Newsletter No 18, July 2020

Welcome from Douglas Paine, TCCA Chairman

Welcome to the latest TCCA newsletter. I hope that you, your families and friends have remained healthy in these unprecedented and extraordinarily difficult times.

Many of our members are professional musicians, whose livelihoods and way of life have been profoundly affected by COVID-19. Things we all loved and previously took for granted — singing, performing, concert-going, worshipping — have ground to a halt in a way that was unthinkable just a few months ago.

As former members of Trinity Choir, we share a common background and, I know, a determination to ensure that music-making, particularly choral music, is supported and can flourish once more.

This newsletter showcases some of the ways in which current and former members of the Choir have kept music going. For those in search of solace or light relief, I highly recommend the two videos released on the Choir’s YouTube channel. This also features a series of ‘Virtual Evensongs’ drawn from the wealth of archive recordings of services that are also available on the Choir website. The Choir’s Facebook page continues to be regularly updated, and has details of some of the lockdown projects of individual Choir members and alumni.

We also have a message from Nicholas Yates (1991), former TCCA Chairman, inviting singers to join his new choir, ‘The Whyte Effect’; an update on forthcoming Annual Gatherings; a report on a schools project with Hannah King (2012) and Susie Hill (2015); and details of an exciting new release of music by the Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. Last but certainly not least, we are delighted to announce that HRH Prince Charles has agreed to extend his Presidency of the Association for a further 5 years, and to share his kind words of support for members of the TCCA during the current pandemic.

With all best wishes,

Douglas Paine (2000)


A message from our President, HRH The Prince of Wales

The Committee are delighted to share the news that HRH The Prince of Wales (1967) has agreed to extend his Presidency of the TCCA for a further five years to 2025. We are very grateful to His Royal Highness for his continued support of our association.

We have also received this message of support:

As we face quite unprecedented challenges, I did just want to let you know that you are very much in my special thoughts at such a very anxious time for everyone.

The disruption we have experienced to normal life has been profound and therefore I can well imagine the appalling difficulties you must be experiencing.

Nonetheless, I have no doubt that you will deal with these new circumstances with determination, imagination and resourcefulness. As you do so, please be assured of my support, my gratitude and my admiration.

HRH The Prince of Wales, Clarence House


Recent Choir activities

The Choir has recently released two light music tracks, recorded in Chapel a few years ago. First, Ben Parry’s arrangement of Duke Ellington’s It don’t mean a thing (if it ain’t got that swing) and also How do you keep the music playing? by Michel Legrand arr. Alexander L’Estrange. How do you keep the music playing? features soloist Helen Charlston (2011), who was in her final year as a choral scholar when this was recorded. To watch, visit our YouTube channel.

You can read more about the creative process behind this recording on the College website, which also features an interview with Helen Charlston.

Separated from our liturgical spaces and concert venues, the question of how we can go on creating, performing and sharing music is being asked by musicians of every genre the world over. We’ve been showcasing some of the innovative ways current and former Choir members have continued to make music whilst in lockdown on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 


An update regarding 12 September 2020 Annual Gathering

Due to the current health situation, the Annual Gathering scheduled to take place on 12 September 2020 (2008, 2009 and 2010) has been postponed.

Those registered for the Gathering will have been contacted by the Alumni Relations and Development Office (should you have any questions, please e-mail ARDO at
annual-gathering@trin.cam.ac.uk).

It is hoped that the 2020 Annual Gatherings will now take place in 2021. Please look out for updates from the Alumni Relations and Development Office.

 

 

 


The Whyte Effect – a note from Nicholas Yates

As some of you may remember, I was the Chairman of the TCCA until Douglas Paine took over a few years ago. Since then I have had a little more time to devote to actually making music and last year I started a new mixed choir called The Whyte Effect. This is a consort group comprising ex-Cambridge choral scholars, as well as amateur and professional singers, is based in Surrey and offers choral services to churches without a resident choir. My wife, Rebecca (née Daldorph (1989)), also sings.

