Well, 562 days after our last rehearsal in King’s Hall on the afternoon of our March 2020 concert, tonight was our first rehearsal back in our spiritual home at Newcastle University!

Things have clearly changed somewhat from our last pre-lockdown King’s Hall practice (although of course we did have one indoor rehearsal earlier this year before the rules were changed/clarified the following day, so I did have an inkling of how it would be), so that will likely take a bit of adjusting to, but even with the modifications, it was fantastic seeing so many people in person again!

This term we will be aiming towards a performance of the always fantastic JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, with the concert scheduled for the evening of Saturday 20th November 2021 in St. George’s church in Jesmond (more details on tickets will be posted on Facebook in the next few days).

Amongst the many new safety procedures for indoor rehearsing that we have implemented were gaps between seats, and whilst this does make it far easier to get in and out of the rows during the practice, it does make it a little bit harder to hear how the different parts are fitting together (although it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought that it might be, based on the experience of our one-off rehearsal in St James’ URC earlier this year, which was a pleasant surprise).

This week, as we spent a little bit of time working out the new rehearsal arrangements, we ran through Part One and the start of Part Two of the Oratorio (after warming up with the first Choral), but as I am clearly slightly rusty with singing in person with other people, I think it will likely take a few homework sessions to get myself back up to speed with the runs – particularly Chorus number 21!

Next week we will continue with Part Two, and I am thoroughly looking forward to Monday night rehearsals forming part of my weekly schedule again as we run to to the performance!

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