Author Archives: CSB

Carol singing, 21 Dec 2021

Members of the society met outside the Waitrose store in Portishead to sing carols and collect donations for the charity Crisis at Christmas. Our Chair, Alex Cottrell, sent this message …

A huge thank you and congratulations to those stalwarts who turned up to sing outside Waitrose last night – 17 singers, conducted by Jonathan. Despite the relatively small numbers and being outdoors on a cold night, you produced a good sound. I’m so pleased we managed something that lets the public know we exist and are still singing, and collecting for charity. Thanks again, stalwarts! It was lovely to see you in action!

Jonathan Palmer’s plans for early 2022

Next term, I have decided to continue the idea of extracts from substantial works, and to resurrect some of the music we were rehearsing for the Concert on 4 April 2020, when we had to cease rehearsals due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy having an orchestra again in the future, but for now, we are fortunate in having our supremely confident accompanist, Richard Lennox. The venue will probably be either the Methodist Church or the Gordano School Hall.

I have included two works that we were rehearsing in March 2020 for the concert on April 4th; excerpts from Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise and Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens. It would be good to feel that that rehearsal time had not gone to waste.

There will also be excerpts from my She Walks in Beauty, a work I composed twenty years ago to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Because our concert will take place within her Platinum Jubilee Year, some of the music will have Royal associations. As in past concerts, there will also be some instrumental music.

Our soloists will be Eloise Routledge, who sang in our Summer concert (‘An Evening at the Opera’) in June 2015 and in our Poulenc Gloria in December 2016, and Edward Goater lives in Somerset and has performed all over the UK.

Comments on “GLORIA!”

“We all had such a great time singing and making music and were able to forget about Omicron”

“Despite all the issues, we managed & enjoyed singing our programme putting everyone into a Christmas Spirit. Great assortment of Music & Carols & audience participation which everyone enjoyed. Well done Jonathan who ended up rather like a One Man Band in not only leading us but also doing a great solo on his Cello. Also Richard with an incredible Christmas Composition & how beautiful was Katherines Solo. I’m sure those who attended went away feeling The Christmas Spirit & helping to dispel some of the Doom & Gloom we are all experiencing.”

“Sending a sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone involved with the PCS Christmas Concert which was so very special. My daughter and husband said the Concert was brilliant, so uplifting and they loved the audience participation. They especially enjoyed the intimacy and being close to the heart of the live music being played so brilliantly by Johnathon and Richard.”

“GLORIA!” concert update

We are working towards a concert entitled “GLORIA! A CELEBRATION OF SINGING TOGETHER AGAIN”, which will include four contrasting settings of “Gloria”. Due to the COVID-19 situation and other illnesses that become prevalent in winter, the concert planned for Thursday 16 December 2021 has been changed to a “closed performance” for a small number of invited friends and family only. This means that we are not selling tickets to the general public to avoid the issues that would arise if we have to cancel the concert. The choir is still rehearsing with great enthusiasm and are looking forward to a very festive performance on 16th December where, instead of selling tickets, we will be encouraging those who are invited to be our audience to contribute to a charity (TBD).

Rehearsals have restarted

Rehearsals have now restarted, at 7.45pm on Thursdays, in Portishead Methodist Church.

When you arrive, the Voice Reps will be there to welcome you. Please make sure you:

  • Use the hand sanitizer when you arrive at the church.
  • Register your attendance with your Voice Rep.
  • There will be a QR check-in sheet if you wish to use it with the NHS Covid App.
  • Please wear a clean face mask throughout the rehearsal.
  • Observe social distancing. Please leave a chair empty between you and the next singer.
  • If you can, please take a Lateral Flow test at home on Thursday before the rehearsal.
  • Remember, please do not come to rehearsals if you have developed a cough or cold, but do let us know you are unwell.

Update: Rehearsals are restarting on 9th September

Portishead Choral Society is restarting rehearsals on 9th September. Please note our new venue is Portishead Methodist Church, and the start time is 7.45pm. We will be working towards a concert on Saturday 4th December, entitled “GLORIA! A CELEBRATION OF SINGING TOGETHER AGAIN”, which will include four contrasting settings of “Gloria”.

New members will be very welcome. If you enjoy singing, please do consider joining us. There is no audition, and you would be joining us as we all get back into singing after a lengthy break. Please contact our Chairman, or another committee member, to let us know you are coming, so that we can greet you.

Message to members from our Chairman, John Turner

We’re looking forward to meeting and singing together again. Thank you for your loyalty to PCS through the difficult period when we could not meet to sing together. Now we will need to build our skills as individuals and as we do, build PCS as a choir. It will be an exciting time and every singer is needed. We have about 40 singers, well balanced between the voices, attending on September 9th and more will join us in subsequent weeks.

We want you to enjoy singing together again, but we want you to be safe. The levels of Covid 19 infection in our communities are quite high and we must remember that some of our singers are particularly vulnerable or are caring for others who are vulnerable to Covid 19. Your Committee recommends observing safety precautions:

  • Please avoid coming to rehearsals if you have developed a cough or cold, but let us know you are unwell
  • Use the hand sanitizer when you arrive at the church
  • Please wear a clean mask at rehearsal. (see below)
  • Observe social distancing. Please leave a chair empty between you and the next singer. We will mark chairs to be left unoccupied.
  • If you can, please take a Lateral Flow test at home on Thursday before the rehearsal. Kits are available free from Pharmacists, or from the government website, https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
  • Please register your attendance with your Voice Rep

Regarding masks, we are aware that some singers are unhappy with the idea of wearing masks while singing. We sympathise. Members of the Committee have tried singing, particularly while using the surgical type of mask and report it is surprisingly easy. We have also been experimenting with spacers. We will have some masks and some spacers available at rehearsals.

If you wish to buy a specially designed “singers” mask, these are available from various sources on the internet.

Rehearsals to restart on 9th September

We are very much looking forward to restarting rehearsals on 9th September. Please note our new venue is Portishead Methodist Church, and the start time is 7.45pm. We will be working towards a concert on Saturday 4th December, entitled “GLORIA! A CELEBRATION OF SINGING TOGETHER AGAIN”, which will include four contrasting settings of “Gloria”.

“Singing Out & Singing In” – a talk by our President, Pamela Rudge, 10th June 2021 at 7:30pm for 7:45pm

We are delighted to announce that Portishead Choral Society’s second series of Zoom presentations continues with a talk by our President, Pamela Rudge, on Thursday 10th June 2021 at 7:30pm for 7:45pm, entitled “Singing Out & Singing In”.

Pamela has suggested an interesting format. She will talk for about 45 minutes and then there will be 15 minutes for questions, followed by a further talk of 30 minutes. The extended evening will allow us to hear more of Pamela’s interest in music and singing and, of course, her long association with PCS.

Members of PCS will receive the Zoom link in an email. If you are not a member of PCS and would like to hear this talk, please contact John Turner for the Zoom link, at chairman@portisheadchoral.co.uk or call 01275 399919.