Friday, 28 May 2010

What can RSCM Scotland offer?

The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) is largely an educational charity.  As part of the educational aspect of its work, RSCM Scotland can do various things for affiliated churches and members, and in the Spring 2010 RSCM Scotland Newsletter Matthew Beetschen wrote the following:

What can RSCM Scotland do for You? Future events in YOUR AREA?

We need your help please! We’d like to plan events for the next couple of years but need help getting things organised within local areas. We want to be able to run events around the country and are after local input both in finding venues and in organising the right event for the locality.

Here is a list of events that have proved successful and which could be run more or less anywhere:

Meet, Eat and Sing - usually an evening event. We start with informal singing of varied, enjoyable repertoire and follow with a light supper. A chance to meet with other local RSCM members and enjoy music, food and fellowship.

A “Big Sing” - an event where small choirs and other participants come together to sing music that would otherwise be too large-scale. Music can be rehearsed during the afternoon which would end with either a “sing-through” or short Act of Worship.

Voice for Life workshops - an Introduction to the RSCM Voice for Life scheme or training sessions for those already enrolled. An afternoon could cover various sessions in voice production, sight-singing, music reading and “choir in context” or focus specifically on one area. This event could be run for adults or children.

Awards Training Day - helpful hints on preparing for Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, giving potential candidates and those who train them a guide to the exam syllabus and an understanding of the standards expected, including seeing a “mock” exam take place. This event could be run for adults or children.

Skills Training Day - help and advice for Organists, Choir Directors, Music Leaders. Sessions could be offered in choir training, service accompaniment, improvisation etc. and we hope to be able to launch the new “Cantor” module from the RSCM Skills Programme. We are especially keen to run workshops in setting up and running Children’s Choirs.

Plainsong Workshop and Sung Compline - a late afternoon workshop culminating in the singing of the traditional service of Compline. As the service is all unaccompanied it could literally take place anywhere! This workshop is suitable for everyone, particularly those who have little ability in reading music.

Singing the Psalms workshop - explore different ways to sing the psalms in worship. From anglican chant to responsorial, plainsong to metrical settings. The workshop can be tailored to meet local needs if required and could also end with an informal act of worship.

Exploring Music, Ministry and Worship - wide-ranging and (usually!) lively discussion of all matters relating to music and worship. For clergy, musicians and worship leaders of churches of all denominations and all who are interested in using music in worship.

Please let us know if you can help us arrange an event near you or if there is something else you would like us to do! Contact Pat in the first instance –

Thursday, 13 May 2010

RSCM Scotland events

There are a few RSCM events coming up which may be of interest not only to RSCM Scottish Voices members, but wider afield too.  I've slightly altered the contact email addresses for each event to try to avoid them being plagued by Spam, but I'm sure everyone who reads this Blog is intelligent enough to work out the correct addresses!

I'm grateful to the RSCM Scotland committee for permission to use some of the content of their March 2010 Newsletter as a base for much of the following:

On Trinity Sunday 30th May Compline by Candlelight will be led by RSCM Scottish Voices member Pat Lynch in St Peter's Church, Lutton Place, Edinburgh. Singers should meet at 1745hrs, and the service itself is at 1830hrs, followed by refreshments.  If you haven't come across the service of Compline before now, then I'd recommend it to you, it's very relaxing and therapeutic and features beautiful music.  A Candlelight Compline for Candlemas was held previously at St Peter's Church, also directed by Pat, and took the format of a short workshop at which the music was learned before everyone moved into the church for the service. The singers were joined in the chancel by a congregation of about 15. St Peter’s Rector, the Rev Canon Fred Tomlinson who led the service said he enjoyed the very prayerful time and issued an invitation to come again on Trinity Sunday to help St Peter’s celebrate its anniversary.  Contact sheila AT rscmscotland DOT org for details.

On Wednesday 9th June Alistair Warwick and Jamie Brand will lead a Meet Eat and Sing at 1900hrs at St John's Church in Dumfries.  This new initiative for RSCM Scotland was launched at Holy Trinity Church, Melrose at the beginning of March, and of that event Ann Treloar wrote: “Singers and their friends from the Borders and as far away as Oban, met in Melrose for the first event of this kind to be held in Scotland. Matthew Beetschen directed a very successful evening with an interesting selection of music, which was accompanied by Sheila Robertson on the organ and piano. This was followed by an excellent supper and some animated discussion. Grateful thanks were expressed to the Director and to the congregation at Holy Trinity for their splendid hospitality."  So please come along to the second Meet, Eat and Sing and enjoy a musical feast!  Contact Jamie at brandjr AT alb DOT dumgal DOT org DOT uk to ensure there is enough music and food available!

Saturday 19th June of course is RSCM Scottish Voices' next service of Choral Evensong which will be at St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Dundee at 4pm.  Keep looking at this Blog for further info!

From Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd July the Dunblane Singing Break will be held.  Now in its thirteenth year, the Dunblane Singing Break, based at Scottish Churches House, is a very popular course for choral singers and church musicians from many different places, including a good number from outside the UK, who come together for four days of rehearsal in preparation for singing and spiritual refreshment. Once again Gordon Appleton is the Director of the course together with Matthew Beetschen, the organist of the cathedral who accompanies services on the magnificent Flentrop organ. This year`s course, for which no auditions are required, starts at lunch time on Monday 19 July and ends after a closing service on Thursday 22 July.  Places are still available, so contact Brian Baker at dunblanesingingbreak AT rscmscotland DOT org for details of cost and to book.

On Saturday 18th September the Music Director of RSCM Scottish Voices, Frikki Walker, will direct a Young Voices Festival at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow to which all young choristers are welcome.  Frikki is an inspiring musician and is particularly good with youngsters.  Contact matthew AT rscmscotland DOT org for further details.

Finally, Saturday 30th October sees Gordon Appleton direct a Dunblane Singing Day.  All singers are welcome and it costs a donation to RSCM Scotland.  Contact matthew AT rscmscotland DOT org for details.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

St Paul's Cathedral

In about seven weeks from now, on Saturday 19th June at 4pm, RSCM Scottish Voices will be singing Choral Evensong in St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 1 High Street, Dundee DD1 1TD.

The music list is:

Introit: Jubilate Deo in C (Benjamin Britten)
Responses: William Smith of Durham
Canticles: Daniel Purcell in e minor
Anthem: Ye choirs of new Jerusalem (Charles Villiers Stanford)

For choir note-learning purposes I've found a couple of performances on YouTube.

The first video below is of the choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor performing the Britten Jubilate (which was written for them at the request of the Duke of Edinburgh in 1961).  It appears to be a bit of an advert for the choir school, but if you want to skip the speaky bits, fast forward to about 2min 9sec and the music starts soon after that.  And bloody good they are too, unsurprisingly.

The second video is Stanford's Ye choirs of new Jerusalem, sung by the choir of New College, Oxford.

The Smith Responses and Purcell Canticles have been sung before by us.

A new Domain

The Domain name as of yesterday points to this here Blog but at some point in the future it may well lead to our own site (if I get my act together and publish it from my laptop where it's been sitting for a while!).

A new set of email addresses relating to various aspects of the choir are also now just about past the planning stage and are likely to be put into operation soon, but in part they require choir members to check their Spam filters to ensure the new addresses work properly.  I'll email everyone soon to arrange this.

So watch this space, and maybe you might want to bookmark the new address.