Archive for August, 2021

Keeping Safe from Covid-19

This section will be updated with all of the information for members to attend rehearsals in a safe way. This is based on a Risk Assessment and coming from that some specific Guidance to Members. There will be a responsibility on everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and the needs of others while we once more ‘find our voice’.

The source document is the risk assessment, which outlines the known problems and the mitigations which are being put in place to minimise the possibility of infection.

There is also a summary of this as Guidance to Members.

These documents will be updated if regulations, guidance or circumstances change. Members should note that it may be necessary for rehearsals to be cancelled at short notice if circumstances change and they should regularly check for email circulations before attending.

Annual General Meeting 2021

The Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place on Wednesday 8th September 2021 starting at 7.30 p.m. in Sunderland Minster. The meeting will be as brief as possible to allow for new changes to be put in place for the first rehearsal in our new start.

The Agenda, minutes of the last previous meeting and details of the accounts are available below :

April 2nd 2022 – We regret that we are unable to offer a concert on this date due to disruptions in our rehearsal schedule at the beginning of 2022

The planned Rossini concert will now take place on Saturday the 18th June 2022

Petite Messe Solennelle – Rossini

June 18th 2022 – Rossini – Petite Messe Solennelle

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Tickets remain at their pre-Covid prices and can be obtained via any member of the choir or by making a request using the Contact Us page of this website.

On this occasion we are not using the WeGotTickets option to offer tickets, so please ignore the ‘Booking Tickets’ page and any reference and link to WeGotTickets on the ‘Contact Us’ page.

In the Nave £14.00, £8.00 (students & income related benefits), accompanied Under 16s free (but they do need a ticket to ensure a seat), and £8.00 in the Gallery (with restricted view).

Soloists : Laurie Ashworth – soprano, Clare McCaldin – mezzosoprano, Richard Pinkstone – tenor,

Patrick Owston – bass.

Gioachino Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle (Little solemn mass) was written in 1863, possibly at the request of Count Alexis Pillet-Will for his wife Louise to whom it is dedicated. The composer, who had retired from composing operas more than 30 years before, described it as “the last of my péchés de vieillesse” (sins of old age).

The extended work is a missa solemnis, but Rossini labeled it, not without irony, petite (little). He scored it originally for twelve singers, four of them soloists, two pianos and harmonium. The mass was first performed on 14 March 1864 at the couple’s new home in Paris. Rossini later produced an orchestral version, including an additional movement, a setting of the hymn “O salutaris hostia” as a soprano aria. This version of the mass was not performed during his lifetime because he could not obtain permission to perform it with female singers in a church. It was first performed three months after his death, at the Salle Ventadour in Paris by the company of the Théâtre-Italien on 24 February 1869.

The unusual scoring for voices, two pianos and harmonium is in the Neapolitan harpsichord tradition of the 18th century. Rossini specified, on the second page of his manuscript, twelve singers in all, noting on the title page: “Twelve singers of three sexes, men, women and castrati will suffice for its execution: that is, eight for the choir, four soloists, in all twelve cherubim”.

December 10th 2022

A Saturday evening concert in Sunderland Minster, starting at 7.30 p.m., conducted by David Murray.

Content to be confirmed.

Future Programme Proposals

This would normally outline the proposed programme of concerts for the coming years but, as you will understand, all of our planning has been disrupted by the pandemic. We are only just being able to plan the details of concerts and so some of the following are simply possible concert dates. All dates are 7.30 p.m. on Saturdays in Sunderland Minster unless otherwise noted.

December 4th 2021 – We regret that it is not possible for us to offer a public concert on this date.

April 2nd 2022 – Rossini – Petite Messe Solennelle

June 18th 2022

December 10th 2022

A New Start

As you will be aware it has not been possible to hold choir rehearsals for some time because of Covid-19 and all of our recent concert plans had to be cancelled. However we now have a target date to resume rehearsals of Wednesday 8th September 2021. Arrangements are being put in place to make these rehearsals Covid-secure and details of how this will be done are now published in the Members News section for anyone to consult. We very much look forward to re-establishing regular concerts but this will take some time to organise while we ‘find our voice’. All details will be published here under Events in due course.