All posts by AshSG

A Midnight Special

Camberwell, ’round midnight, in a large victorian parish church on a damp evening in early May…

Choir record

We were busy recording our favourite songs!

In advance, all three choir leaders had tried to warn choir members just what they were letting themselves in for. Intentionally near-forgotten tales of recording CD’s with various bands and orchestras came to light. Horror stories of the 50th take still not being right. Stuffy, unbearably hot recording studios with water coolers without any cups. Agitated people wandering around aimlessly wondering when it will all end…

Of course, these apocalyptic warnings were all brushed aside by the choir and our recording session, led by our lovely sound guru Cassandra, was as smooth as anyone could have dared hoped. And when the wine came out we sure made a night of it!

Apart from the odd siren and noisy tea urn – we had a clear run and got some amazing takes. It’s all in the choir member’s area – enjoy!

Spring Break

We’re on holiday now – we start back on Tuesday 25th April at 7.45pm.

Thanks to everyone who came to our joint choir concert – we had a great time in Waterloo. It’s always good meeting other choirs and listening to what they’re up to.

Choir Pub
Here’s evidence from the pub afterwards – just after singing our own unique version of ‘Happy Birthday’ in 10+ parts?! Happy Easter to everyone!

Next Gig

We’re teaming up with Kennington Community Choir, Oasis Waterloo Community Choir and the Kenningtones (awesome name) for a concert on Tuesday 28th March at 7.30pm. You’re more than welcome and it’s free – see poster below. We have naturally selected a pub afterwards.. See you there!

Choir concert Oasis 28 March 2017

Q. What music does cheese like? A. R & Brie…

Yes – cheese and wine night is approaching again and this term we’ll be dedicating Tuesday 21st of February to our celebration of all things cheese & wine. Actually you can bring anything – nibbles, beer or whatever you fancy and come along to sing and make merry.

Just don’t be late – I camembert people who are late… (promise that’s the last one).

Also – Choir leader Aga, Ros Walker, Carmel Boylan, Becki Cox, and Claire Macmillen have signed up to do the NUTS Challenge – a ridiculously tough, muddy obstacle course in freezing-cold March. It will be painful but it’s all for a jolly good cause – a charity called Child Rescue Nepal. They’re part of a big team called Team Saltus.

The team will be accepting donations so if you can give a few quid, not only will it help vulnerable children in Nepal, it will help them get through the mudbath that little bit faster. You can read about the charity and about the NUTS challenge on JustGiving – links below – they all have fundraising pages, so feel free to share the love!

Ros’ Story            Carmel’s Story                Claire’s Story

Thanks from Team Saltus!

  

Happy New Year!

Don’t you just hate people who claim they are constantly busy and complain that they never have any spare time? If so – being around any of the choir leaders in December 2016 must have been a bit distressing. It’s even worse if you actually are one – our conversations have been bordering on Monty Python’s 3 Yorkshiremen at times.

Anyway – on the plus side of all that we had some Christmas fun. We started off with Carols at King’s – Hospital that is – and performed at their Christmas Carol Service.

choir-at-kings

Coming off the back of silent film night, we blew the dust of Coventry Carol and ‘O men from the fields’ and they sounded fantastic.

The week after was the 9th Carols ’round Camberwell – on tour – if singing at Peckham Rye Train Station counts. It was a good one this year – it didn’t rain! But it was also really good to support Health Poverty Action, the charity we were raising money for. Check out our special mention here!

grand-union-choirChoirs throughout London were helping raise money through carol singing and we raised £250. Along with 34 other choirs, the final total was £5,877.66 in a week – an awesome result.

Not all choirs squeeze into pubs as part of their carol singing. After the station, we found ourselves in the Phoenix, Grand Union, Hermits (and Theo’s), Stormbird, Tiger and the Old Dispensary.

After all that, lots of you came along to Organoke and St Giles’ Carols by Camberwell – that really was a busy weekend! And it continues…

First Choir Rehearsal of 2017 will take place on Tuesday 17th January. In advance and if you’re a choir member – click here for something exciting!

