Appointment of new musical director

We advertised for a new musical director in July 2018, to follow on from Duncan Archard who retired as Musical Director of Stour Choral Society in December 2018. We had several very strong applications, after which Susie Hyman was appointed.

Prior to this, we asked people on 11th June for their views on what was important to them about Stour Choral Society and in a new musical director, and on how they would like the society to develop in the future. Here is a summary of the main points given during the session.

Why is SCS important to you?

Companionship - mutual encouragement - like-minded people - camaraderie - community cohesion - opportunity to get to know people - non-threatening - caring

Local activity

Continuity - coming 40 years

Intellectual stimulation - musical challenge - musical problem-solving - learning new things - personal improvement - preparing for performance

Making music with others - singing together - opportunity for part-singing

Variety of music - variety of venues

No audition - inclusive of different levels of musical ability

Good exercise

What qualities would you like to see in a new musical Director?

Understanding and experience of singing - committed - passionate - skilled

Sense of vision (aim of what the choir could be even if it does not achieve it)

Good control - clear direction/conducting - strong discipline - presence - charisma

Trained and competent to teach and develop vocal technique - warm-ups that develop skills - able to stretch our musical ability - able to motivate - able to improve choir standards - able to work with all voices - able and willing to give extra help where needed

Knowledge and understanding of different genres of music -able to demonstrate ideas for programmes - interested in and willing to try different types of music

Have a range of musical contacts (soloists, instrumentalists)

Encouraging - patient - friendly - positive - sense of humour - good people person - prepared to go the extra mile - good communicator - willing to listen to choir's ideas - approachable - non-egotistical

Relative youth

Access to technical support (sound system, lighting)

How would you like to see SCS develop in the future?

Grow in number - especially men and younger people.

Bigger audiences - perform more popular items (light-hearted/serious) - demands of repertoire to be appropriate to choir ability - make concerts more viable - better advertising

Establish variety of musical programming through the year (eg 3 concerts - classical masterpiece- show/film music - variety of short popular and less well-known pieces)

Every other concert with orchestra - make use of music students

Cheaper contributions

More community involvement - perform in varying groupings - combine with other choirs - continue link with Kantorei

Come and sing events (fundraising opportunity)

Section rehearsals organised outside of weekly sessions

Focussed teaching of relevant musical skills

Choir input to programming choice

Social events

Do away with tea break (waste of valuable sing time)