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Coronavirus Status

Update 20 March 2022
Choir Members : Despite being heavily Covid-depleted in numbers last night, the choir still put on a fantastic performance of the 'Messiah' in Fairfield Halls to an enthusiastic audience. Congratulations to all who took part and commiserations to those clobbered by Covid that prevented their participation. Get well soon! As a safety measure, please note that a Covid firebreak has been implemented and we will not be rehearsing on Monday 21st March. We will resume on Monday 28th March.
Update 04 January 2022
Choir Members : First of all, a very Happy New Year to you all.  Secondly, we will be restarting rehearsals from next Monday 10th January 2022.  As usual, new potential members would be very welcome for the first two rehearsals, which are 'open' to all to come and try us out.  The exec team is keeping a close eye on government and other health advice sources to ensure we follow the appropriate guidelines, so please keep yourself updated by returning here regularly.   Make sure you wrap up warm, as the doors will be open for ventilation, and you wear a mask when not singing.
Update 19 September 2021
Choir Members : We are back!   The first two rehearsals with half the choir in each have proved so successful that we are taking the next step and going for combined rehearsals from tomorrow (20th) to see if that works as well.   It was sooooo good to be back singing together again in the same place - the sound was just fabulous.   If you still don't feel quite ready for this yet then that's perfectly fine.  Please make sure you keep your voice rep up to date with your intentions.  Thank you.
Update 29 August 2021
Choir Members : Plans are still being finalised for the likely return to rehearsals from Monday 6th.  A full risk assessment was carried out last week and we will start cautiously for the first few weeks to ascertain how it works out, aware that some members will still be wary of the conditions.   This will mean only half the choir rehearsing for the first week, the other half for the second week - joint thereafter.   A full concert programme is planned for the season so these first few weeks will enable us to judge how we make this work.   You'll be getting a message from Sarah this week with more details.   We're almost there.
Update 12 August 2021
Everyone : Well, we're going to go for it!  In common with the large majority of choirs, we are going to return in September (Monday 6th September is the start date) and see how it works out.  There is a full season programme of exciting music to get through and a new concert venue for us to try out.   See the Concerts list.   Fingers crossed.   New members very welcome.   See our Join Us page for more details.
Update 19 June 2021
Everyone : With the government's Step 3 plan now extended by another four weeks, the hopes of having at least some mixed live/Zoom rehearsals have disappeared.   With HMG continuing its refusal to address the case for the return of amateur singing indoors to a more equal level with other comparable activities, it has been decided to close this disappointing season now.   Under normal circumstances the season would have ended around now anyway.   So please look out for news of our hopeful return in September for a brand new season.
Choir Members : Please keep an eye on your emails - there are plans afoot for a "Come-n Sing on the Common" one Monday early evening if it can be arranged!
Update 20 May 2021
Choir Members : Our return to rehearsing plans for last week had to be abandoned at the 11th hour.   We will have to remain in an online mode for the next few weeks, which is very disappointing.  Please see Sarah's latest newsletter in which she invites you to write to your MP in support of the campaign to reverse the government's decision that prevents groups larger than 6 from meeting.
Update 17 May 2021
Choir Members : Plans for returning to some hybrid live/Zoom rehearsing tonight have to be put back on hold.  Advice and confirmation from various sources have not been forthcoming as hoped so we have no option but to postpone.
Rehearsals from Monday 17th May will be online only until further notice.
Update 8 May 2021
Everyone : This Monday 10th May sees the annual Quiz Night, earlier than usual, as we prepare for a partial and limited return to live rehearsals later in the month.   Details of how to link to the Quiz will have been issued by your voice reps.  Details for how to connect to the Zoom sessions relaying the live rehearsals will also be issued by your voice reps.  The Zoom link used prior to Easter has expired and a new one is being issued.   Almost time to say hello face-to-face again - at last!
Update 2 April 2021
Everyone : We have not been idle during March as we partnered up with Sonoro for their Fauré Requiem Online workshop joined by other singers from right across the country.   The result was a virtual performance on Good Friday 2nd April of this work.  Click on the image on the right to see it.   We are very pleased and so proud to have done this project with Sonoro.
Update 23 March 2021
Everyone : Well, here we are a year down the line and still we cannot rehearse or perform together in the manner that we so want to do.   Huge thanks are due to the management team and the excellent music staff for keeping us going, virtually, and jumping at every opportunity to rehearse for real in small groups when the opportunities arose last year.   We so look forward to getting back to 'normal' as soon as we can.
