Notices and Announcements

Due to pressure of time it is not always possible to pass on all information to the choir during the interval announcements. The full lists of weekly notices, along with copies of choir emails from Sandra Massie, are below.

28 April 2018 (email)

Important note from Hazel re moves

Well done to you all for managing most of the moves on Tuesday. We now need to make the moves from ABC to 1 & 2 and 1 & 2 back to ABC a bit slicker. To this end I have noticed that choir B didn’t allow the S2/1s to go first when going to the Chancel. The order is S2, S1, A2, A1. Men of B hold back. Meanwhile Choir C ladies in order A2/A1 need to be moving across the front pews (I realise this isn’t easy). After all ladies of B & C have moved to the Chancel, men of B & C go - having sorted themselves into order. 2nd row of 2nd sopranos in choir A - 2 are S1s and are moving to their right whilst the rest of you must all move to your left so that the spare seats for S2s from B are on the aisle - don’t make them push along the row to the other end!

Rehearsal timings

The rehearsals are from 2 until 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday. Please your place and ready to sing by 2pm.

Traffic and Parking

No matches are scheduled at Pittodrie. Please allow extra time for parking. There is always space in Elphinstone Road, the car park at the top of Meston Walk (off Bedford Road) and at the bottom of St Machar Drive by the MacRobert Building.


These rehearsal are regarded as compulsory. Please speak to Peter if you cannot attend. Depending on circumstances it may still be possible for you to take part in the concert.


Rehearsal set up will be from 12 noon onwards. HMSC will be rehearsing between 1 and 2 pm. Choir to be in Cathedral in good time and ready to sing by 2pm. After the rehearsal please assist by putting wooden chairs in side chapel and stacking all brown chairs behind organ.


The concert starts at 7.45 pm. There is no access for choir members before 7pm due to the evening service. Some of you who travel a distance may stay in the choir vestry but please no hot food. You would obviously be very welcome to join in the evening service.


Concert programmes will be available for choir members to purchase at the Saturday and Sunday rehearsal. Programmes left after the concert will be available to choir members for free.

Concert Dress

Men: Dinner suit, white shirt, black bow tie. Ladies: Full length black dress/skirt/formal trousers. Black evening top or blouse, sleeves at least elbow length. No bling! No jeans or skinnies. No strong perfume or aftershave.

Stage and Concert Etiquette

Please remember that any musical performance is as much about the visual as the aural. Please be professional and stay in character at all times. No chatting on stage. Please no water or sweets on stage.
End of first half: Peter will acknowledge applause and leave the stage. Choir may leave their places.
End of the second half: Remain standing until Peter has left the stage. Choir A then sit (Choirs B and C will have to remain standing). If there is prolonged applause, Peter will return and acknowledge the orchestra and soloists, choir A to stay sitting and applaud soloists or nominated individuals as long as the audience are doing so. When Peter asks ask the choir A to stand again we should all stop clapping.

Music Return

At the end of the concert, please place your folders and music within in the boxes provided. Janet (Librarian) will provide further details as necessary.

8 December 2017 (email)

Alfred the Alligator warm-up

Tobias has asked me to forward the Alfred the Alligator warm-up for your familiarisation over the holidays.

Happy holidays

5 December 2017 (email)

Dear Choir Members,

Please find below letter from Peter regarding Sunday evening's recital. You can also find Alan Cooper's review of the recital on the choir web site at the following link

Finally, has anyone taken home a pair of glasses which aren't theirs, if so please let me know and I can arrange to return them to their rightful owner. Have a good break and look forward to seeing you all when we resume on 9th January at High Hilton Church.


Dear Choir Member,

I write to thank you for a fantastic concert last night – a truly memorable event for me. I was absolutely delighted with the way in which the choir performed – sometimes providing a huge wall of focussed sound and sometimes, as in the first Passion Chorale, singing with a such a high level of sensitivity and control. The tenors and basses were absolutely on the mark and not for a moment was I concerned about the stability of the ensemble. I could hear all of the leads and entries with clarity and you seemed to be enjoying yourselves! Performing the final movement from memory was a success and the visual and aural effect were a fitting close to the concert; thank you for taking the time to memorise that movement – I know it is not an easy thing to do because I did it as well.

We were blessed to be supported by some fantastic musicians in the form of excellent soloists and some very accomplished orchestral players. This, along with the wonderful continuo playing of David Gerrard and Alison MacDonald made for a very successful musical experience. I think if my father had been present he would have enjoyed the concert very much. All of the soloists and many of the orchestra commented to me on the quality and substance of the choral singing – and their comments were quite genuine and totally unsolicited.

