Oxford 2021

Here is the latest email from Duncan about the approaching ‘staycation’. If you have already let him know you are interested, you will have received this email. If you haven’t registered, it is not too late to do so. You should email Duncan at:


See the earlier email below this one for the music we will be singing.

27 July 2021

“The news recently has been slightly more encouraging and I’ve now heard back from St. Michael’s.

Currently we’re too big for a garden but St. Michael’s have booked us outside in the Church grounds. The space outside the east end looks good, less public than the west end, and sound bounces off the church wall and the vicarage.

The 6.30pm start should give us enough light, and a glass or two at around 8pm.

At the moment, I’m thinking more of a workshop, but if we can find a few more tenors and basses, and the news continues to be encouraging, we have the church provisionally booked for a short concert on Sunday evening.

There will be a very small charge each to cover the church cost of between £200 and £300 depending on how many hours we use. Currently we are 53 singers.

Chairs will be available and I have a good keyboard that can work on a battery.

So all outside (maybe an indoor concert), a chance to blow the cobwebs away, strengthen your singing, stamina and reading with lovely music new and familiar, followed by a glass in excellent company!

The only thing to keep an eye on is the weather, but we have the Church booked if people are happy to go inside by mid-August, and it’s unlikely the whole week will be rained off (surely!).

Can you give me a quick yea or nay so I can have final numbers? Attendance would also be useful.

Times below.

Many thanks and best wishes,


St. Michael’s, Lonsdale Road – August 2021

Tuesday 10        6.30 – 8pm
Wednesday 11   6.30 – 8pm
Thursday 12       6.30 – 8pm
Friday 13            6.30 – 8pm
Saturday 14       10.30am – 12pm
Sunday 15          4 – 5/5.30pm
Sunday 15   Possible concert in Church 7.45 – 9pm”


Earlier email

About 50 people have expressed an interest in participating in the ‘staycation’ this summer – details of which are, of course, dependent on how the easing of the lockdown proceeds. But Duncan is now able to follow up his announcement of the details of the staycation lower on this page with the repertoire he plans (all of which are available on the John Fletcher website):

Byrd Mass for four Voices (all movements except the Credo)
Marenzio Hodie Maria virgo
Tchaikovsky Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (No 1 only, pp.6-7)
Stanford Praised be Diana
Parry Hymn to Diana
Parry There rolls the deep
Bishop Foresters, sound the cheerful horn

Click on the title for a pdf of the music. If you attend the staycation, you will need to print it all out.


More news from Duncan of the ‘staycation’ in Oxford this year – 10-15 August.

[With more details to follow soon]

‘This year’s Summertown Singers event will be in Oxford from Tuesday to Sunday, 10-15 August. Locations and exact times to be confirmed, but there will be about two hours of singing each morning [now possibly evenings and inside] in various gardens around Oxford and a performance on the Sunday. So if you want to give some a cappella chamber-choir singing a try, this is the year, and you would be most welcome!
The dates happen to take in two ancient celebrations: the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the three day Roman celebration of Nemoralia in honour of the Goddess Diana who appears in a number of madrigals and part songs. Exploring the wealth of connected repertoire will be most interesting!
I’d also like to include some movements from Tchaikovsky’s wonderful Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (we’ll pass over the fact that he allegedly destroyed the Temple of Diana). The notes are relatively simple and the joyful celebratory character will be perfect in August!
It would be helpful in choosing repertoire to have an idea of how many are interested. Could you email me at dsdsaunderson@googlemail.com if you are? (There will be no charge this year [unless venues need to be hired for indoor rehearsals].)
I want to continue the tradition of welcoming good chamber-choir singers from outside SCS, so if you know of anybody who might be interested, do let me know.

All best, Duncan’


Unfortunately the 2020 trip to Porto, detailed below, had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus, as did its replacement this coming summer. Perhaps next year!

The 2020 trip will be to Porto, Portugal. Dates are Monday-Sunday, August 17-23, 2020, with a concert on Saturday 22 at St James’ Anglican Church, to be followed by singing in the Church service the following morning. The average highest temperature in Porto in July and August is 25°C. Anyone interested in going on this trip should find out more from Duncan, as well as speak to choir members who have been on previous trips.