September 29, 2012 Dear Sandwich Singers (past, present and prospective):
The first waves of genuinely cool weather are upon us and our thoughts are turning not just to the Sandwich Fair but to what comes after it!
We want to provide you with our rehearsal and performance dates for this autumn; offer a few hints about what we'll be singing; and at the end make a request of each of you.
Rehearsals will commence on Saturday, October 13th at the Baptist Meeting House in Sandwich (as yet not confirmed). We urge everyone to come at 9:15 AM for warm-ups. Singing is from 9:30-11:30 AM. This rehearsal schedule will continue every week (excepting the Saturday after Thanksgiving) through Saturday, December 15th. This is a total of 9 rehearsals. In December, after discussion, if we feel we need some extra time we're looking toward Thursday evenings (6th and 13th).
Performances will be the evenings of Sunday, December 16th (Sandwich) and Wednesday, December 19th (Tamworth). Exact times and places will be forthcoming.
For the fifth consecutive year the Yeoman's Fund has generously agreed to commission new music for the Sandwich Singers from composition faculty and students at Plymouth State University. This year will be the most complex endeavor undertaken so far involving traditional holiday texts set to new music.
Other features traditional to these concerts (audience participation, some old and some new music) will make up the rest of the program. Special emphasis this year on works by Benjamin Britten.
We have long-standing concerns about how we've supported our operations with xeroxed music. So it may be that at the first meeting we should have discussion about establishing a modest fund for the purchase of music.
We think the Sandwich Singers has a special niche among the many local singing organizations. We don't aim to duplicate these many large scale efforts but rather to make our singing as spontaneous and joyous and related and accessible to the community as is possible. Long standing support of Sandwich and Tamworth audiences over the years seems to confirm that this works. Also, our association with creating new music and involving audiences in those performances is quite novel and unique. So while we cannot promise Messiah choruses, there are many other things that can can express the joy of singing together for the holidays.
In order to meet the demands of new and original music and also to help perpetuate the holiday singing tradition in our communities we are asking every participant to try to bring (at least) one other singer to join the group this fall. The Sandwich Singers is not an auditioned group and everyone is welcome. The number of singers in the group often determines what kind of repertory we can sing. So a good number of folks and a reasonable distribution of singers for part-singing greatly expands what we can achieve.
We look forward to seeing you on October 13th!
Please feel free to contact us for more information and to get on our email listserve,