Saturday, 24th September 2022

Cumbria Singers has begun to rehearse for the ‘Big Sing’ of Haydn’s ‘Creation’ to be performed in Carlisle Cathedral on 29th April 2023. Over 90 singers have already joined. More are welcome.

The first rehearsal, led by Andrew Padmore, the internationally-renowned conductor who is also Music Director for the 2022-23 season, took place at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (“QEGS”) in Penrith on the 24th September. Nick Butters, recently retired as a lecturer and music director at the University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts, was the rehearsal accompanist.

It was reassuring to see that so many had found Andrew an inspirational conductor and reported on having learned some valuable singing techniques. Feedback at the end of the day included the following:

  • “There was a really positive, welcoming atmosphere”
  • “As well as the singing, I enjoyed meeting other singers”
  • “It’s a great sound when you sing with so many other people.”
  • “I particularly enjoyed Andrew’s enthusiasm and expertise”
  • “The vocal tuition that Andrew gives in the rehearsal and through the online sessions are very helpful for developing confidence and singing techniques.”
  • “I enjoyed the stimulation of singing a more challenging work in a really supportive and safe group with an excellent conductor.”
  • “Nick Butters is an excellent pianist!”
  • “The session reminded me that singing is exercise for the mind and the body as well as the voice.”

Thank you to all those who provided feedback. We have made arrangements to borrow a platform for subsequent rehearsals to give members a clearer view of our Music Director and apologise to those of you who found they had some difficulties in that respect during the first rehearsal.

The next rehearsal will take place at QEGS on 26th November starting promptly at 10.00 and finishing at 3.30. The school gates will be open from 9.00.a.m. Parking is on the left of the entrance. This is only the second of four full-day workshops so it’s not too late to join. You are invited to attend one rehearsal FREE before you decide whether to become a member. The Early Bird Discount offer is no longer applicable, as it expired on 31st October - but do look out for this next year!

The November rehearsal will also include the AGM. We will endeavour to run this as efficiently as possible so as not to take up too much singing time. As for refreshments, we will have the use of the school canteen for the breaks. Cumbria Singers will provide tea and coffee; it would be extremely helpful if you could bring your own mug. The lunch break is 45 minutes. There are cafes nearby but you may find it more relaxing to bring a packed lunch and enjoy using this opportunity to chat with other choir members.

Singers who become members have immediate access to the online tuition sessions which are made available on the Members’ section of this web site. Vocal techniques as well as the choral lines from the score which will be practised at rehearsals are introduced. These resources, which are built up over the rehearsal months, provide an opportunity for you to ‘dust off’ your vocal chords and learn the singing part relevant to you, at a time that suits you, in the comfort of your own home. Please make full use of them in preparation for the in-person rehearsals.

Other resources and documents are always available on our Resource page.