Cheese, crackers & Christmas

Another awesome cheese and wine night everyone! Thanks so much to Carmel who is without doubt the Queen of cheese and wine organisation. Also to everyone who brought something along – be it bottles or brie – and to anyone else who helped in any way. There are, of course, videos courtesy of Dominic – enjoy!

Cheese and wine night came after another cracking silent film night performance. ‘Blackmail’ was a huge success – there were confirmed reports of managing to make some of our audience of 260+ people cry – but thankfully due to our singing being so moving! Our rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Undecided’ encore at the end soon dried up any tears and the party in the crypt went on ’till late. Great work all round.

It’s Christmas carol time now – and we’ll be singing at King’s College Hospital on Monday 5th of December and then at Carols ’round Camberwell on the 13th of December, which interestingly enough starts in Peckham this year. Check the diary for more details – and see you soon!

Silent Film is this Saturday!

It’s nearly here! Just a few reminders for choir members in advance of the big day..

Tuesday’s Rehearsal will be held in St Giles’ Church. It’s very chilly in church so wrap up warm or bring a hip flask or both.

Saturday’s Rehearsal will now be slightly earlier at 5.30pm. We’ll be going through the three songs the band are playing with us and any others if we have time. Doors open at 7pm and the film itself will start around 7.30pm – 7.45pm so there’ll be a break in-between. The bar will conveniently be open.

fezDress is completely up to you. But 1920’s attire will really make you get in the mood! The choir leaders have heard rumours about certain people’s outfits…we can’t wait. All the band members are wearing fezzes. We don’t know why.

After party. It will be the same as last year and probably quite chaotic as usual. If you’re sure you’re coming, give us your name at Tuesday’s rehearsal and we’ll put you on the list. It’s a fiver to get in and there’ll be music and alcohol. ‘Nough said.

See you soon – and please tell everyone you meet about Blackmail! Ash & Ags.

Silent Surprises

Autumn has begun – and that means Community Choir is back! Tuesday 13th of September is the big day – and in an astonishing feat of organisation, your choir leaders have updated the choir Calendar up to the end of December, 2016. It has details of gigs and dates for half term and really helpful things like that… Don’t feel anxious – we’re just amazing.

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Anyway, before having a look at what’s to come this term, here’s an amazing pic of us courtesy of Tom Leighton from Organoke. If you want to see more, visit www.musicatstgiles.com where there’s more evidence of a truly awesome night. Thankfully, all photographs of the afterparty in the crypt bar seem to have mercifully disappeared.

blackmail1
So – on to the new term and this is the fourth year we’re going to be accompanying a silent film at St Giles’. This year’s film is Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Blackmail’ of 1929 – and it’s a cracker. It’s got oodles of Hitch’s signature themes, techniques and motifs running all the way through it – including the blonde in distress, a brilliant Hitch cameo on the tube and a thrilling foot chase set at the British Museum.

Blackmail is an especially important film as two versions of it were made – a silent version and Britain’s first ‘talkie’. Apparently the studio asked Hitchcock to convert the film to sound after silent shooting had already begun – but without informing them, Hitchcock decided to reshoot with some roles having different actors – and make two versions. Most cinemas at the time didn’t have the equipment to show the sound version so his justification was, well, sound. Both versions were a hit at the box office with critics favouring the silent version which we’ll be screening in November.

Apart from a few different actors, the two versions don’t vary from each other that much – the silent version had a length of 6740ft as appose to the 7136ft of the talkie. But one thing which was cut from the silent film was a song called ‘Miss Up-to-Date’ played and sung by actor Cyril Ritchard who appeared in last year’s film, ‘Piccadilly’. It’s only a short song and the music for it is about 80 years out of print and can’t be found anywhere! But we’ll try and include it back into the silent version, along with a few modern songs here and there. Here’s the original – let us know if you can make out any of the words!


After the silent film, we’ll be on the lead up to Christmas and as usual, December is looking hectic. But in the meantime, if you’re thinking about joining us for a rehearsal – do come. Singing in a choir is an amazing experience and it’s really, really good for you! We hope to see you soon. Ash, Matt & Aga.