Brace yourselves – before attempting to read this post, sit down and get yourself a nice cup of tea – there’s a lot to say…!

Firstly – a message to all the singers from Graham:

Congratulations! Wow! We did it. The commitment throughout was fantastic. A babe is born was really exciting and very powerful – I knew you could do it! The promise sounded lovely and really appreciated by the audience. Ben enjoyed hearing his carol and was complimentary – phew. Brass were great and v. complimentary about the choir.

Well done all the soloists (Emma, Claire, Sam and Michael) I’m really grateful to you and it really adds something special having singers from the choir singing solos at the Christmas concert.

A truly great day and I hope you are feeling thoroughly in the Christmas spirit now and can feel very satisfied with reaching such a great standard in both concerts – the best Christmas concerts yet! I look forward to seeing you all on 4th January when we start work on The Dream of Gerontius. Have a great Christmas and New Year! Thank you.

and a message from Jeannie:

Dear Fellow Leconfield Singers,

 

Oh My Goodness! What a day we had yesterday! And what a success it was!

 

I have never heard so many compliments from so many in the audience – some had been before and others were there for the first time obviously, but both seemed to say that we are amazing and it was a fantastic concert!! Just what we want to hear.

 

Our special Dorset House School Choir guests were like old shoes. They were comfortable in their performances, disciplined in their musicianship and an absolute pleasure to hear! What fun they seemed to be having! Lots of smiles all during the performance!

 

I guess we all recognize that our goal is always to perform a perfect concert but it isn’t always the way it goes. What I find more and more rewarding with the Leconfield Singers is that, after a few years of singing together, we have gained, and have the tools to find, that confidence to correct a piece when we hear a problem starting. We watch graham with intensity and we gather up our internal and practiced resources to try to make it right, like offering a guiding hand when someone goes off in the wrong direction. We don’t seem to fall off any cliffs anymore; we sometimes just get slightly too close to the edge! And yet, none of those folks who came up to me afterwards were aware; it all seemed to be smooth sailing to them. Whew!

 

One of my favorite things about our one-day/matinee and evening concerts is that our down-time allows us to get to know each other, especially the new joiners. Sometimes we even find out each other’s names, a project for next year!! Our new members bring a fresh enthusiasm. It is wonderful to have new insight and ideas and I always welcome those from each of you.

 

2019 is going to be a very challenging first six months. Those of us who sang at the Royal Festival Hall a few years ago know that it is the most incredible experience to be a part of the strength of our sister choirs and professional soloists with a full orchestra! I do hope you have all signed up!

 

Memories are made with each concert and I think yesterday is another good one for our album. We’ll look forward to adding another year with graham in the lead. With your continued dedication from reaching out to your friends and family for support in tickets sales, and advertising, behind the scenes setting up, and raising your hands of help whenever the need arises, we’re guaranteed success! We so appreciate the beyond singing efforts you take on.

 

May I take this time to wish each and everyone of you the merriest of Christmases and a very Happy and Successful New year.

 

God bless you one and all!

 

Jeannie

A huge thank you to Graham for all his dedication and commitment – his job is not easy as he needs to squeeze out every last bit of effort and concentration out of us, but I think everyone was in agreement that the results are well worth it!  It was also lovely to see our very talented accompanist Jo waving the flag for us up in the gallery with her family.  All those weeks of going over bits takes a lot of patience and we are very lucky to have her.

Our concerts would not be the same without Philip Scriven “The Organ Man” who we also love having on tour with us, and all the wonderful musicians that Graham recruits each year and are very complimentary on our singing!

It was clear to us during the afternoon rehearsal that Dorset House School have nurtured a choir of very talented singers and musicians under the guidance of Jason Marconi, and we feel very lucky and proud to have the opportunity to perform with them.  We would also like to thank all of the parents of the children for supporting the concert and helping to make it such a success by taking on the extra logistics of the day.  And at this point I must mention  Rosie Manger who whilst exhausting my supply of Neurofen was nothing short of amazing in her organisation of the children (not to mention parents and teachers 🙂 helpfully supported by Lucy Hayward)  Also – I don’t know if any of you realised, but there were actually 3 generations of Lucy Hayward’s family singing at the Matinée concert, which made it a rather special day!

