Kilndown Choir AGM, 25th October 2021 

Musical Director’s Report

It’s hard to believe that we are now approaching the end of the second year when choir activities (and indeed our whole lives) have been significantly curtailed by the global Covid-19 pandemic. But thank goodness restrictions have been eased in recent months and we are now able to sing together again and plan for our Christmas concert which I’m sure will be the most amazing event for all of us, our families and the village!
My usual report at the AGM is a celebration of our musical achievements throughout the year whereas this year our main achievement has been the ability to get back together and sing at all! You will recall that this time last year we were just about to re-start rehearsals when we were plunged into Tier 4 and singing was once again banned! We managed 3 carol singing sessions in December before that was banned, were about to re-start when lockdown eased in May but they re-introduced the “rule of 8” and then finally a small group of us managed to start singing outdoors on the Millennium Green in July. You’ll recall that even that was beset with weeks of rain and thunderstorms drowning out our rehearsals!
I was so pleased when we were finally able to start singing in this beautiful church once again, albeit with social distancing measures in place at first. Numbers were reduced at first but the fairly rapid increase in attendance has been amazing and I’m so delighted that as well as many “returners” we have welcomed a significant number of new members to the choir. Of course, there are still several existing members who are not yet able to return and we do miss them, wish them well and hope they will be back soon. 
The brilliant news is that we are now back to being a really strong choir – Sarah and I have been delighted with how good you are sounding and how you are getting your brains back into gear for learning new music. It fair to say that it has taken Sarah and myself a while to get back into our stride but it’s onwards and upwards now and we are really looking forward to putting on a great Christmas performance on 10th December. Anything we raise will be going towards the funds for the church toilet. We’ve also been asked to do some Carol singing in Goudhurst on 26th November for anyone who would like to join us.  Next year, the village is planning a celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and I’m sure we will be putting on a concert as part of those celebrations.
Unfortunately, the Youth Choir has folded as a result of the pandemic – I had decided to step down in January 2020 and a friend took it over for a few weeks before lockdown but has decided not to continue. We will be inviting older members (say 15 plus) to join the main choir but if anyone is interested in taking over the Youth Choir please let me know as it would be lovely to get it going again.
Finally I’d like to thank Sarah for her amazing musical support and direction, Kerne for his unique skills as an accompanist and the whole of the choir committee for all of the work they do behind the scenes. Putting on events takes a lot of hard work and we are always keen to have more volunteers so please let us know if you can help in any way.
Thanks to all of the choir too for your ongoing support and commitment – you are a great bunch of people and it’s a real privilege to be your MD. 

Julian Wells 25/10/21