Letter about rehearsal starting on Monday 28 Sept 2020

September 17th 2020        Update on East Sussex Community Choir Rehearsals

Dear Choir Member

We have been very pleased by your response to our restarting rehearsals again. About 55 – 60 choir members got in touch to say they would like to return to rehearsals on Monday 28th September and others have indicated they will do so in the future. Many of you have offered help and support which is much appreciated.

I expect you have been concerned about the latest government guideline about social grouping. Nick and I have looked at the latest legal guidelines and we now know that choirs can rehearse as an educational activity as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. Please read through this attached document (PDF) if you want more clarification.  We will not be able to hold any performances until further notice.

We were hoping to meet at Lewes Town Hall on Monday 28th September but since then the Town Council have decided against hiring to any singing groups at the moment. We have instead found another venue in St Thomas’s Church in Cliffe High Street Lewes BN7 2AH. This is within easy reach of many free evening carparks. We are allowed to have around 30 people at one time so we have arranged to start rehearsals in two halves on Monday 28thSeptember.  Nick has decided to have all sopranos for one hour from 7pm – 8pm and Altos, Tenors and Basses from 8.30-9.30 pm. He will probably rotate this grouping as we go along throughout the term.

We are undertaking a risk assessment before we go ahead:

  • Please arrive 10mins before your start time and remember to socially distance 2m when arriving, entering and leaving the church.
  • Wear a mask while entering the building.
  • Use the hand sanitizer on entry and you will be directed straight to your 2m apart seating.
  • We have all your names and contact details which we can use for track and trace purpose.
  • If you have any coughs, colds or otherwise feel unwell please stay away for the moment.
  • Bring your own water bottles. There are toilets available in the Cliffe Hall if absolutely necessary.
  • In between each session we will sanitize the pews and the next group will sit in the intervening rows.

You do not need to bring music. Nick will prepare booklets of music and will choose repertoire that is interesting but not overly challenging. He suggests that we could look at a couple of choruses from Handel’s Messiah, and also at Vivaldi’s Gloria (which we sang back in 2013) as well as some other interesting pieces.

For the booklets we ask that you bring £5 cash or cheque which we can collect on the door and you will keep your named copy to bring each time. We will not collect any fees until later in the term.

Independence! We are now independent of the Music Service and have joined Making Music, the UKs organisation for leisure-time music. This provides us with insurance and advice, and covers Performing Rights Fees. Currently we have a new Treasurer, Linda Douglas joining the committee.

As we already have a list of members hoping to return on Monday 28th September please only get in touch if you are not able to come/or you have a problem with that particular time slot. At the moment we cannot go above 60 people but hope others will join when we can.

 Please reply to the info site

Mary Burke and Nick Houghton