Rehearsals

The Choir’s main rehearsal location is Rogate Village Hall, which provides parking facilities. We normally rehearse every Tuesday in “term time” from 7.30 to 9.30 p.m. The Christmas Concert programme will also start on this date.

The rehearsals usually start with breathing and vocal exercises, augmented on occasion by guidance on technical disciplines, such as how to breathe and how to place the voice to achieve the best results from our efforts. Rehearsals for the 2018-19 season begin on Tuesday, 11th September, 2018.

In preparation for the Petersfield Musical Festival we have joint rehearsals with the other choirs who are taking part, under the leadership of the inspirational and renowned choral conductor and composer Paul Spicer, who has been associated with the Festival for the last ten years.

Initially these joint rehearsals are held in Petersfield’s Methodist church, normally on a Friday evening or a Saturday. In the week immediately before the performance there is an evening rehearsal at Petersfield’s Festival Hall, as well as the dress rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert.

For our ‘Summer Sing’ we have for many years rehearsed at the home of the Choir’s President where, weather permitting, at least part of the concert is performed under the midsummer night’s starry sky.

The Music Director

Alan Drake studied music at Cardiff and Cambridge universities. He went into school music teaching, becoming Director of Music at a number of independent schools with considerable choral directing both in-school and outside. He also developed an interest in prep school orchestral activity, becoming a Trustee of IAPS Orchestra Trust, which developed and ran holiday music courses.

Alan conducted the Fernhurst Choral Society for six years while teaching locally.  He first became conductor of Rogate Choral Society when teaching at the prep school to Wellington College in 1985 and remained with the choir until 1992. On taking early retirement from full- time teaching he was asked to return to RCS in 1995 and has been with us ever since.  He now does a lot of organ playing in local churches and has been involved in other local choral activity, as well as doing some part-time piano teaching at Winchester College.

Alan has always composed “in a small way”, he says, having studied composition at university and seeing it as a useful adjunct to both teaching and conducting.  He has written a number of pieces for RCS over the years, including a commissioned work to mark the Choir’s centenary. More recently he composed the ‘Flanders Carol’ for the 2014 Christmas concert.   He has also arranged items for the choir, and there are a huge number of these arrangements in the choir’s library, some of which, he confesses, he is “quite  pleased” with.