We are fast approaching the new academic year, and with it, we must get ready for what will surely be another successful season of song. I’m confident that I not only speak for myself when I say that I’m eager to get started. Following our fabulous summer tour at the end of second semester which brought all of us together and solidified an already robust group of singers into close knit friends, the 2022/2023 year cannot come soon enough.
We will begin last year much the same as the last, with the long awaited audition process. Fortunately for us, and perhaps unfortunately for some of those who choose to audition, we receive a wide variety of candidates. From the exceptionally strong singers to the more nuanced standards of vocal production, this year's auditions will not disappoint in either regard. We will be holding our auditions on the 7th and 8th of September, and we have already seen a healthy number of early sign ups from incoming students who have seen our Instagram efforts. We hope to take at least one singer in each vocal part, with exceptions and extensions being made to accommodate for current members who will be undertaking time abroad. A full choir list including new additions will be posted to our social media as soon as the decisions are finalised.
Our concerts this year will take a very similar form to that of last year's performances. We will have two concerts in the first semester. Our first concert will take place in St Salvator’s Chapel on the 27th of October. Following this, we will be performing Christmas repertoire on the 1st of December in the same venue. It is always a happy sight to see alumni at these concerts, so we’re excited to welcome you all back to St Andrews if schedules allow.
The destination for our January Tour is yet to be announced, but the appetite in the group for the long anticipated return of Winter Tour is especially palpable. I can’t tell whether it is the excitement for the inevitable historic city destination, or the fervent desire to consume life threatening amounts of European beer that is taking hold of our members, but either way, the group is yearning to get going. If you’re not already, do follow us on Instagram for further updates on our Winter Tour.
Semester two will bring with it traditions old and new. Last year we revelled and enjoyed the success of the inaugural MadGroup Ball. Brilliantly organised by the three horsemen of pre-COVID MadGroup, Harry, Rebekah and Anna did an exceptional job on this front. This year's committee is in the midst of planning the 2023 MadGroup Ball, at which we hope to see as many of you as possible in attendance. It promises to be a night of gluttonous dining, excessive drinking and terrible cèilidh-ing. What’s not to love! Again, do follow us on Instagram for updates as to when tickets will be released. We plan to have discounted rates for Alumni to encourage a full and raucous bunch of you to attend.
Around a similar time, MadGroup is planning to undertake its most ambitious project to date. The inception of MadBall and the recording of our fabulously alluring new album ‘Come, Sable Night’ were extremely proud moments for the group. They demonstrated a high level of organisational ability from the committee and an even higher standard of singing from the group itself, respectively. It has long been my view, along with our shining MD Will, that our current group of singers is truly world class and as such, is capable of a wide breadth of repertoire. Importantly, the group itself is more than capable of repertoire which extends beyond the unaccompanied works we are famous for. The details are yet to be finalised, but MadGroup will be putting on a concert during semester two accompanied by a full chamber orchestra. This will be a new and complex challenge for the group, but it is one that I’m confident we will succeed in traversing. Do not be mistaken, this project does not change the essence of the group nor its unerring mission of being a unified, friendly, unaccompanied vocal group. It merely builds upon our continuing success and high standard of singing in a way that allows for us to demonstrate the true calibre of our current members, expand on our audience base and engage in new and exciting types of musical performance. More details will be confirmed in due course, but I hope that this news makes you as intrigued as we are.
This is all I have for now, but I’ve got a strong feeling that this year might be one of our very best - only time will tell! Stay tuned for the announcements of our concerts, MadBall, Winter Tour and our instrumental project on our Instagram. I look forward to connecting with you all throughout the year, wherever that may be.
Ed Chambler is a third year bass, former treasurer, and newly elected President of MadGroup! We're looking forward to a Chambler Administration as iconic as the man himself.