The August 2019 newsletter is now available. You can either download it to view and/or print it or you can simply browse this page.
Welcome to the August 2019 newsletter. I hope you are all enjoying the variety of weather that the summer has presented to us over the last few months.
Well done to all those who took part in Carry on Chorus which was a fabulous success. Thank you to everyone who took part and especially to Clive and Julia for all the work they do in making it all happen.
Since May there has been a great deal of activity in looking at the society and various meetings have taken place to explore options on strengthening the society, raising awareness, and reaching into the community to gain recognition and support.
The new season will begin soon and there are quite a few topics to address in this newsletter to update you on the position thus far. Further discussions and choices must be made if we are to enjoy the continuing success of the society.
To be successful we need everyone’s support and we are fortunate to have so many committed members who are willing to help to make us a key part of the community going forward.
I wish you all the best for the new season.
Rehearsals will start on Tuesday 3rd September at 7.30pm. The venue has changed – the rehearsals will be held at the New Life Church in Market Rasen.
During the summer Roz led an initiative to review our rehearsals and put an initial suggestion to move the rehearsals from the school to the New Life Church. Roz, Clive and Emma went to assess the venue and an agreement was reached to move the rehearsals to this venue. The proposed move was discussed and agreed at the committee meeting held on 9th August.
New Life Church is on Serptentine Street, the post code is LN8 3AR. There is car parking space at the front and additional car parking space around the back. Kitchen facilities are available for making coffee and tea during the rehearsal break so you can enjoy a more sociable atmosphere to chat with each other.
Entry will be through the front door. If you have any questions regarding the location, please contact Roz and she will be able to help you.
The Market Rasen Action Group has organised a pop-up market for 7th September on the market square. There will be approximately 30 stalls ranging from crafts, food, clubs, and societies like ourselves. The market starts at 10am and finishes at 2pm. Keith has booked the stall.
The aim is threefold: fund raising, boosting our profile within the community, and attracting new members. We would appreciate donations of suitable products to sell on the stall, but they must be linked to music and appropriate for the choral society’s image – we do not want it to look like a general bric-a-brac stall. In addition, we will be promoting personal sponsorships, and – subject to confirmation – selling a quiz sheet for people to take away and send back to us; the winner receiving a prize (perhaps complimentary ticket to our next concert).
Growing our membership is imperative for us to provide longevity to the society and to be able to perform the bigger works without having to partner another choral society unnecessarily.
If you are free to help with attending the stall then – even if just for 30minutes or so – please let Keith know so we can arrange strong coverage.
The concert will be held on December 14th at 2pm. The venue is Caistor Town Hall. The Concert Management team explored several venues from January to April this year to assess the possibility of holding a concert outside of Market Rasen. As we are the Market Rasen and District Choral society it was envisaged bringing the ‘and District’ into focus. We will be performing John Rutter’s Magnificat. Other pieces will also be performed in the second half of the concert.
The venue is capable of comfortably holding 180 people as well as our singers and has been booked for the whole day to give us ample time to prepare for the concert. We will also be rehearsing there on the evening of Tuesday 10th December before the concert. We also have the kitchens and serving area available to us. This concert will need good support for Front of House and therefore we ned to put in place a Front of House team – preferably made up of those who are not singing so as not to interfere with those who are. If you know anyone who would be interested in helping on the day please let Keith, Clive, or Jane know.
Concert Year Restructure
The Officers and Concert Management team have been reviewing the current concert cycle. Our May concert this year was one of 7 concerts on that date in this area and other major events. May appears to be a popular time of year to hold an event. Looking at published dates for next year, the same problem is evident. Since April we have been looking for alternative ideas and have come up with a new structure.
The plan the Committee has endorsed involves a revised Annual Choir Season comprising 3 Terms and 3 Concerts.
Autumn Term: Early September to mid-December, culminating in an Annual ‘Wassail’ and our traditional contribution to the Rotary Club Christmas Concert. During this term we will work on music for our Main Concert as well as that for the Wassail
NO REHEARSALS IN JANUARY (when travelling can be especially problematic)
Spring Term: Beginning of February to April, culminating in our Main Concert. An earlier Concert date will avoid clashes with the traditional cluster of other local Choral Society concerts and musical events. During this term we will finalise our work on music for the Main Concert
Summer Term: Commencing shortly after our Main Concert and culminating late July in an Annual Summer Concert. This third Term will be created by absorbing The Carry On Chorus into MRDCS, with a similar format which has proved so popular amongst many of our members and also with audiences. As with the Carry On Chorus an invitation will be extended to non-members for participation in this term’s activities. The emphasis will be on the enjoyment of singing, with opportunity to explore different musical styles to those traditionally associated with singing in a Choral Society.
Main Concert Alongside other financial initiatives that are under consideration we intend that savings and income generated by the two other proposed annual events will enable us to continue to stage an Annual Main Concert which will have serious musical content, and for which we will continue to engage professional soloists and other musicians as appropriate. The proposal to work on music for the Main Concert over an extended period covering two terms should provide opportunity to undertake more complex music as well as ensuring that we are as well prepared as possible. We continue to aspire to the engagement of orchestral accompaniment for our Main Concert, which we have had to forego of late simply because of the financial implications.
