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Newsletter February 2016

posted 21 Feb 2016, 05:27 by Penny Thompson

Spring 2016 Newsletter
It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into 2016 but I think we’ve made a great start to our new repertoire for the spring concert at St David’s Church in Shenley.  It will be an evening performance, starting at 7.30 and will be held in aid of church funds.  If you’re struggling with any of the pieces you will find John Fletcher’s site very useful for rehearsal files.
The summer concert will take place at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre on July 16th at 7.30.  We’re hoping that the weather will be kind to us and allow us to have a picnic in the grounds again – this proved very popular two years ago.  More details to follow.
Plans for the summer weekend away in Eastbourne are well under way – we just need to hope for good weather!
We are starting to plan for the next foreign tour which will take place at the end of May 2017. These tours are becoming more popular so, to be sure of your place make sure sign up early when the list comes out!
We have had no volunteers to become voice reps. but please feel free to approach any member of the committee if you have any issues which you think need our attention.
Dates for your diary
Normal Wednesday rehearsals each week except 30th March (Easter break) and 1st June (half term)
Wed April 6th Return after Easter break

Sat  April 16th   Spring concert at St David’s Church, Shenley Green,  
B29 4HH.  Meet at 4.30 for a 5.00 rehearsal before the concert at 7.30

Wed June 1st No rehearsal

Sat July 16th Summer concert at The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, King Edward’s School, B15 2UA.  
Wed July 20th Rehearsal for those going to Eastbourne
Fri July 22nd  – Away weekend in Eastbourne – more details to follow
Sun July 24th

We are hoping to perform at the ExtraCare Village during the summer but we don’t yet have a date fixed.

Newsletter Summer 2015

posted 23 Apr 2015, 07:46 by Penny Thompson   [ updated 23 Apr 2015, 07:46 ]

Welcome back to a new term.  We have had a very busy year so far and there is still much to do!

Thanks to everyone for making the recording session run so well.  We are waiting to hear the final result of all that hard work but it should be excellent and with luck we will be able to take CDs  with us to sell in Spain.

There are some important events coming up the first of which is the Alzheimer’s concert on May 16th.  This is a free afternoon concert ( 2- 3pm with a short rehearsal beforehand) followed by a rehearsal for those going to Spain.  Refreshments and information about the work of the Alzhemier’s Society will be available in the adjoining hall. 

The tour to Spain takes place from 23rd – 29th May so there will be no rehearsal at Rowheath on 27th May and the previous two rehearsals (13th and 20th May) will be for the tour choir only.  If you are not coming on tour you can consider this as your Easter break J but it would be good if everyone could continue to look at the Faure, Zadok and I Was Glad and learn their parts using the links given.

We have invited some of Canoldir to join us for the Faure since the tenor and bass parts are both split and we really need the extra voices.  It also means that we can do the full 7 part Zadok and also the I Was Glad with a good double choir.

The Summer concert will be at the Elgar Hall at Birmingham University where there is plenty of free parking and we can have a lovely picnic in the grounds, as we did at the Ruddock last year.

Happy singing!



Dates for your Diary

April 22                                 Normal rehearsal

 May 6 and June 3            Sectionals

May 16                                 Alzheimer’s Concert at St John’s Longbridge 2-3pm

May 13 and 20                     Tour choir only

May 27                                  No rehearsal

June 3, 10, 17,24               Normal rehearsal

Sunday June 27                 Extra rehearsal for men at Welsh Chapel with Canoldir

July 1 and 8                         Normal rehearsal

July 11                                   Concert at Elgar Concert Hall – details later

Newsletter Sept 2014

posted 24 Sep 2014, 13:54 by Penny Thompson   [ updated 16 Dec 2014, 11:51 by Sue Wright ]

Newsletter May 2014

posted 26 May 2014, 05:49 by Penny Thompson   [ updated 26 May 2014, 05:54 ]

Hello everyone
We have made a good start on the repertoire for our Summer Concert at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre on 12th July. I think it promises to be a great concert with a varied programme and several guest appearances and, of course, it will be our first concert under James’ guiding hand. Some of us visited the hall last week and all agreed that it is a fantastic venue in which I’m sure the choir will enjoy performing. I can assure you that there is a tiered stage for the choir and chairs will be provided! The plan is to have a short rehearsal mid afternoon followed by a picnic tea in the grounds, if the weather allows. More details to follow!

The tickets will be on sale soon and seating will be assigned so, if you want the best seats for your family and friends, do buy your tickets early!

