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.
December 2019
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Having mastered the art of singing in German while doing the St John Passion, the TSO Chorus moved on to Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, which is a symphony-cantata in 13 movements (3 purely orchestral, followed by 10 vocal movements involving the choir and three soloists). There are some lovely moments in the piece, and I think we did a […]

Bach’s “St John Passion”

After several weeks of intense rehearsals, and having a tenor-line rehearsal track on continuous play-back in my car so I could get things into my head and voice as I was driving, we reached the final week of rehearsals and met the performance conductor, Stephen Layton. He is a very famous choral conductor and has […]

Master class with Simon Halsey

The TSO Chorus were privileged to be able to experience a master class day of rehearsals with Simon Halsey, who is a famous English choral conductor (he is Chorus Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, Artistic Director of the chorus of Palau de la Música Catalana, in Barcelona, and Conductor Laureate of the Berlin […]

12 of 12, February 2019 (and Moods of the Mountain #105)

The day began with a rainy morning, after a hot, dry January with many bushfires. Hopefully the rain will go some way to finally extinguishing the remnant smouldering bits.

My Mum kindly dropped around an egg and bacon pie, which will solve the Tuesday dinner problem before my evening rehearsal (and some other meals later in what […]

Idea of North again

The Idea of North came to Hobart again, and Mum, Dad, and I arranged to go and see/hear them. There have been some changes since I last saw them, with both their bass and soprano (Andrew Piper and Sally Cameron) leaving the group and being replaced (by Luke Thompson and Emma Rule), and with the lineup […]

“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 […]