Choir Training Day with Colin Marston
St. Andrew's Church, Penrith - 19 January 2002

Review by Tracker

Colin's talk was divided into two sessions separated by a welcome tea break. In the first half Colin explained the situation at St. Andrews. Members were consoled that even at a well established church such as St. Andrew's, Colin has to maintain constant effort to maintain a viable choir. We studied the various settings currently used by his choir and Colin explained the organisation of the choir. We were surprised that he does not use ladies in the choir but relies on youngsters and men. It became clear also that activities other than practices are essential for the youngsters if their interest is to be maintained.

After tea we all had a chance to inspect music suitable for a wide range of choirs. It is perhaps the need to access suitable repertoire for rather limited parish choirs that causes the greatest problems for organists today and it may be that such organisations as the RSCM tend to publish music outside the capabilities of many choirs today which often only consist of a few members. We were very grateful to Colin for his great expertise as choirmaster organist and musician in presenting the problems and possibilities involved with parish choirs. Another session devoted to further study of suitable repertoire would be very welcome to those of us attending this event.

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