Past Musical Directors..

Since singing is so good a thing.....

At 7.30pm every Monday we meet at
the Lutterworth Methodist Church
All singers welcome!

Anne de Graeve

Reminiscences from Anne de Graeve (1991 - 2001)

At a supper party in April 1991 I was talking to other musical friends about what I was hoping to do in the future. ‘Find a choral society to conduct’ I said little knowing that the following weekend they were entertaining Marlene Sweetko who expressed her worries about leaving Lutterworth and District Choral Society when she went to study in Manchester. At about 11:30 I received a call from Marlene – was I interested? I came to hear the choir on their final rehearsal for The Gypsy Baron – then met the committee and the rest, as they say, is history.

Right from the start I realised that working with these colourful characters was going to be fun, and that musically many large choral works would be a challenge, so I decided to use smaller-scale works which would have their own challenges, but would create interesting, varied programmes. April 1992 saw two introductions. A new uniform of blue skirts for the ladies and blue bow ties for the gentlemen brightened things up. Then we introduced the instrumentalists. First we used a violin duo for the Elgar Partsongs; then we used a string quartet to supplement the organ for the Hummel Mass in B flat. It added a lot to the final performance and comments from the choir and audience were very favourable.

I think the most memorable concert was Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. The string quartet added a great deal and David Johnson’s electronic keyboard acted not only as harpsichord and organ but also as ‘birdsong’ for the first scene, ‘thunder’ for the storm and witches and ‘seagulls and waves’ for the harbour scene.

Being music director of LDCS has been a great privilege for me. We have great fun and the little asides from the choir lead to a relaxed but hardworking Monday rehearsal. One especially still makes me chuckle. I was explaining tessitura (the range of the voice) to the gentlemen and one said ‘Tessitura. That sounds like a medical condition. Is it treatable?’ My thanks to all the committee for their support and help, to the row of accompanists who have put up with my high demands, and, of course, to all the members of the choir. Thank you for your hard work, patience and friendship