Saturday, 26th November 2022

It was great to see so many eager to sing at our second rehearsal day with our enthusiastic conductor, Andrew Padmore, and our accompanist, Nick Butters, in preparation for the concert performance of Haydn’s Creation next April.

After a morning singing session and coffee break, the AGM took place followed by another singing session before the lunch break. In the afternoon session Andrew was pleased at how much more confident we were beginning to sound - and tuneful too!

He requested that we continue to use his on-line resources, which many members had followed and were finding very useful. From the feedback at the end of the day it was evident that the majority of members felt Andrew was an inspirational conductor and they had learned so much about singing technique.

Andrew leading us in rehearsal
Andrew leading the choir in rehearsal, November 2022

Feedback comments about what people enjoyed included:

  • “The fact that our numbers were gratifyingly high and we could make a really good sound”
  • “Andrew’s tips on vocal technique and the generally enjoyable atmosphere”
  • “The well-planned AGM”
  • “Excellent organisation as ever”
  • “The energy, enthusiasm and discipline Andrew brings to a rehearsal”
  • “The opportunity to sing with others and Andrew’s enthusiasm and professionalism as always”
  • “Meeting people I have not seen or sung with for many years”

And many found the following particularly helpful:

  • How to change vowel sounds as the pitch rises
  • Guidance on making higher notes easier
  • On line pre-learning
  • Changing mouth shapes to vocalise properly
  • Going over things until I felt I knew them
  • The online rehearsal materials are excellent
  • Going over a difficult section with one or two parts only
  • Warm-up exercises - online sessions are a real boon

Thank you to all who provided feedback.

The day was also filled with lots of “goodies” on sale, from pottery items to Christmas decorations and jewellery and with many varieties of cards on display. It was a pleasure to spend time with so many active participants and the atmosphere was “buzzing”.

According to Andrew we appear to be on target with our coverage of the Creation and we look forward to our next rehearsal, on Saturday 11th February 2023 from 10 am to 3.30 pm at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith.


We should also mention the ongoing fundraising activities undertaken by members of Cumbria Singers.

The Board Games Afternoon held by Margaret and Clive Riches proved very successful, with the overall winnner, Ruth Houston, receiving a complimentary voucher to enjoy afternoon tea at the Dawn Marie Cafe.

Tim Hirst has started his Sponsored Swim back across the English Channel, having previously swum over to France and raised £500 for Cumbria Rural Choirs. And all without leaving the County! Do ask Tim how he achieved this, and help sponsor him this time by sending donations directly to “Cumbria Rural Choirs” (the parent organisation for Cumbria Singers). If you wish, donations can be made by BACS, reference SWIM: CAF Bank: sort code: 40-52-40 account: 00013018.

Members are encouraged to come up with their own ideas, with the aim of raising at least £50 from an event or activity in their own local area.