In terms of the roles…there are so many to thank, and I really hope I’ve not missed anyone but first and foremost a big thank you to the wonderful Archie who’s organisation was a triumph.  Things went extremely smoothly and the seat numbering worked really well.  His detailed planning and patience is really paying off.

Sally Napier-Fenning and her wonderful team were so brilliant that we were almost unaware of all that was going on behind the scenes! The tables seemed to work really well this year with very little queueing, thanks to all involved and thanks to all members brought mince pies etc. and again to Sally and Vaughan for donating everything that wasn’t brought in by members.  This has turned into an exceptionally smooth operation with some very grateful customers!

I could also not mention ‘smooth running’ without mentioning our wonderful librarian, Rachel, who has done such a sterling job of making sense of the complicated array of music requirements inevitable for our Christmas programmes.  We have a message from her below:-

A big thank you to all those who handed in their scores last night and the efforts for all the rubbing out.   Could anyone who has still got theirs, email me and we’ll work something out in order to avoid Father Christmas issuing fines. We will be emailing out invoices for those who picked up purchase scores of The Dream of Gerontius yesterday so you can pay online before next term if you wish to do so but will otherwise take payment at the first 2 rehearsals starting on Friday 4th January.

If you were marvelling at the choice of wine, this year we chose to buy wine from Jennie Royd‘s The Haslemere Cellar , so a big thank you to Jennie and husband Richard for providing this for the concert, and thanks to all those who volunteered to take wine glasses back afterwards – it was much appreciated.

Thanks also to Liz Stedall for programme production, Bridget Adler for programme co-ordination and Jane Warren-Mulder for editing – we seemed to be selling an awful lot of them and it was clear that the quality and content were going down really well.  This takes hours of work and the concerts would not be the same without them (aside from the fact that no-one would know the words to the carols 🙂 ).

A large number of us were extremely grateful for the Soup and Sandwiches organised by Jeannie as it was, as Jeannie says, a lovely time to sit and talk to new people and relax between concerts.

Our Front of House operation also seemed incredibly smooth this year, so a big thank you to the team of Richard Archer, Raymond Bellenger, Christopher Esdaile (who you may have clocked was also our photographer for the day), Gerald Gresham-Cooke, Ian Fergusson, Jan Mcillwraith, Carol & Neil Perrow, Frank Pountney, Annie & Bob Sneller and Robert Stedall.

Thanks also to our lovely Poster Girls – Shelley Fergusson and Angela Gresham-Cooke who always do such a great job getting all the posters and flyers out there with your support, and Christine Parker for her liaison with local Parish magazines – we sold quite a few tickets this way so it’s well worth all your efforts!

Petworth Box Office was for the first time being run by Arthur Bullard‘s team in his new shop – Readers Good Books in Petworth.  They did a fine job of grappling with the delights of our ticketing software – Ticketsource and we hope to team up with them again in future.

Last but by absolutely no means least, we owe a big thank you to the advertisers in our programmes, Dorset House School , Jackson-Stops Midhurst, The Arts Society West Sussex and Golden-Leaver Employment Lawyers – we are extremely grateful for your support.

Collection for the Friends of St Mary’s

The results are in for the collection at the end of the concert – we raised £412.80 which has been very gratefully received!

Send us your Feedback!

It’s important that we listen to everyone and note all the feedback we can, both good and bad, in order to improve our performances year on year.  If you have anything you’d like to feed back to the Concert Team and/or Committee about the concert we’d really love to hear from you.  Please send emails to feedback@leconfieldsingers.co.uk

That’s it for now – all that’s left is for us to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – with a reminder that our next term starts on FRIDAY 4TH JANUARY – please put it in your diaries along with all the other forthcoming Diary dates.

Well done everyone – I think we can all say….