MUSIC DIRECTOR’S REPORT 2017
AGM : February 2018
37 years down, and still loving every minute of it!
The 40th Anniversary lies just a few years ahead and we need to start planning something BIG for that!
2017 was an excellent year and I think the highlight was Belshazzar’s Feast. However, there was a build up to that, and it started with Handel’s Messiah.
GF Handel – Messiah – even though we do this regularly, it is still a favourite of mine. It has so many ‘hits’ in it, which everyone loves to sing. The choir did it very well. What’s more, it puts money in the bank, which we can then use to do other, less well-known works.
Last Night of the Proms was, as it always is, a lot of fun! It’s an amazing way to raise R120,000- for a worthy cause. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
The Cherubini Requiem was very well rehearsed, and a real pleasure to conduct. The choir was very responsive and I think both you and the audience were amazed by what a powerful work it actually is.
Belshazzar’s Feast was a challenge for the choir, and most of you rose to the occasion. It was disappointing that quite a number of people dropped out when the going got tough, and we must be aware that the War Requiem coming up this year is a similar challenge. We need to start preparing for this right now! Rutter’s Gloria, which we sang with Belshazzar’s Feast, was somewhat easier than Walton, and the two works together made a fantastic pair. Well done to those who stayed the course. You are the backbone of the choir.
I was totally blown away by many of the costumes for Pirates of Penzance, and actually, the choir was the highlight of this performance. Some of the soloists were slightly below par, and thank heavens you carried the performance to a successful conclusion. It’s fun to do these lighter works from time to time, and we will probably miss something like this, this year.
Once again, the Christmas Concert was a rip-roaring success, and I was extremely happy with the singing. The fact that we raised R50,000- for Little Eden was an added bonus.
It was also very good to welcome visitors to the choir for these two final concerts (Pirates & Christmas) and I think it does us good to expand our reach within our communities, and it has resulted in several new permanent additions to our membership of younger people. This is a good thing.
As always, I want to thank you all for the time and energy that you commit to the choir. You play an important role in the musical life of Johannesburg, and of South Africa as a whole. For this I salute you.
Thanks also to Pridwin and St Charles, who generously host our rehearsals, and to the many people who make our concerts possible.
The trip to Germany is a major milestone, and is going to be hard work, and I want to thank all those who are contributing to that. Thanks also to the committee, our patrons, sponsors and friends, and of course our audiences, all of whom make this possible.
CHAIRMAN & TREASURER’S REPORT 2017
AGM : February 2018
The Choir undertook a varied and interesting concert programme in 2017. The Choir presented performances of Handel’s Messiah, Cherubini’s Requiem, Rutter’s Gloria, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, as well as the usual Christmas concerts.
These works were performed at a gross deficit of R193,631. Income from sponsorships, membership subscriptions, external performances and other income sources increased this to an operating surplus of R97,116. The choir finished the year with reserves of R1,008,267.
My thanks go to Richard Cock and Kate Pape for their ongoing contribution in raising corporate sponsorships. My thanks also go to the regular patrons, sponsors and friends, many of whom are choir members. As in past years, the generosity of the choir patrons and sponsors has made a vital difference to the choir’s financial position, contributing donations of R320,479 for the year.
I also wish to thank those choir members who participated in the Last Night of the Proms and Masonic Music concerts. These events contributed R31,532 to the choir coffers and continue to enhance our public profile. I would also like to mention with gratitude those volunteers who made the bells and hats for various concerts and raised further funds in the process.
Thanks are also due to all those who give of their time and skill to ensure that choir activities run as smoothly as possible. In particular, I would like to mention Debbie Kruger, for choir administration; all the members of the Choir Committee, for their advice and efforts; Alex Trinder-Smith, who arranges the programmes for the concerts and processes payments to orchestra members for us; Maddy Farrant, who administers the choir membership subscriptions; as well as Sue Cock, for accompanying the choir from time to time.
Finally, of course, I must record my gratitude to our incomparable Music Director, whose expertise, energy, humour and entrepreneurial skill makes it possible for the choir to produce such varied and beautiful music, and to have great fun in doing so.