I offer my thanks on behalf of all of us to all members of the committee who made the necessary arrangements and carried out the necessary duties to make this concert possible, and to all of those who provided physical support in the setting up and dismantling of the staging and seating.

I hope you have a restful few weeks off and find a different way to spend Tuesday evenings. I wish you a lovely Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year when the time comes. I hope very much to see you back in High Church Hilton on January 9th as we begin to prepare for La Sposalizio.

With my grateful thanks and kind regards,


7 November 2017

  1. New Stage Manager: I am delighted to announce that Hazel Wilkins has agreed to join the choir committee in the role of Stage Manager. Many of you will already know Hazel who sings in the first sopranos. Her husband Brian sings with the basses. I’m sure Hazel will do a fine job, please give her whatever help and assistance she might need going forwards.
  2. Tickets for the December concert are on sale before and during the interval of rehearsals at a discount price to Choir members.
  3. Please give your name to Janet McDonald if you do not have a copy of the Gabrieli Gloria in excelsis deo (hire only). If you missed this rehearsal, please ask Janet for a copy of the Monteverdi Beatus Vir. We will perform both works in our April concert.

5 November 2017 (email)


Reminder that we will be rehearsing in St Machar’s Cathedral for the remainder of the rehearsals this term.

As usual the Cathedral will be open from 7pm and for security reasons will be locked from about 7.40pm. If you know in advance that you are going to be late please let me know what time you are expected. If you are running late on a Tuesday and the Cathedral is locked when you get there, please phone 01224 485988 and someone will open the door for you. Please note that this is the Cathedral number and is not to be used for reporting other choir business such as absences.

Kind regards

10 October 2017

  1. Posters advertising the December concert are now available and need to be distributed and displayed at suitable locations. Please collect what you are able to put up from Clare Carden, not forgetting to indicate on her tracking sheet which locations you will be visiting.
  2. There will be no rehearsal next week or the week after, see you all again at High Church, Hilton on Tuesday 31st October.
  3. As most of you will know from Sandra’s email, Jim McHattie’s funeral will be at 2pm on Monday 16th October at Mannofield Church. All friends are invited, followed by a private cremation. Bright colours may be worn.
  4. Kathleen Cronie will be accompanied by Harry Williamson in a recital at Cults Parish Church on Sunday 15th October at 2pm. The programme will consist of various arias and songs (some serious and some not!).

3 October 2017

  1. Sandy Simpson: I’m sorry to announce that one time tenor and treasurer of the Aberdeen Bach Choir Sandy Simpson has died. He had been ill for some time. His funeral will be at 1pm on Monday 9th October at Crathes Crematorium.
  2. Jim McHattie (Tenor) is unfortunately in hospital after recovering from bowel surgery. We wish him a speedy recovery.
  3. Choir Group Photo: The order forms are now closed. We will be arranging printing of the group photos as per the requests received. Orders will be available for payment and collection at the rehearsal of Tues 31/10/17.

