Introduction to the 2017-18 season

As the new Music Secretary I’m greatly indebted to my predecessor Graham Bowler, both for the first-class administrative procedures which he’s developed during his stewardship and for the advice and guidance which he’s been providing while I get used to the job.

The calendar follows a similar pattern to last season's. Most of the familiar fixtures are there, including:

  • Our AGM on Saturday 28 October in the Housman Room at 5.30pm. All members are welcome – you have a vote! The AGM Concert follows immediately afterwards. The programme will be confirmed at the start of the season.
  • The Concerto Workshop on 3 March 2018 in the Housman Room. Here soloists have the opportunity to perform with the Club Orchestra. There is no prior rehearsal with the orchestra, though there is time during the afternoon for a limited amount of preparation e.g. rehearsing awkward passages with the soloist. Any work will be considered, though exceptionally complex works or those requiring unusual or very large instrumental forces are less likely to be accepted than more standard repertoire. Don’t forget that the orchestra will be sight-reading!
    Submissions from soloists should be made to the Music Secretary by 31 October 2017. The Music Committee and this year’s conductor Ed Kay will decide who is to perform and will inform the successful applicants (and the unsuccessful ones) as soon as possible thereafter.
    Orchestral players please note this date in your diary.
  • A Two-Piano Concert on 23 June 2018. A special event which we hold only occasionally due to the practicalities and cost. Any work of chamber music dimensions will be considered provided that it includes two pianos.
  • The Joint Concert with the UCL Chamber Music Club. Please contact Hugh Rosenbaum for more details.
  • Nothing Too Serious on 16 December – our traditional lighter pre-Christmas entertainment
  • The Concert of Operatic Ensembles on 25 March 2018. A slightly different set-up this time. Rather than deciding centrally the items to perform we are inviting submissions from members. We’ll contact you shortly to explain further.
  • Strings Play Day on Sunday 22 May 2018an ‘out of town’ event at the home of Robert and Deborah Behrman in Berkshire. Let them or Peter Wall know if you would like to attend.
  • New Members’ Concert on 3 February.
  • Two Open Concerts. These are without specific themes and are open to all members. If there are too many requests, priority will be given to items involving members who have performed the least number of times in the current and previous season. Depending on the submissions received from members it may be necessary to limit submission length, for instance, to 10 minutes or another duration depending on demand.
  • The Club Opera, currently in the very early stages of planning. Albert Herring proved to be a great success and we hope to build on this. The work and the venue are still to be decided. Important dates for your diaries are:

    Opera Auditions (for soloists only) on Sunday 21 January 2018 at UCL
    An Orchestral rehearsal on Sunday 24 June 2018 at UCL
    Tutti rehearsals will take place at the church on the morning and afternoon of the day.

    Rehearsals for soloists and choruses will be advised separately.

    Members wishing to sing in the Chorus will be particularly welcome and should contact David Banbury.

    Please refer all other opera-related enquiries to our Opera Producer Tamara Ravenhill.

The only missing ‘regular’ is the New Partnerships concert, an event which we’ve held successfully for some years. We’re giving it a rest this season as the last one proved harder than before to fill.

Website

The Club’s website is there for your benefit. Explore it and make the most of it.
Amendments sometimes have to be made to the concert schedule. You’ll be informed by email of significant changes (eg. date and venue) but it’s advisable to check the list occasionally. Don’t just assume that nothing will change during the course of the year.

Regularly check the Calendar page of the website if you are keen to perform. A ‘traffic lighting’ system is in place showing whether organisers are looking for submissions, and specific messages they may wish to give.

Facebook

We are working on a Club Facebook page. More information to follow.

Finally, a few general points:

Don’t wait to be invited to take part in a concert. If you want to perform in a particular concert contact the organiser. Don’t just say ‘I’d like to play something’. Being specific about what you want to perform will improve your chances of being accepted.

Concert Organisers are asked to give plenty of time for members to put themselves forward before finally confirming who will be in their programme. So if the concert is many months away you may not receive immediate confirmation unless you say that you need to know because of the difficulty of the piece, or it needs a large number of performers, etc. Please note however that there is no ‘first come first served’. You won’t increase your chances of acceptance by applying early.

Please come to as many concerts as you can, even if you aren’t performing. Bring friends and family too. The recent performance of Albert Herring shows how big our audiences can be.

If you’re performing in a concert please stay to the end out of courtesy to the organiser and the other performers. If you have a genuine reason for leaving early please notify the organiser as soon as possible, preferably in advance of the concert.

It's encouraging that a number of recently joined members have been kind enough to offer their services as organisers and I wish them good luck. If they need any help or advice they know where to come.

I look forward to another enjoyable year of high-quality music making and hope to see you at our concerts, whether as performers or listeners.

Chris Underhill
Music Secretary
31 July 2017