some changes.

SUNDAY 30 OCTOBER: Being a 5th Sunday (and All Saints’ Sunday) both choirs sing together this morning using Victoria’s “Gaudent in Caelis” which we sang at the RSCM Festival.

Thank you to the Robed Choir for also singing at the Memorial Service at St. Anne’s at 5:00 p.m. This will mean a lot to the bereaved families attending. There’s NO Evensong at St. Mary’s.

TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 4 NOVEMBER: There will be NO formal Robed Choir practice this evening as we will be taking out Michael and Lily Poppenburg (visiting from Frankfurt, Germany). They are 30+ years long-standing supporters of our choir, having been part of the Eschersheim Youth Choir with whom we were partnered for 20+ years. They still support us in very practical ways so it will be good to be able to repay this on Friday.

SUNDAY 6 NOVEMBER: Change of routine: 10:00 a.m.: SINGERS (plus our Junior Trebles) – 9:30 a.m. rehearse / 6:30 p.m.: Robed Choir Evensong – 5:30 p.m. rehearse

TUESDAY 8 NOVEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 10 NOVEMBER: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 11 NOVEMBER: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+)

SUNDAY 13 NOVEMBER: REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: Special service with representatives of the forces 10:00 a.m.: Robed Choir (including all Trebles)

Afternoon Workshop (Fauré Requiem): 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Joint Choirs + Visitors)

6:30 p.m. Evening Service for Remembrance Sunday (Joint Choirs + Visitors) with Fauré Requiem

TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+)

SUNDAY 20 NOVEMBER: (Change from normal routine): 10:00 a.m.: SINGERS 9:30 a.m. rehearse / 6:30 p.m.: Robed Choir 5:30 p.m. rehearse

TUESDAY 22 NOVEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 24 NOVEMBER: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 25 NOVEMBER: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+)

SUNDAY 27 NOVEMBER: ADVENT SUNDAY: (Change from normal routine): 10:00 a.m.: ROBED CHOIR 9:30 a.m. rehearse / 6:30 p.m.: MUSIC and READINGS for ADVENT: SINGERS rehearse 5:30 p.m.

TUESDAY 29 NOVEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 1 DECEMBER: 7:30 p.m.: SINGERS INVITED TO SHARE IN A BIRTHDAY NOSH AT PRIYA RESTAURANT instead of practice.

FRIDAY 2 DECEMBER: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+) followed at 7:30 p.m. by BIRTHDAY NOSH AT PRIYA RESTAURANT FOR ADULTS AND SPOUSES / PARTNERS.

SUNDAY 4 DECEMBER: 10:00 a.m.: ROBED CHOIR (and Juniors) – 9:30 a.m. rehearse / 6:30 p.m.: Robed Choir 5:30 p.m. Rehearse

TUESDAY 6 DECEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 8 DECEMBER: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 9 DECEMBER: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+) – followed by Carols at Kings Heath Lodge (including Trebles Y4+).

SUNDAY 11 DECEMBER: 10:00 a.m.: CONFIRMATION SERVICE with the Bishop of Birmingham: JOINT CHOIRS AND JUNIOR TREBLES – 9:20 a.m. Rehearse (Service followed by a Curry lunch in church at 12:30 p.m. Tell the office if you’d like to stay for lunch.)

6:30 p.m.: Robed Choir – 5:30 p.m. Rehearse

TUESDAY 13 DECEMBER: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 15 DECEMBER: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+)

SUNDAY 18 DECEMBER: (Change from normal routine): 10:00 a.m.: SINGERS (nativity service) – 9:30 a.m. rehearse / 6:30 p.m. Service of Lessons and Carols: Robed Choir – 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Rehearse, followed by tea (family volunteers to provide goodies?)

MONDAY 19 DECEMBER: ROBED CHOIR TO VICTORIA HALL, LEAMINGTON. Depart St Mary’s by cars at 8:00 p.m.

TUESDAY 20 DECEMBER: Last Normal junior Treble practice of the term 5:00 p.m. PARTY!

THURSDAY 22 DECEMBER: No Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 23 DECEMBER: No Robed Choir Rehearsal

SATURDAY 24 DECEMBER: CHRISTMAS EVE: 4:00 p.m.: JOINT CHOIRS rehearse for CHRISTINGLE SERVICE at 5:00 p.m. / 10:45 p.m.: ROBED CHOIR sing Carols in Church prior to 11:00 p.m.: “Midnight” EUCHARIST

SUNDAY 25 DECEMBER: CHRISTMAS DAY: 10:00 a.m.: JOINT CHOIRS (including Junior Trebles) / 6:30 p.m.: NO EVENSONG

NO REHEARSALS: Tuesday 27 / Thursday 29 / Friday 30 / Tuesday 3 January. OFF DUTY for SERVICES Sunday 8 January.

RESUME: Singers Thursday 6 January (with Darren Hogg leading) / Robed Choir (including Trebles Y4+) Friday 7 January (with Darren Hogg leading) / Junior Trebles: Tuesday 10 January (with Darren Hogg leading)

2017: (MJP has leave of absence to visit cousin in South Africa from 2 – 19 January (including playing for Sunday Service at Grahamstown Cathedral Sunday 15 January and directing a day’s workshop for Singers and Choir Directors at Durban RC Cathedral on Tuesday 17 January)

SUNDAY 8 JANUARY: 10:00 a.m.: Singers 9:30 a.m. rehearse (Organist: Colin Kinton) / 6:30 p.m.: Robed Choir 5:30 p.m. rehearse (Organist: Colin Kinton)

TUESDAY 10 JANUARY: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m. (with Darren Hogg leading)

THURSDAY 12 JANUARY: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m. (with Darren Hogg leading)

FRIDAY 13 JANUARY: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+) (with Darren Hogg leading)

SUNDAY 15 JANUARY: 10:00 a.m.: Robed Choir 9:30 a.m. rehearse (Organist: Colin Kinton) / 6:30 p.m. Singers 5:45 p.m. rehearse (Organist: Colin Kinton)

TUESDAY 17 JANUARY: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m. (with Darren Hogg leading)

THURSDAY 19 JANUARY: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m. (with Darren Hogg leading)

FRIDAY 20 JANUARY: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+) – MJP back in action (jet lag permitting)

SUNDAY 22 JANUARY: 10:00 a.m.: Singers – 9:30 a.m. rehearse / 6:30 p.m.: Robed Choir – 5:45 p.m. rehearse

TUESDAY 24 JANUARY: Normal junior Treble practice 5:00 p.m.

THURSDAY 26 JANUARY: Normal Singers’ Practice 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY 27 JANUARY: Normal Robed Choir Rehearsal (including all Trebles Y4+)

SUNDAY 29 JANUARY: FIFTH SUNDAY: 10:00 a.m. JOINT CHOIRS – 9:30 a.m. Rehearse / 6:30 p.m. Robed Choir – 5:30 p.m. Rehearse.

REMAINDER TO FOLLOW IN NEW YEAR

All the best,
Mick