We've had a spate of organ fund related activity in the past couple of days. This morning we ran a small bric a brac stall outside the church in the high street for a couple of hours while the church coffee morning was in progress. I can't say it was a hugely successful event, because it was very chilly so not many people were about, and we didn't have a huge amount to sell which also makes a difference (people are more convinced you are a serious seller if you have bulging tables with lots of interesting items). We had variety and were sharing the tables with the cake stall, which helped to draw punters, but if we had more than 10 books available we would have made more cash, so next month at the coffee morning we'll make sure we've got some more books on the table as we noticed last year in book sales that people like to browse books, and do buy them.
Two nights ago choir 4 (a group from the Parish Singers) had a SPEM rehearsal together. We weren't super confident at the start of rehearsal, and although we weren't super confident afterwards, we did feel more certain about the shape of the piece and what we need to do to keep up. This afternoon all 8 choirs came together in the church for the second of the big joint rehearsals for SPEM and the other pieces we're singing (Zadok, I was glad, With a voice of singing). At first James got us to sing in a big group in the seats at the front of the church, then once we'd run through it a couple of times (and made mistakes), he sent us up to the gallery. For those who don't know what the interior of St Mary & St Giles is like, we have galleries around three sides of the nave which means we literally can have surround sound for this performance.
The run through in the gallery went surprisingly well, and Dai, who was sitting in the nave while we rehearsed, was suitably complimentary about the effect.
We've got several more rehearsals before the big day on the 6th June and after today's great effort, I'm sure that the concert will be a wonderful occasion. One of the nicest things about this event is how we are drawing on the talents of several good local choirs and in doing so are getting the message out that our 3 manual Willis organ is a wonderful resource for music making in Milton Keynes.
Our SPEM page on the organ fund website is at http://www.smsg-organ-appeal.co.uk/spem.htm
Press Release about SPEM http://smsgpipeorgan.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/press-release-spem-in-alium-concert/