It has been decided that we'll take an extended break during April and reconvene with the Quiz Night on Monday 10th May and then stretch the season into the first half of July, hopefully taking advantage of the relaxation of the lockdown rules by then if the government plans still hold true.   Further details can be found here.
Update 28 February 2021
Choir Members : Tomorrow sees the start of four weeks working with Sonoro as part of its Faure Requiem workshop series, culminating in an online performance of the work on Good Friday.   As a member of WCS, your subscription covers your participation in these workshops, which, for us, are on Monday evenings.   Spaces are still available for non-members to book, with the public workshops taking place on Sunday afternoons.
Update 07 February 2021
Choir Members : We've got off to a great virtual start to 2021 with a mix of talks and singing on Monday night's, featuring guest speakers.  This continues during February (with Will Todd tomorrow night).   In March we are delighted to be participants in Sonoro's online Fauré Requiem workshop series, following on from their successful Brahms Requiem series last November.   More details of this in the latest newsletter sent out today.
Update 17 January 2021
Choir Members : After last week's great vocal session with Jo Tomlinson, we welcome Helena Dix to our guest spot for tomorrow's online rehearsal.   Many of you will remember Helena's fabulous contribution to our performance of Carmina Burana in the Cadogan Hall in 2019 (oh, to be back singing to a real audience!).
Update 19 December 2020
Everyone : Well, we managed to sneak in the two weeks of recordings as hoped and the fabulous result can be seen here: WCS Christmas 2020.   With huge thanks to Michael Higgins for not only writing the commissioned music but also engineering the video.
Update 06 December 2020
Choir Members : With Lockdown #2 now completed, we're going to squeeze in two more mixed live/Zoom Monday rehearsals in St Mark's Church before Christmas - recording the four fabulous carols that Michael has adapted for us and that we've been rehearsing during Lockdown #2.   Choirs A&B this Monday 7th December, choirs C&D the following Monday 14th December.
Update 06 December 2020
Choir Members : With Lockdown #2 now completed, we're going to squeeze in two more mixed live/Zoom Monday rehearsals in St Mark's Church before Christmas - recording the four fabulous carols that Michael has adapted for us and that we've been rehearsing during Lockdown #2.   Choirs A&B this Monday 7th December, choirs C&D the following Monday 14th December.
Update 03 November 2020
Choir Members : With Lockdown #2 upon us, rehearsals will revert to being Zoom-based only for everyone on Monday evenings until further notice.
Update 02 November 2020
Choir Members : Tonight's rehearsal will go ahead as planned in the same format as last week. Please ensure you have your copies of 100 Carols for Choirs and, if you're in Choirs C and D, you've printed off your copies of Michael's carols. Thereafter, watch this space for notification of the rehearsals during Lockdown #2.
Update 24 October 2020
Choir Members : After the cobweb-clearing fun of the first few weeks with a look at parts of Handel's Messiah, we will start to look at Christmas music from Monday 26th October onwards.   Please ensure you have your copy of 100 Carols for Choirs to hand.  Sarah did refer to this in her newsletter of 10th October and you will all need access to your own copy - we are not hiring any copies out this time. Copies of Michael's new music will be issued via email before Monday night's rehearsal.
Update 12 October 2020
Everyone : We had our first mixed live/online rehearsal this evening with up to 35 singers in the church + Neil + Michael (so within the church's defined terms) and a great number of other members tuning in at home via Zoom. Two one-hour sessions were held with a different set of singers in each. It was such a relief to get back to some real singing in person and feedback from those at home was very positive as they felt much more part of the rehearsal by hearing other voices. Huge thanks to Tracy & Helen in particular for assessing the risks and putting together the processes to make it all happen.
Update 12 October 2020
Choir Members : Please download this document that contains a summary of the rules and conditions under which we need to operate the live rehearsals on Monday evenings. Make sure you are familiar with all the conditions listed within it and note where each voice part will be sitting - they are not the same locations as before. In addition, if you have been assigned for a specific role during each rehearsal session then the tasks for each role are defined in this other document.
Update 10 October 2020
Choir Members : Please see your newsletter sent by email earlier today.  It provides you with great news about our return to live in-person rehearsals in St Mark's church (Yay!!!), albeit with substantial limits on numbers and clearly defined arrangements to ensure everything can be done as safely as possible within all the guidelines researched.   The newslertter is also available via the Choir Notices page.