26 September 2017

  1. Introduction to new members: New members to the choir were welcomed to the Choir by the Chair, Leofric Studd, and handed a brief summary of the requirements for musical expertise, attendance at rehearsals and concert dress. Please contact if you would like a copy. Please pay your subscription via the choir website. Payment by Paypal is preferred.
  2. Kathleen Cronie singing lessons: Further to Kathleen’s chat to the choir at the rehearsal of 19/9/17, details are as follows. There will be a choir subsidy of 20% for the cost of lessons. 10 lessons may be booked for the year 2017 – 2018 (regardless of any previous subsidised lessons with Kathleen). The choir subsidised price for 1/2hr lessons/1hr lessons will therefore be £12 and £20 respectively. Please pay your contribution to Kathleen directly to her. You can contact Kathleen through her website.
  3. April 2018 concert – La Sposalizio: Information supplied by Peter: This will be a concert to celebrate the century-old tradition of Venice’s annual carnival and ceremonial Marriage to the Sea. The concert will feature sacred, secular and instrumental music by Monteverdi, Gabrieli, Rovetta, and contemporaries, as the choir presents a musical reconstruction of this event as it might have sounded in the 1630s. The choir will be accompanied by the specialist period instrument group, His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, and continuo will be provided by theorbo players. There will be ancient Venetian cornet fanfares, plainsong, and multi-part choral music from one of the richest genres of choral music and one of the most exhilarating periods of musical history.
  4. Reformation 500 Performance of Bach’s Lutheran Mass in G minor (St Nicholas Kirk Sun 29/10/17): As most of those taking part probably know by now, a small charge of £3 will be requested to cover the cost of music hire. Jim Hunter (Treasurer) would normally collect the money but he will be away for the next few weeks so Janet MacDonald ((Librarian) will collect the money in at rehearsals up until the October break. Kate Graham is the choir point of contact for this event.
  5. Stage Manager Required: There is a vacancy on the committee for the role of Stage Manager. The job involves liaising with the Cathedral regarding arrangements for the performance weekend, compilation of the concert plan (which shows the dates and sequence of movements in/out of the cathedral for the concert equipment), ensuring stage hands are available and briefed, liaison with the storage facility at CFINE, and planning of the processing in/out of the choir seating. As the stage hands are all highly experienced, it is not necessary to be present during the lifting and shifting operations, which mostly take place during Fridays and Mondays. This is an essential position but not a time consuming or physical one and should be something that the majority of choir members could easily manage. Please have a think about whether this might be your chance to put something back into the choir that has given so much pleasure to sing with. Leofric has further information.
  6. Stage Hand/Driver required: As above, there is also a vacancy for a driver to drive the CFINE van to and from the Cathedral with the Choir’s concert equipment. The driver would need to be available during weekdays at concert time and hence this role would suit someone who has a flexible work pattern or is not currently working/retired. It’s not a time consuming or demanding activity and the stage crew are good fun to be with! It would be great if you could consider helping out in this role….
  7. Choir notice board: Committee member Mike Radcliffe maintains the choir noticeboard, which is displayed at the back of the church and contains details of forthcoming musical events in Aberdeen and further afield. In due course it will also display the names and photos of the members of the committee and their areas of responsibility. Do take a look during the coffee breaks.
  8. Spare programme from the April 2017 concert: This concert comprised seven settings of the Te Deum, all in English and by British composers. Clare Carden (our Publicity committee member) has some unsold programmes that can be made available to choir members – please feel free to get one from her.
  9. Choir group photo Feb 2017: Please write your name on the appropriate list if you want a copy of one of the 3 photos on display. Committee member Angela Slater is coordinating this activity and will soon be closing the lists so that she can get the right number of photos printed.

19 September 2017

Kathleen Cronie will hold a workshop Pitch Perfect at Aberdeen Science Centre on Friday 29 September at 7:15 p.m. She will talk about her research into voice training for choirs and there will be a chance to try the techniques and practise vocal skills. Entry is £1 (no booking, limited to 40 on first come first served basis).

12 September 2017

  1. From Leofric Studd (Chair): Welcome to all new members! Do please come and introduce yourself to myself and our Musical Director Peter Parfitt when you have a moment. There will be a brief new members introduction chat on Tuesday evening 26 September during the interval to pass on some general information about rehearsals and performances.
  2. For those singing in the Reformation 500 performance at St Nicholas Kirk on Sunday 29 October, there will be an all-day rehearsal on Saturday 28th and a run through on the day of the performance. The music is the Bärenreiter edition of the Bach’s Lutheran Mass in G minor. Janet (our librarian) will have copies for hire (not for sale as originally announced) at the next few rehearsals. As there is a surfeit of altos, Peter will be auditioning those altos wishing to take part (unless numbers reduce by next week so as to make this procedure unnecessary…!).
  3. The photos of the choir taken in February 2017 will be on display at the back of Hilton High Church for the next few rehearsals. There are three versions to choose from (there is someone with their eyes closed in each one). Please choose the photo and size you prefer and enter your details on the appropriate form. Angela Slater is coordinating.
  4. On Tues 19 September Kathleen Cronie (our past James Lobban Conducting Scholar) will be coming to chat to the choir about the subsidised singing lessons scheme that is being re-introduced this year. She will also give us some more details about her upcoming workshop.
  5. The last past of the rehearsal on 19 September will comprise a choir social with wine/soft drink and nibbles. Sticky labels and pens will be available should you wish to identify yourself.
  6. The rehearsals for this term are below. All rehearsals are at Hilton High Church unless otherwise stated.
    • 22/8/17 (AGM only)
    • 29/8/17 (1)
    • 5/9/17 (2) - cancelled
    • 12/9/17 (3)
    • 19/9/17 (4) (2nd half social)
    • 26/9/17 (5) (new members welcoming chat)
    • 3/10/17 (6)
    • 10/10/17 (7)
    • 17/10/17 – Autumn break
    • 24/10/17 – Autumn break
    • 31/10/17 (8)
    • 7/11/17 (9) St Machar’s
    • 14/11/17 (10) St Machar’s
    • 21/11/17 (11) St Machar’s
    • 28/11/17 (12) St Machar’s
    • 2/12/17(13) Saturday pm rehearsal St Machar’s
    • 3/12/17 Sunday pm rehearsal St Machar’s
    • 3/12/17 Sunday evening performance 7:45 p.m.