Please note that there will be a rehearsal during half term (28th May) and there will be an extra rehearsal on Monday 7th July. There will not be a rehearsal on Wednesday 9th July. I will remind you of these dates as we get closer to them.

If you are going on the Liverpool trip you should already have received an itinerary for the weekend and I’m sure Val will keep us updated on what is happening.

28th May Rehearsal at Rowheath at usual time
7th July Extra rehearsal for Summer Concert probably at St John’s, Longbridge
9th July No rehearsal
12th July Rehearsal in afternoon (ttbc) before our Summer Concert at The Ruddock Hall, King Edward’s High School, Edgbaston
16th July Rehearsal only for those going to Liverpool
18th – 20th July Away weekend to Liverpool

Newsletter January 2014

posted 31 Mar 2014, 12:56 by Sue Wright   [ updated 31 Mar 2014, 12:58 ]

Newsletter January 2014

October 2013 Newsletter

posted 9 Oct 2013, 13:55 by Penny Thompson

Hello everyone and welcome to my first newsletter.  

We have made a good start on the repertoire for the Christmas concert at the Adrian Boult Hall on21st December.  The concert, which will start at 3 pm, will be preceded by a compulsory rehearsal and I need to remind you that in order to do any concert you must attend 70% of the rehearsals.  Ruth will keep a check on attendance and will warn you if you are in danger of falling below the required % so please help her by ensuring that you register with her each week – this is particularly important if you come in late.

There will be no rehearsal on 30th October but we will be holding a quiz.  Teams will be a maximum of 6 people (cost £5 per head) but you don’t need to be organised in a team before the event – just turn up and you can join in with others.  Please sign the list to let us know if you are coming. We will be holding a raffle during the evening so we will happily receive any donations for prizes.  It is important that the quiz starts promptly at 7.30 so please arrive by 7.15 so that you can purchase drinks etc. and teams can be sorted.  We will be providing ‘nibbles’.  

We will be holding another Learn to Sing course starting on 13th November. If you know someone who would like to try singing, but isn’t confident enough to join the main choir, do encourage them to come along.  Flyers are available at choir.

There are several carol singing opportunities in December and signing-up lists will go out closer to these events.

Happy singing!



Dates for your diary

Wednesday 30th October Quiz night 7.15 for a 7.30 start

Thursday 12th December Light up a Life ceremonies at St Mary’s hospice

Saturday 14th DecemberCarol singing at Sainsbury’s, Selly Oak

Monday 16th December Extra rehearsal for Christmas concert at St John’s,Longbridge

Saturday 21st December Christmas concert at Adrian Boult Hall

Friday 24th January 2014Annual dinner

Saturday 29th March or 5th AprilSpring concert

Saturday 12th July 2014Summer concert at Ruddock Hall, King Edward’s School

Fri – Sun 18th – 20th July 2014Proposed away weekend to Liverpool


Phoenix January Newsletter

posted 10 Feb 2013, 04:04 by Penny Thompson   [ updated 10 Feb 2013, 04:07 ]

Hello everyone 

I hope you have all had a happy and peaceful holiday and welcome back to an exciting Spring and Summer of music making. 

First of all, many congratulations to all for our Christmas Cracker Concert, which was extremely well received by everyone. Matt asked me to pass on his thanks to all those who took part for making it so successful.

The first event this term will be on 25 January 2013, the Annual Dinner at the Eaton Hotel, Hagley Road. This is a very enjoyable evening and we look forward to seeing many of you there. Don’t forget to let Derek have your menu choices, and also let him know if you want to do a ‘spot’ during the entertainment.

We are looking forward to an exciting, if somewhat challenging, term rehearsing Mozart’s Requiem in preparation for an away-day in Malvern on Saturday 27 April. We will arrive in time to have a picnic in the park, before a short rehearsal and an early evening performance. Malvern Priory is a wonderful venue to sing in, and hopefully we will have a good audience to appreciate our efforts.

On Saturday 23 March, we will be holding a day-time workshop at St John’s, Longbridge, to run through Karl Jenkins’ ‘The Peacemakers’ (times to be confirmed). This will give us a head start for the rehearsals which begin in earnest on 10 April. We are hoping to attract many more singers to join us for this community project, some from other choirs, others who may not have sung before. We will be producing flyers shortly, so please help by letting all your friends and acquaintances know about it. The culmination of our efforts will be a Concert in Town Hall on Sunday 30 June, where we will also be joined by One Sound Choir and Orchestra, Bournville Young Singers and Bournville Graduates. We will again be raising money for NICE.

