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946Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

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  • Eilionora Ghorm
    May 19, 2008
      Lady Elizabeth,

      In response to your heartfelt letter below, I just wanted to say that I have run into many of the same obstacles you mentioned in my recent attempts to bring choral music back into my local group.  In fact, one of the reasons I joined the SCA in the first place was to participate in the choir and sing period pieces.

      Imagine my dismay, then, when I was told that my Barony's choir hadn't existed for ten years!  I was very disappointed to hear this, and set right to work at breathing life back into the defunct choir.  I now direct (and sing with) a small but dedicated group of gentles.  However, life often gets in the way of regular rehearsal times and we have found it difficult to find appropriate performance venues.  Especially now that winter is over, most (if not all) of the upcoming events we have will be outside... not the ideal setting for choral music at all.

      I hope that in the future, still more efforts can be made to facilitate choral performances in the SCA.


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...>
      To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 4:05:57 PM
      Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: the rarity of music

      To change the subject slightly...
      This year was a busy, but not fun year for myself, and I didn't have
      enough chance to sing much. Also, my local singing group has had
      difficulties: mostly the other people had happy difficulties, which have
      gotten in the way of regular singing get-togethers. But the result is
      that music, which needs regular practice, was not much practiced as a
      group activity in my local group and Barony this year. And, I got to
      thinking about how rare music is, and how difficult it is to encourage
      Period music in S.C.A.

      There are no "War Points" or other awards for music, as with many other
      A&S activities, even the "competitions, " which are documentation driven,
      and do not give any credit for a mixed group of beginning and advanced
      musicians, do not give performance opportunities in S.C.A. (Personally,
      I do not find competition educational; our group did it once, and
      afterwards people just dropped out.) Bardic circles always favor solos
      and modern compositions, usually chanted epic poems, in a "Period"
      style. Often, outdoor demos attract audience to fighters, but there is
      too much background noise to hear musicians who sing or play acoustic
      instruments. (Our only small success recently was at an indoor demo.)
      And those who love competition the most tend to be the men, who won't
      come within a mile of any singing activities in my Barony (which limits
      the number of parts that are possible to sing).

      Therefore, I've really really been looking forward to singing at this
      Pennsic with others who appreciate the beauty and variety of Period
      music. At the very least, I hope that the Pennsic Choir is on for this
      year, and perhaps even more opportunities to do Period vocal music at

      I've met Erlan, who is a fine conductor, but I am hoping that any CD
      problems can be resolved very very soon so that everybody wants to come
      to Pennsic and sing Period music together (and forget that some have
      waited a long time for the CDs). This is for a totally selfish reason;
      I am disheartened locally, and hope that the musicians can stand up and
      be counted, and show the realms that the S.C.A. is an educational,
      non-profit organization and not a fight club.
      Lady Elizabeth of Gwyntarian, mka Elizabeth Dowling

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