Restarting choir

From our Chairman – Keith

I do hope you are all keeping safe and well. Things are starting to open up a little now and you will be interested to hear that your SHS Committee met on Thursday 27th September in a Covid-compliant pub for the first time. This illustrates the way the rules are. We can meet in a Covid-compliant premises but not in a private house. This seems a bit odd but in reality, it makes sense. It also illustrates the route we will be taking to get you all together in a large (Covid-compliant) space following the same rules.

We have spent a lot of time examining the latest information and you may like to take a look at the following links to see the latest thinking.
So potentially we can get back together but there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Even if we get together, singing will have to be carefully controlled at low volume levels and maybe with facemasks.

At present many venues, including High Cross, have decided to be cautious in reopening. It is not only SHS that has to follow new rules, we also need the venue where we meet to give us assurances concerning their compliance with the rules. At present we have not been able to get everything in place and so we cannot meet on 7 September or on any other rehearsal day yet. We are looking to see how we can arrange to get together as soon as possible and we will let you know as soon as we can.

In the meantime, our Membership Secretary will be sending some initial details to you concerning risk assessment and compliance details that we need to get in hand before we can get started. A small team from the committee is also working on getting some sort of online activity going and we will give you more details about this as it is developed.

You will be pleased to hear that our long running lack of a Secretary has now been solved. Colin Gunner has agreed to return to this role. Colin is a very competent and experienced individual with a positive and friendly approach. I am relieved that there is someone to help with the AGM when it can finally go ahead. I welcome Colin back and wish him well in for the future.
Keith – Chairman SHS

Although we were able to meet in October, Lockdown 2.0 has meant a suspension of singing rehearsals again. We will, however, be meeting on Zoom on Monday evenings. Details are available from our Chairman or Membership Secretary.

Tips for Meetings on Zoom

Some tips for having a good Zoom meeting

  1. Join early – its a good idea to join the meeting a few minutes early, in case of problems
  2. Lighting:  Try to get your lighting right – we want to see your face and not a silhouette.
    Get light onto your face and avoid the camera pointing at light sources, like windows or lamps
  3. Camera Position:  Try to get the camera at eye-level – you look much better that way
  4. Controls:  Know how to work the audio and video controls in Zoom
    Practice with a friend if you are a novice
    Click here for controls guide
  5. Only one person can be heard at any time:
    In larger meetings, it may be necessary to wait your turn to speak
    Raise your hand to get the attention of the meeting chair
  6. Stay muted:  Audio feedback can be a problem in Zoom meetings, as can ambient noise.  Sit well away from unwanted noise, if possible.  Use headphones or ear-plugs, if you have them.
    Keep your microphone OFF (muted) – unless speaking, of course.
    On a PC, the space-bar will unmute the audio while pressed
  7. If the meeting ends abruptly, wait a minute and rejoin the same meeting.  If you get disconnected, the Zoom application will normally rejoin the meeting for you
  8. Be sure your computer has a good connection to the internet.
    Zoom uses a lot of bandwidth and needs a good internet connection to work well.  For best WiFi, locate the computer close to the router

Singing for health

c/o Trinity Laban

Delivered by creative practitioner James Moriarty, these videos promote good lung health through singing to keep our mind and bodies engaged whilst at home. Visit James’s website to learn more about him.


Get Energised

In Harmony

Keep Calm

Vocallective – Mr Blue Sky

Stay at Home Choir – The Armed Man

This project is already running (June 25)

Kings Singers – And So It Goes –

Gareth Malone on YouTube Music here

Week 14 – it doesn’t start well but it’s Gareth…

Salisbury Choir and Porton Down 


Cancellation of Concert

Last night we announced the cancellation of our concert planned for 4 April. We have no option but to do so given the current emergency advice from government. There will be no more rehearsals until further notice.
We are sorry to have to do this but we are mitigating the losses of all concerned. Your ticket cost will have been refunded to you last night or will be very shortly. We have been working hard as a team to make sure that the cost of the cancellation is as small as possible. We do not expect to have an unmanageable loss as a result.

We have no way to plan reliably for the summer term and you will remember that we are recruiting for two new MDs. We will follow the recruitment process as far as possible given the constraints and we still aim to have some form of auditions in the summer if we can. If this is not possible we have put in place some temporary candidates who could step in at any stage to help us. At present we are keeping the 4 July date on file for a concert or event of some sort. This will be subject to conditions at the time.

We still have a possible participation in St Peters Evensong on 14 June but we will need to establish if it will still be viable.  We will keep you informed.

The current Puccini and Rossini programme may be moved to our 14 November concert date in order to capitalise on all the good work done by us all so far with these wonderful works. We will let you know if this is possible. In the meantime please find a way to pass your music back to Sylvia as soon as you can.

These are unprecedented times. I have circulated an appeal from High Cross. They are trying to do all they can. May I suggest that we try to help each other. We have a Facebook page and this could be used as a contact forum for both offers and needs for help within the choir. Look for a link to it on our web site. This will be a real test of our community spirit.

Please keep well and look after yourselves and others.
Kind Regards

Chairman – Surrey Heath Singers
March 17, 2020