26 June 2019

Musical Director bows out on upbeat

Last night was Aidan Bradley’s final concert with us as Musical Director, although we may well call on him to play the French horn again we now he’s shown us how good he is. In an impromptu speech before a rousing performance of Zadok the Priest, Aidan thanked the choir for having been such a “blast”, praised its ambition and willingness to tackle challenging works Bach’s Mass in B minor.  Paul Bradbury, the chair of the choir, thanked Aidan for how far he had brought the choir in his six years with it, and for making rehearsals so pleasant as well as so productive.

As for the concert itself, an audience of over 80 enjoyed it throughout. Particular thanks are due to David Cane, baritone, who raced from Evensong at Manchester Cathedral to cover for mezzo soprano Mia Serracino-Inglott whom illness had prevented from performing.

So, now all that remains of our 2018-19 season is a choir garden party on Sunday, and another chance to reflect on Aidan’s contribution as well as to anticipate the arrival in September of our new musical director, Matthew Quinn.

20 June 2019

We’re in the final straight now for this summer’s concert so it’s just as well that we’ve got the hang (mostly) of the harmonies and tempos in the Stravinsky. Listening to it a few more times should sort that out. Meanwhile, the Handel comes more easily, perhaps because some of it is familiar to several members of the choir, and we’re putting the finishing touches to the Mahler to wring every emotion out of it.

3 June 2019

After the half term break we’re returning to rehearsal on Tuesday 4 with renewed relish, not least because it’s now only three weeks to the concert.

In addition, this will be Aidan Bradley’s last concert with us as musical director.  We’re set on giving him one last high point to remember along with all the others.

Matthew Quinn will join us as musical director from September. Several members of the choir have had singing lessons with Matthew since he took a couple of rehearsals last autumn when Aidan was away. To help him get to know the choir further,  and to offer choir members chance to shape programmes, we’ll be finding out choir members musical preferences and aspirations, and their ideas for improving the musical and social experience of being in the Philharmonic.

17 April 2019

The Mozart Requiem went nearly as well as we’d hoped, and as ever we’ll sort out the few bits where it didn’t next time.

An audience of over 130 people helped to produce an exhilarating evening of music – and covered costs for the evening, including for the excellent soloists and instrumentalists who more than justified their fees.

We were delighted to be able to give £150 to the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of Muriel Clarke, a founder member who died recently.

27 March 2019

The choir has decided to give all contributions for refreshments at the Spring concert to the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of Muriel Clarke, a founder member of the choir who died recently. Donations at her funeral went to the Association in memory of her father, Reginald, as she had requested. So, the choir feels that this is a fitting way to honour her memory and her contribution to the choir’s development.

Meanwhile, we are honing our performance for the concert. Last night specialist coaching by a staff member from the College of Music renewed our confidence in negotiating the French of Vieille Prière Bouddhique by Lili Boulanger – and revealed some vowel sounds we didn’t know existed.

7 March 2019

As we head into the final rehearsals for our Spring Concert on 9 April, we are excited that a dozen new members have joined us since the New Year. The latest recruit turned up last night,  a very welcome additional bass. After joining us through the rehearsal, Andrew left with a CD of the bass part that another new member offered him.