Wassail and Summer Concert Both of these events will be low-cost in terms of staging whilst maintaining ambition to present professional and polished performances in accordance with our ethos. We will draw upon talent from within the Choral Society and the local community where appropriate, rather than engaging professional musicians and hiring instrumentation etc.
For the Annual Wassail we will build upon the format previously employed, which proved financially successful and was enjoyed by many. The entertainment will be festive in nature and may include solo and small-group items, as well as seasonal refreshment.
The Summer Concert will be an informal and sociable event with music light in nature, and with a format aimed at attracting revenue, perhaps a Tea Party or a Picnic, or something similar.
Music Selection Update
The Music Selection team have also been involved with the new structure and evaluating the least risk and most flexible way to make a successful transition to the new concert structure and have outlined the coming year.
AUTUMN TERM commencing 3rd September 2019
- Concert Saturday 14th December 2.00 pm at Caistor Town Hall – Lindsey Kirkland (Soprano Soloist) – piano accompaniment by Malcolm Pentelow
- ‘Magnificat’ – John Rutter
- Interval with refreshments
- ‘The Rose’ – Ola Gjeilo
- Duet by Emma and Lindsey (musical choice to be confirmed)
- Selection of songs taken from ‘Carols For Choirs’ Books 1 & 2
- Contributions from Caistor Ladies Choir and Caistor Male Voice Choir (provisional)
- Rotary Carol Concert ..??.. December (to be confirmed)
SPRING TERM commencing 28th January 2020
- Concert Saturday 25th April (provisional) – Market Rasen (venue and supporting musicians to be confirmed)
- ‘Magnificat’ – John Rutter (N.B. repeat of performance for the benefit of Market Rasen audience and also because of the limited time available in this transitional term restricting the amount of new music we will be able to prepare)
- ‘Stabat Mater’ – Karl Jenkins
SUMMER TERM commencing 5th May 2020
- Sunday afternoon concert 26th July – Fine afternoon tea, professionally catered for, with appropriate music and other entertainment (all details to be confirmed). As well as the afternoon tea on the Sunday we are considering putting on a Carry On Chorus style ‘Informal Presentation’ the Tuesday evening before for friends who cannot to attend a tea party.
The last year has been a great musical success, but there have been financial difficulties. We have had to dip onto our reserves to keep afloat. This is due to:
- Falling membership
- Increased Costs
- Poor concert attendance
We have sufficient reserves to weather the storm and continue to be a successful and vibrant part of the community but need the initiatives described above to improve our concert income while maintain sustainability for our week-to-week activities.
To meet our exciting new plans for a sustainable future we will need to:
- Rehearse more often — almost every week except for two breaks of about 6 weeks, in December/January and July/August…
- increase subscriptions from £75 to £95. We have researched other choral society membership fees and this is still the lowest among comparable groups in the area.
As a result the cost for each member is going up from about £2.35 to about £2.50 per rehearsal, in line with inflation, bearing in mind that our subscriptions have been frozen for the last 3 years.
The Committee recognise that this may be a lot for some members to find in one go. If it presents you with difficulties, please contact Keith, Roz or John in confidence to talk about options.
There is an updated membership form accompanying this newsletter and if you are able to print it off and complete it before the first rehearsal it would streamline things on the night. If you do not have a printer we will have copies available at the check-in desk. This form includes details of methods of payment. Your personal details and signed consent will be required once more so that we are GDPR compliant.
Please note that the full year’s subscriptions are due at the beginning of the Autumn term.
Sponsorship and advertising
We need additional sources of income to help us to continue to provide the community with quality inspiring and entertaining musical performances. The Concert Management team, with input from other committee members, has been busy putting together a plan for generating income through sponsorship and advertising. Some initial proposals will be presented for formal approval at the committee meeting on 1st September, and will be immediately available and promoted on the market stall, website, and most importantly by and through the membership.
If you have any ideas of further ways to generate extra income from within or beyond the Society please share your ideas with your section rep. or any Committee member.
The Web team have been busy – and still are – throughout the summer. The site now has a new look and is easy to navigate. More content will be loaded over the coming weeks and months to attract more people to use it. The site will become the central repository of information for both members, visitors, and advertisers.
The team held initial mentoring sessions and as their skills developed the new look and feel of the site was planned and the first phase is now complete. The next phase will see further functionality and information added to the site.
The Members page has been revamped and is easy to follow. It can keep you up to date with the latest news and other information as well as society documents. You can easily retrieve documents to either browse, or download, or print your own copy off.
Helen was asked if she would be happy to lead the team and we are all delighted she accepted. Helen is backed up by Clive and Keith, and the three of them will continue to develop the site and social media.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this newsletter and also a big thank you to everyone who has worked so hard throughout the summer to help reposition the society to travel a more sustainable path and continue to provide people in the area to come along and experience the joy of singing.