Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
March 2019
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“Messiah” (most of it, plus 2 RDCVs*)

I knew that the TSO Chorus was doing Handel’s Messiah at the end of the year, and, being familiar with the work and suspecting that the shortage of tenors that had seen me invited to do Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette might also apply even for the better known Messiah, I let the powers that be know that I was […]

Back on song

Earlier this year, when I wasn’t sure how the year was going to pan out, I received an invitation to be an extra tenor in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus for a forthcoming performance of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette (tenors are in notoriously short supply for many choirs). I have been missing singing with my old choral group, Loose […]


Our most recent Loose Canon project has been a program of music for a Maundy Thursday “Tenebrae” concert (which is often* held on the Wednesday evening before Maundy Thursday). In a Tenebrae service there are readings and music, with the church in near darkness, and candles are extinguished one by one as the service progresses.

The music […]

The trumpet shall sound … as shall 300 voices

The folks at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra decided that it would be a good idea to have a sing-along Messiah this year, and 300 or so people agreed with them (plus the audience).

The requirements were simple: you turned up for rehearsals on Friday night and Saturday, and then it was performed on Saturday afternoon. Since there […]

The Alto’s Lament – for every A who has ever sung SATB

Many many years ago (24 in fact) I wrote a song—words and music—that lamented the long-suffering experiences of any alto who has ever sung in an SATB choir, where we often end up with the most monotonous lines (Handel, to give him credit, treats altos with a little more respect). I have performed The Alto’s Lament […]

A performance of notes

At a later date I will update this post with some back-story, but for now I just want to advertise the intended end-result of one of my time-consuming but enjoyable distractions.

The Hobart Chamber Orchestra and Loose Canon Chamber Singers (augmented) are proud to present — drum roll* — the Australian premiere performance of Carl Rütti’s Requiem.

Saturday […]


This year, thanks to the occasionally useful auspices of Facebook, I knew that TUMS’s Christmas eve carolling gig at the hospital was going ahead without having to wait until I actually turned up on the night.

I’m not entirely sure if Facebook is also responsible for the fact that there were about 30 singers in attendance, which […]

Hallelujah, Amen

Sunday 29 Nov

“Sing Messiah in Oxford” has now been crossed off the “To Do” list. And it was excellent fun (and exhausting, as well).

There were 45 or so in the choir, with half of them having only attended this weekend’s two compulsory rehearsals (I did one extra on Thursday). The conductor had organised a dozen or […]

Being ecumenical

Tuesday 17 – Thursday 19 Nov

Tuesday morning dawned gloriously, so I took advantage of the good weather to go for a walk in Christ Church Meadow, which runs south of Merton College and Christ Church (cathedral and college). It has been a very mild autumn so far, with an atypical absence of fogs and frosts (the […]