Update 8 September 2020
Choir Members : Rehearsals during the initial couple of months of the new season will be managed via online Zoom sessions, the details for which will be issued via your voice reps.   Site surveys and discussions are taking place with the various rehearsal venues that we use to determine the options open to us for some form of safe return to singing together in the same venue.
Update 28 August 2020
Choir Members : The suspension of any 'physical' rehearsals in the usual venue remains in place until further notice.   A newsletter is due to be issued in the coming days with information about how we will be approaching the 2020-21 season.
Please note:  The AGM will now take place on Monday 7th September (earlier than usual) and will operate as a virtual session over the internet.   Details of the start time, how to connect to the session and the associated documents for the AGM will be sent out by email next week.
Update 17 August 2020
Choir Members : News will be forthcoming in the couple of weeks regarding the plans for the 2020-21 season in light of the Government's latest guidelines issued last week.  Watch this space.
Update 25 July 2020
Choir Members : Sarah and the team are keeping a careful eye on the various public discussions around the concerns of group singing, especially in the non-professional world such as ours, and assessing any potential for the choir to return to some form of collective singing together in the same space whenever it may be deemed feasible.  Choirs considerably smaller than WCS in numbers may be able to do so much sooner than us so please bear with the team as they look at what options may be both realistic and pragmatic for us in due course.  A provisional rehearsal schedule will be published but it will be subject to confirmation of its implementation.  Watch this space!
Update 06 June 2020
Everyone : See our virtual choir recordings of Rachmaninov's Bògòroditse Devo and Michael Higgins' Bright Morning Stars.
Update 19 April 2020
Choir Members : A newsletter sent to you today from our Chairman contains the decision taken by the team to cancel all events planned for the rest of this season, notably the concert planned for 6th June and the recording of the Da Vinci Requiem at the end of May.  The one exception to this is that we are still hoping to run the end of season quiz if the practicalities of using online meeting facilities for this can be done.  Watch this space!
Update 24 March 2020
Ticket Purchasers : The refund stage has been completed by the ticketing system.  It is now up to the banks and card companies to finish crediting the accounts of each cardholder.  We are advised this could take another 7-8 days.  Please be patient.  Many thanks.
Update 22 March 2020
Everyone : All being back hopefully to some sense of relative normality by then, it is planned to reschedule the cancelled Rachmaninov/Britten concert for the Spring of 2021, again in Southwark Cathedral.  Further details on the website once confirmed.
Update 21 March 2020
Choir Members : You should have received an email this morning bringing you up to date with what the current plans are for the short to medium term.  A copy of the email can be found on the Members/Choir Notices page.  Please note there will be no Monday rehearsals until further notice.  Please keep an eye on the Rehearsals page for further information.
Ticket Purchasers : The refund process is ongoing and taking a little longer than hoped.  It will probably tip into early next week for some.  Please bear with us.  Thanks.
Update 20 March 2020
Important Notice : The process of issuing refunds for ticket purchasers has begun and will continue over the weekend.  Please be patient with this.  The Society's executive team is still working through the aftermath of cancellation and assessing the way forward in the immediate to short term - especially about rehearsals and other events.  Choir members will be informed as soon as these discussions have been completed.  Please keep checking back to this page for further updates.
Update 17 March 2020
With regret, Saturday's concert has been cancelled
In light of the advice issued over the past 2-3 days by HM Government and other influential factors, the Society's executive team has taken the decision to cancel the concert in Southwark Cathedral that was scheduled for this coming Saturday 21st March.  We are very sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.  Those of you who have purchased tickets for this concert will receive an email in the next 24 hours regarding the refunding of your ticket payments.  Choir members will have received an email from their respective voice reps to confirm that the remaining rehearsals and the concert itself have been cancelled.  Information on how the choir will operate in the coming weeks/months will be issued later this week.  Please be patient for receiving these items.  Thank you.
Update 16 March 2020
Tonight's rehearsal is cancelled
Update 15 March 2020
Important Notice : The Society's executive team is monitoring the current situation regarding COVID-19 on a frequent basis and using the advice from Public Health England and HM Government to determine its next steps.  At the time of writing, the rehearsals and concert scheduled for this coming Saturday 21st March are still going ahead.  Please check back here on a daily basis this week for any changes to this status.
Posted: 19:18:47 - 22/03/2020

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