Religious choral music is under real threat (even more so as a result of the current pandemic) and I am keen to make the great choral works of art that have been given to us live and be more widely accessible. At the moment we sing a service approximately once a month, and rehearse on an ad hoc basis as well as before each service. We perform mainly at St Barnabas, Ranmore (Nr. Dorking) which is a beautiful church and the community are extremely enthusiastic about us and choral music generally. The type of repertoire would be well-known to you, ranging from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century.

At the moment, we are about 8 in number, but would like to expand, and I am taking the opportunity to recruit during this time when we cannot actually sing. If you are proximate to South London/North Surrey, would you consider joining us (probably from September, when we hope to resume singing again)? We would welcome all parts and ages (but any children must be accompanied by a parent), including those who still sing as well as those who would like to come back to it after a break. We are not looking for perfect singers. Real interest and enthusiasm are far more important and we are in particular need of an alto/countertenor.

Please do go to our website where you can hear and read more about us (including about our name).

Once restrictions have been lifted, please do come and try us out for a service and pass this on to anyone whom you think might also be interested. My contact details are on the website, but my email address is ngyates@cantab.net. Please do get in touch.

Nicholas Yates (1991)


TCC schools projects

Last year, Eleanor Lancelot and current Choir member Susie Hill began planning a tour to the north of England, to include concerts at College Livings in Guiseley (St Oswald’s Church) and Kendal (Kendal Parish Church). The aim of the trip was two-fold: to perform concerts to fundraise for Trinity Livings and to lead singing workshops in local schools (including near another Trinity Living in Barnard Castle). The motivation for this trip came from the Choir, who are keen to combat the decline of music-making in schools and to make choral singing as accessible as possible.

To prepare for this schools work, the Choir was joined by alumna Hannah King (2012) who gave a workshop on leading fun and engaging singing training in schools. Since leaving the Choir, Hannah has become a freelance singer and has also worked extensively with young singers. The afternoon was hugely valuable and enjoyable, and we’re very grateful to Hannah for sharing her skills.

The tour to the north of England, which was due to take place towards the end of March, unfortunately had to be postponed due to the current health situation, but we hope to put this training to good use in the not too distant future!

Towards the end of June, three members of the Choir – Susie Hill (2015), Joe Deery (2015) and Nina Vinther (2015) – led a singing workshop in St George’s Primary School, Camberwell. We’re delighted that, following the Government’s health guidelines including social distancing and contactless temperature checks, this visit was able to go ahead. Here, Susie tells us about the day:

In June, Nina, Joe and I were invited to give a workshop with the children in Years 4 to 6 at St George’s Primary School in Camberwell. We hadn’t seen each other or sung together in over three months, so it was a bit of a shock to suddenly launch into a full-on afternoon of leading a workshop – and on the hottest day of the year so far!

Despite the challenge presented by the heatwave, we had a wonderful time, and singing was clearly a welcome change of scene for these children whose lives have been so disrupted during the pandemic. We started off the afternoon with name games and physical warm-ups before moving onto some clapping games and teaching a couple of rounds – special thanks to Hannah King for giving us lots of ideas! At the end, Joe, Nina and I performed a three-part rendition of ‘You’ll never walk alone’, aptly heralding Liverpool’s title win later that evening.

We are very grateful to Trinity Chaplain John Summers and the staff at Camberwell for making the afternoon possible, particularly in these difficult circumstances, and hope that pupils from St George’s will be able to visit Trinity and hear the Choir soon!

Susie Hill (2015)

 


Forthcoming CD release

We are pleased to announce that our recording of music by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi will be released on 25 September 2020.

At Evensong on 14 November 2019, the Choir premiered five especially commissioned works which feature on this recording. The ‘Trinity Service’ includes responses, canticles, as well as settings of the Ave Maria and O Lux beata Trinitas.

The service is available to listen again to on our website.

 

 


Dates for your diary

Given the ongoing health situation, there have been a number of changes to College events. Please check the Alumni Relations and Development Office website for information about forthcoming TCCA events.


Stay in touch

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Contact usGet in touch with your comments, pictures, reminiscences, or ideas for future newsletters
Eleanor Lancelot, Music Administrator
music.administrator@trin.cam.ac.uk
Chapel and Music Office, Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ
01223 761732

For change of contact details, please e-mail alumni@trin.cam.ac.uk or submit these here.