A new study by Oxford Brookes University has found that singing in a choir can boost your mental health, reports the Daily Telegraph . Researchers carried out an online survey of 3745 people who sang in choirs, sang alone, or played team sports. All three activities yielded high levels of psychological wellbeing, but choristers stood out as experiencing the greatest benefit. Nick Stewart, who led the study, said: “These finding suggest that feeling part of a cohesive social group can add to the experience of using your voice to make music.” The feel-good effects of singing have long been recognised, and there is growing evidence that it can have a positive impact on a range of physical and psychological conditions.
The dream was to perform the Verdi Requiem in Verdi’s 200th anniversary year and to make it especially memorable by combining three choirs and a professional orchestra and soloists.
For those unfamiliar with the costs of such a project the sum is eye-watering and the logistics scary!
Imagine combining three choir committees for a start……..
BUT on November 23rd in the Victoria Hall, Bolton 2013 the dream becomes a reality.
Based in Bologna MARCO FANTI – young, gifted and dynamic is the conductor of two of the participating choirs, Lancaster Singers and Preston Cecilian Choral Society and has connections with the third choir, Prestbury Choral Society.
All three choirs are working with chorus masters and conductors in preparation and on October 19th we met for a joint rehearsal day with Marco.
The atmosphere was electric! The sound is already magnificent and under Marco’s compelling direction it became even more dramatic and thrilling. It was an unforgettable day which gave us all such a buzz of anticipation for the concert when with the orchestra it will be even more exciting.
The Lancashire Sinfonietta has worked with Marco Fanti before and the players are in turn interested and eager to join in this unique experience of combining forces.
The soloists Laurie Ashworth, Janet Shell, John Upperton and Stephen Holloway are experienced in opera and concert work and come with outstanding reviews so what a treat it will be.
A group of supporters from Bologna is coming over especially to hear the concert. It is unlikely ever to happen again so please don’t miss it!
We’re now on the countdown to our Verdi Concert next Saturday in Bolton. Final rehearsals this week and there is a great sense of excitement building up. If you haven’t already booked tickets, then there will be some for sale on the door and, of course, you can contact any of the three choirs. Coaches have been organised from Lancaster and Preston – see the side bar for details – and there are still a few seats available. £25 combined concert/coach ticket (no concessions).
We hope we see you on Saturday – 7.30 pm at the Victoria Hall in Bolton – this will be a night to remember!
It is with great regret that Lancaster Singers have accepted the resignation of our musical director Marco Fanti, due to his ill health. He will complete the 2013-2014 season, culminating in the concerts in June. The co-director, Mavis Fletcher, will then lead the choir until a new musical director is appointed.
CONCERT ON MARCH 22ND 2014 CELEBRATES 40 YEARS’ ASSOCIATION BETWEEN IAN HARE AND LANCASTER SINGER
The following is an interview with the first Musical Director of Lancaster Singers, Ian Hare.
‘Although the first record I have of a concert involving the Lancaster Singers dates from 1975, the idea of forming a choir was conceived soon after my arrival as a Lecturer in Music at the University in September 1974. A meeting with Dr. Eric Sharpe, of the Department of Religious Studies, and his Swedish wife Birgitta led to my being introduced to a small group of singers based at St. Paul's, Scotforth, and we went on from there. Concerts and services took place mainly in Lancaster and Morecambe, with occasional excursions to Cartmel Priory, Carlisle Cathedral and the Lune valley. Among the highlights were several events in St. Peter's Cathedral, notably a performance of the Berlioz Te Deum, directed by our President and my successor, Prof. Denis McCaldin, for which I played the organ.
It is gratifying to find that the Lancaster Singers are still going strong under their third musical director, Marco Fanti, who is ably assisted by Mavis Fletcher. This concert will be a celebration both of our long association and also of the fine organ in the Great Hall, which has added an important dimension to music making there, since its installation in 1979. I hope that both will continue to enrich Lancaster's cultural life for many years to come.’
6th March 2014
Thoughts on the Verdi concert on Saturday November 23rd 2013 from members of Lancaster Singers:
‘I think the Verdi Requiem sounded marvellous, and Marco did such a magnificent job at keeping us in line and bringing the best out of the piece. He brought it to life with such emotion and dramatic contrasts. I thoroughly enjoyed singing it; it was a treat for me, especially singing with the fantastic orchestra and soloists. I will never forget it.’
Helen Sayers (soprano)
"I was fortunate to be sitting on the back row of the main stage from where I had a superb panoramic view of the magnificent assembly of chorus, orchestra, soloists and conductor, backed by the audience. As the trumpets rang out from the far heights of the gallery in the "Dies Irae", followed by the thunderous majesty of the orchestra and chorus the most enormous beam spread across my face! It was just thrilling to be a part of such drama!"
John Falkingham (tenor)
"We had an amazing experience at the Verdi Requiem! What a great privilege to be part of such a powerful and professional concert. It was, in our opinion, world class. A day to remember and treasure."
Angela Rubio (soprano) and Simon Halliday (tenor)
Sunday June 16th 7.30pm
Lancaster Singers are proud to present a concert of music inspired by the East; Japanese music, both traditional and modern, and excerpts from the Mikado. Marco Fanti, our dynamic Italian Director, and Mavis Fletcher, Associate Director and experienced Choral Director in her own right, feature the choir in Furusato-Songs of the Japanese Homeland-with arrangements by Bob Chilcott (of Kings Singers fame) and Rikuya Terashima, the latter being the U.K. première.
Ian Tate provides solo piano pieces by Toru Takemitsu and Tan Dun. The first half of the concert includes the rousing Three Hungarian Folk songs by Matyas Seiber which are great fun. The concert ends with well known excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado.
Mavis Fletcher writes 'it has been an exciting challenge to prepare and learn to sing in Japanese these Terashima settings of lovely Japanese songs. The composer has given us great help and is very excited about their first performance in the UK.'
Tickets £10, including strawberries and cream and lemonade pressé, may be obtained from the Ashton Memorial (01524 33318), online at www.lancastersingers.org, by phone 01524 68481 or on the door (though space in the Memorial is limited so pre-booking is advisable.
2013 THREE CHOIR CONCERT
We are delighted to announce that Lancaster Singers will be joining company with the Preston Cecilian Choral Society, Prestbury Choral Society and the
Lancashire Sinfonietta to perform the
Saturday 23rd November 2013
Victoria Hall, Bolton
Director: Marco Fanti
This will be a major event in the North West’s musical calendar next year - the bicentennial celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth. The prospect of performing this seminal work in the magnificent venue of the Victoria Hall, Bolton is, without doubt, one we look forward to.
We hope very much that you will put this in your diaries right away and join us in Bolton next year for what promises to be a night to remember!
Tickets will go on sale in September 2013.
Looking ahead to next year, Marco Fanti will be conducting a ‘Come and Sing Day’ on Saturday February 22nd to study the Dvorak’s Mass in D, which Lancaster Singers will be performing on March 22nd 2014 in the Great Hall, Lancaster University.
The ‘Come and Sing Day’ will be held in the Chaplaincy Centre at Lancaster University from 11am to 3.45pm. It is open to any interested singers, at a cost of £15. These events are very enjoyable and popular, so sign up as soon as possible!
For more details, click on this link.