Proposal for a choir exchange in May 2012 - Wed 25 May 2011

La Clef des Chants is a mixed voice adult choir which is based in the town
of Excideuil in the north east of the department known officially as the
Dordogne, but called the Perigord, which is an older name which dates from
before the Revolution, by most people who live here. The town is
approximately 35 kms north east of the departmental capital of Perigueux and
is dominated by a medieval chateau. The choir, which has existed since the
1980's, meets weekly during school term time and gives several concerts a
year, most recently at Argentat in the neighbouring department of the
Correze, where we were invited to the Festival of the Dordogne and sang with
five other choirs. The programme
of the choir is mixed, from modern to traditional French numbers, some
sacred songs and a number of songs from Africa and other European countries. The total
membership of the Clef des Chants stands at around 45 - 50 and they are
mainly French with some Dutch and currently one English member. Their ages
range from mid twenties to mid seventies.

The choir has from time to time had an exchange with other choirs in France
notably at Nantes and near Bordeaux and would like to propose the
possibility of an exchange with a choir in England The objective would be to
give a joint concert with our host choir on a Saturday, each choir
performing a programme on its own, but also performing one or two numbers
together. There would obviously be an offer of a return event in Excideuil
before or after the visit by the Clef des Chants.

We would seek to organize our visit to the UK around the public holiday at
the end of May, thus avoiding our members having to ask for leave from their
jobs. The visit would be based around a weekend and would last two nights
between the 26th and 28th of May 2012

In order to keep travel costs to a minimum, the ideal would be for the
receiving choir to be based within easy travelling distance of one of the UK
airports currently served by the low budget airlines eg Liverpool, Leeds/
Bradford, East Midlands, Bristol, Southampton, Stanstead or Gatwick
depending on convenient flights.

Normally to keep down costs the Clef des Chants would accommodate and feed
members of a visiting choir in their own homes however during the day after
the concert we would arrange to feed our guests at the concert venue. We
would also try to give our guests a small insight into the highlights of
Excideuil with a walking tour of the town etc. If you felt you were able to
do this it would be an enormous help in keeping the costs down and it would
be a great pleasure to reciprocate when you come to Excideuil.

Apart from meeting and spending time with other singers the main objective
would be to carry out a joint concert at a suitable venue of your choice.
We give concerts in a variety of venues including in a venue in the local
chateau, subject to availability. We also sing in churches and once a year
in the open air on the French national music day. Because our programme is
mainly non religious we do occasionally have to omit some songs when singing
in Catholic churches in France , but I don't know if you have a problem
with this censorship by the clergy in England. We would normally spend the
day of the concert meeting together with the members of our host choir,
rehearsing our own programmes and putting the final touches to our agreed
joint numbers to be sung by the two choirs.

Please contact Janet & Alan Collier if you are interested.

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