For many years the choir has ended each season with a Musical Weekend – a residential break which offers the chance to sing through a range of repertoire and to socialise with other members and friends of the choir.
In 2016, the weekend moved most successfully to the Benslow Music Trust. Their purpose-built campus provides comfortable accommodation, good food and a well-stocked bar. You can visit the Stotfold Water Mill and Nature Reserve, the Hitchin Lavender Farm and the British Schools Museum, or swim at the Hitchin Swimming Centre. A little further afield is George Bernard Shaw’s house at Ayot St Lawrence, a classic of Arts and Crafts design.
There is an organised programme of singing sessions on Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning and afternoon. The aim is to enjoy a wide variety and range of repertoire in a light-hearted and relaxed environment. The music for 2018, for example, included Bach’s Mass in G minor as well as works by Batten, Caldara, Delius, Dowland, Haydn, Monteverdi, Palestrina, Schoenberg and a collection of 16th century anthems. It’s great sight-reading practice, without the pressure of having to get things right for a performance.
There’s a break on Saturday afternoon, during which there’s time for walking, exploring the surrounding countryside and towns, talking, reading, sleeping in the sun…..
For more information, please talk to Sheila Coates who organises the weekend, or any other choir member who has taken part. There are photos of previous Weekends on the choir’s Facebook page. It would be lovely to see you there!