Creation Workshop – February 2019


Singers who attended EPC’s 2019 workshop gave yet another resounding thumbs up for a wonderful day’s singing with Exeter Philharmonic Choir under their director of music, Howard Ionascu accompanied by their assistant director of music, Stephen Tanner, on piano.

Singers found much to praise: the warm welcome, the friendliness of EPC members, the experience of singing in a big strong group, producing a glorious sound. There was a good buzz, a convivial atmosphere.  The rehearsal was lively and fun – the day flew by.  People enjoyed chatting to members of other choirs in the break. They felt they were well looked after and enjoyed the cake.

Workshop conductor 2019INSPIRATIONAL DIRECTOR

Singers appreciated working with a skilled, inspirational director of music with interesting and innovative ideas. They valued the opportunity to improve their singing and work on their technique.  A typical comment expressed appreciation for ‘new musical insights and depth of understanding’ gained through working with a different director of music.   Many felt that their performance improved over the day and thought that by focusing on specific movements, there was time to get to grips with the music.  Having such a good accompanist, in Stephen, was much appreciated as was having Hannah Deasy with us to sing key solos.

There continues to be divided opinion when it comes to warm ups, with a some asking for this element to be shorter, while others appreciated the exercises and planned to take the ideas away with them.

The perennial and, regrettably insuperable, problem of mismatching scores caused a few problems.  This does vary from work to work and was exacerbated by the different translations and changes of words.


Singers really like the venue saying it works well; it’s light and airy, plenty of space, wonderful acoustic, comfortable chairs and the central location is convenient for public transport.


We will take note of suggestions for improvement: it was on the cool side; some people found the lighting poor and those at the back had difficulty hearing Howard.  There was a radical suggestion that we consider doing the workshop in the round – food for thought…  Some people found the chatter from fellow singers in the afternoon distracting. Sometimes there are things outside our control – in this case, the fire alarm.


There were warm thanks to the EPC team and appreciation for how everything was so well organised.


Come and join us again on 15thFebruary 2020.  We’ll be singing Handel’s Coronation Anthems.

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