At the end of May, many of us will be off to Slovenia for what promises to be another highly enjoyable tour. Lake Bled looks to be a beautiful area and there should be plenty of time for leisure activities as well as a couple of concerts.

Tentative plans are underway to travel down to Barton-on-Sea once more to put on a Concert as part of the farewell celebrations as Matt’s Dad moves on to a different part of the country. More details to follow, but the proposed date is the weekend of 20/21 July.

Finally, a revision to the date of our next Christmas Cracker, which will now take place on Saturday 21 December at 3 pm in the Adrian Boult Hall. Many apologies to anyone who is inconvenienced by the change.

Copies of the schedule for the next two terms will be attached to this newsletter, so please make sure all the dates get in to your diaries.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I am really proud to be part of such a friendly and enthusiastic bunch of people, who take pleasure in working hard to put on a good show for the enjoyment of others. Let’s put all our effort into making this Spring and Summer really memorable.

With all best wishes


Phoenix Summer Newsletter 2012

posted 25 Jul 2012, 06:35 by Penny Thompson   [ updated 25 Jul 2012, 06:42 ]

Hello everyone

Another busy year has ended and I wanted to thank you all for your enthusiasm and goodwill throughout the year, which led to some excellent performances.  I wish you all a good summer break, and am taking the opportunity to give you plenty of advance notice of next year’s dates, so that you can get them into your diaries in good time to avoid clashes. 

Matt has produced a schedule for the whole year, which is attached. He has included extra rehearsals each term and has marked boxes around those rehearsals which are compulsory.  For those marked as Open Rehearsals, we hope you will bring friends along to sing with us.

I have picked out a few key dates below, with a little more information on some of the activities which will take place in connection with our bid to the BBC Performing Arts Fund to stage a concert in Town Hall next summer.  Part of this concert will be a 20 minute newly-commissioned work, written by Matt especially for the occasion, which I’m sure you’ll agree shows a wonderful commitment to Phoenix Singers.

Wednesday 12 September 2012            7 pm – 10 pm.  This will be an extended rehearsal, with writer Mandy Ross coming along to do a workshop with us on the theme of ‘peace’, to explore possible text for lyrics.  Mandy will go away and write the lyrics from our input and Matt will then set these to music. This is a great opportunity for Choir members to play a part in creating the final piece. 

Saturday 8 December 2012                   3 pm Adrian Boult Hall

Our Christmas Cracker concert, with guests Sennet Brass.  We are trying out an afternoon performance this year, which we hope will attract families and those who might want to shop beforehand or have a meal afterwards.

Saturday 23 March 2013                       A workshop for all, to introduce the music for the concert in June. 

We will be advertising widely to attract new people to come along and join us for the summer’s programme of music, leading up to the concert on 30 June.  This is part of our community outreach work specified in our bid for funding.

Saturday 27 April 2013                         Concert in Malvern Priory

This will be a day out for the Choir, with a coach taking us to Malvern for a picnic lunch in the park, followed by a short rehearsal and the Concert in the evening.  We will be performing Mozart’s Requiem, with organ accompaniment. 

Sunday 30 June 2013                           Summer Concert 2013– Town Hall– 7 pm

This concert will be the culmination of all the hard work over the year and will be a prestigious event, aimed at raising our profile in the City.  We will be inviting guest choirs and orchestra to perform Karl Jenkins’ ‘Peacemakers’ and Matt’s new work.  We will need everyone’s support to ensure the success of this venture, so please don’t book your summer holiday for that week next year!

We are looking at a really exciting year ahead, with great music to challenge and enthuse us and wonderful venues to sing it in.  Just one thing I need to ask - please let’s ensure that we get the most out of it by giving Matt our undivided attention in rehearsals.  Several people have expressed concern this term over the level of talking during rehearsals.  This is not only disrespectful to Matt, but also creates bad feeling and might even chase people away.  We receive many accolades for being a friendly choir, and I’m sure all of us are proud to belong to Phoenix, so please let’s work together to improve this situation.

Finally, may I wish you all, maybe not a hot and sunny summer (although things are looking up!), but at least a happy and relaxing break.  I look forward to seeing you all on 5 September, at the beginning of my final year as Chairman.  It’s been great so far and I’m sure 2012-2013 will be another highly successful season for us all.

With all best wishes


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