Introduction to the 2018-19 season

Welcome to the new season of concerts. A particularly warm welcome to our new members, notably to Daniela Amasanti-DeBono and Mark Zarb-Adami, who, despite only a few short months of membership, have been brave enough to offer their services as concert organisers.

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

  • Our AGM on Saturday 3 November 2018 in the Housman Room at 5.30pm. All members are welcome – you have a vote! The AGM Concert, which follows immediately afterwards, will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of Sir Michael Tippett and will comprise the Spirituals from A Child of our Time and the Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli.
  • The Joint Concert on Monday 12 November 2018 (rescheduled from 14 November) with the UCL Chamber Music Club.
  • Nothing Too Serious on Saturday 15 December 2018 – our traditional lighter pre-Christmas entertainment.
  • New Members' Concert on 26 January 2019.
  • The Concerto Workshop on Saturday 9 March 2019 in the Housman Room. Here soloists have the opportunity to perform with the Club Orchestra. There is no prior rehearsal, though there will be 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 2018. A small committee, to include this season's conductor Chris Fifield, will decide who is to perform and will inform the applicants as soon as possible thereafter.
    • Orchestral players please note this date in your diary.
  • The Concert of Operatic Ensembles on Saturday 23 March 2019. Please contact Rogelio Aguilar for details.
  • Strings Play Day on Sunday 28 May 2019 – an out of town event at the home of Robert and Deborah Behrman. Let them or Peter Wall know if you would like to attend.
  • Two Open Concerts. These are unthemed and 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, e.g. to 10 minutes or another duration depending on demand.
  • The Club Opera/Oratorio. This is still in the very early stages of discussion. We shall let you know audition and rehearsal details once they are finalised.

Members' Survey

You will shortly be invited to take part in an online survey designed to sound out your views on a range of matters concerning the way the Club is run and the facilities available to members. This is your opportunity to voice your opinions, so please make use of it. It won't take long to complete.

Notes for Concert Organisers (Organisers' Guide)

If you are organising a concert it's important that you read and understand the Guide, which contains much helpful information about procedures for organising Club concerts.

We have made a few small amendments to the Guide, notably as regards
    – clarification of the policy on guests, themed concerts and pre-concert publicity
    – the legal obligation to chaperone participants under 16.


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 (e.g. date and venue) but it's advisable to check the list occasionally. Don't assume that nothing will change during the course of the year.

Regularly check the Calendar page of the website, especially if you are keen to perform. The new 'traffic light' system is working well and will continue next season.


The Club now has a Facebook page. To join, open this link and click "Join group". When your application has been approved you will be able to access the group in the normal way. It's in its early stages, but please take a look and see whether you think that we should develop it.

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. The organiser will acknowledge receipt of your application. However, 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 if there's a large number of performers, etc. Please note however that there is no 'first come first served' in normal concerts. You won't increase your chances of acceptance by applying early.
  • We constantly find that the quality of our concerts isn't matched by the numbers in the audience. Please come to as many concerts as you can, even if you aren't performing. And bring friends and family too.
  • 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.

Finally, a word of thanks to Mike Crowe and the Committee for the help and support they've given me over the last year, in particular to Graham Bowler for sharing with me so much of his long experience as Music Secretary. Thanks also to Chris Crocker for his sterling support as webmaster and the hours he puts in keeping the website running smoothly.

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

Chris Underhill
Music Secretary