Mozart's Requiem 2017

Mozart's Requiem - 18th March 2017

Performing in Association Choir from the view point of three choir members.

Kevin Pegley (former parent) writes: The Association Choir performed just the one piece this year, albeit a major one — Mozart’s Requiem. So we had an easy season. If you could call being coached by the über-qualified Joe McHardy easy. But Joe wears his considerable musical achievements as lightly as the emperor’s new clothes, making the whole learning and rehearsal process hugely entertaining, and rewarding. He, like his predecessors in the role, very capably combines the necessary energy and expert guidance to lick us motley crew into shape, with the understanding that we are all there to enjoy ourselves. The balance of taking the process seriously enough to deliver a presentable performance on the day, with having a great deal of fun along the way, is fundamental to the enjoyment of singing in the choir.

And I feel we pulled it off again in March. The packed church seemed to enjoy our efforts, buoyed no doubt by the preceding display of brilliance from organist Imogen Morgan (U6), playing Guilmant’s Symphony no.1 for Organ and Orchestra, and Camerata’s performance of Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro. By the time the choir joined in the party the audience were well warmed up. All the choir had to do was stir.

If you have an ounce of musical leaning, I unreservedly recommend that you come and join us next season, beginning in October. All are welcome, though tenors are particularly sought: we are a small but enthusiastic cog in the large choral machine, enjoying the huge advantage of never having to sing quietly because we are so few — though the choir master may disagree! And bear in mind, when it comes to keeping fit, two hours of singing is equivalent to a 10k run. (Well, in our post-truth world anyway.)

Melissa Boyes (current parent) writes:  As a Prep School parent with my eldest daughter still only in Form 1, it had been a good 20 years since I had sung in a choir.  So it was with some trepidation that I went along to my first rehearsal with the St Catherine's Association Choir.  However, I couldn't have wished for a warmer reception from both of the organisers, Dawn and Fran, our excellent Choir Master Joe (or Mr McHardy as the girls know him) and fellow singers, and any nerves quickly dissipated.  Rehearsals were relaxed. I bonded with my fellow altos over missed notes and Penguin biscuits during the break, whilst Joe combined a brilliant sense of humour with great focus to make sure that we knew the music really well in time for our performance at the end of the Spring term.  The sense of achievement at performing Mozart's Requiem alongside the excellent Camerata and professional soloists in front of a packed audience was immense and I would thoroughly recommend other parents (Prep School too!) to join in.  

Hannah Pilkington (2012) writes: It was great to sing with the Association Choir this year. There were always so many opportunities to perform and enjoy music while at School and it was fun to come back and do so again. It was a nice change to rehearse with the choir and then actually get to sing in the concert after so many years of playing with Camerata instead; although I was very jealous not to be playing the beautiful Introduction and Allegro by Elgar! It was a lovely way finally to perform a piece I have long wanted to sing.

The retiring collection raised over £1,000 for Music in Secondary Schools Trust (MiSST) whose purpose is to be at the forefront of classical music education in disadvantaged secondary schools.