Hi all – Choir rehearsals are back from Tuesday 24th April at 7.45pm and then it’s all about our recording on 6th May – check out the Calendar page for more details!
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.
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!
Choirs 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!
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.
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.
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.
Well – it’s been quite some time (6 months) since your choir leaders wrote a post on the website. Apologies. We move in mysterious (lethargic) ways and we prefer to think that our lack of contact has encouraged you to come to more rehearsals to find out what on earth we’ve got in store for you. Or you could just blame our organisational skills. (What skills?)
Moving on – this summer is going to be big. Usually, we do a summer concert, perform outside in the park, join a few other choirs for another concert and so on. This term we have all that and more. The ‘more’ being ‘Organoke’, a new concept exploring the age-old link between the church pipe organ and rock and roll…
Essentially, we’re going to join in and lead karaoke classics accompanied on the organ in St Giles’ Church, with the help of a band, a bar and some fancy dress outfits. Admittedly, this is not a normal combination and to the best of our knowledge this hasn’t been done before and probably for good reason. But as the opening night of Camberwell Arts Festival on the 11th of June it’s going to be great and definitely something different! We’re working out exactly how it will all work but come to choir to find out more – you never know when the next post will be.
In the meantime, check out the calendar which has upcoming rehearsals and concerts and see you at choir soon!
The roaring 20’s are back – and so are we!
Our new term starts on Tuesday 15th of September with Aga. You can see our schedule on the calendar page here. And like last year, we’re preparing music for a visit to 1920’s London with our silent film night, on Saturday 31st of October.
In October 2014, we accompanied Alfred Hitchcock’s silent film, ‘The Lodger: A tale of the London Fog’ with live music. We thought we’d stick to the same town and era so that we can encourage even more dressing up this time around. So dust off those fascinators and top hats!
Like last time, we’re combining period and new music. Whether we’ll be able to recreate one of the best chase scenes in cinema history to ‘Mad World’ is anyone’s guess, but we’ve certainly got some ideas. Piccadilly is a film about ambition, desire and jealousy set in the glamorous west end – it’s hugely stylish and we’ll be using the British Film Institute’s restored version to bring it all to life.
So definitely a date for your diaries – see you at a rehearsal soon!
Community Choir returns on Tuesday 21st April
After learning 6 brand new songs last term we definitely needed to call it a day. And a night!
Our spring concert, with a night and day theme, was the finale to a great term of rehearsals. We had lots of new faces, lots of cheese and wine… and we tackled the most difficult music we’ve ever performed, much of it in four parts. We had a great attendance at the concert and we raised nearly £200 for Ronald McDonald House Charity in Camberwell. The choir leaders even got their act together and stuck to the theme… in the end!
We also contributed to a concert with two other choirs on Monday 13th of April – even with lots of people away for Easter we still did a great job.
So, what do we have planned for summer 2015?
The theme is songs from musicals and we already have lots to put in the diary. On Sunday 10th May we’ll be performing at a garden party at Ronald McDonald House in Camberwell. Then on 20th June we have Masters of Pop II in St Giles’ Church. And on the following weekend on Saturday 27th June we’ll be supporting a world record in Camberwell… more on that soon!
Check out the calendar for all details of rehearsals and concerts – and see you at choir soon!
Happy New Year! Choir rehearsals start again on Tuesday 13th January at 7.45pm.
If you’ve never joined us before, why not try something new for 2015? Using your voice and singing with a choir has no end of health benefits. Really – you’d be surprised! As well as burning off over 200 calories per rehearsal – biscuits in the tea break not withstanding – singing in a choir is apparently better for you than yoga.
In 2013, Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found that singers heartbeats synchronise when they sing together, bringing about a calming effect that is as beneficial to our health as yoga. “Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these,” says Dr Björn Vickhoff, who led the study. “It gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing. It helps you relax, and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.” So there you go!
To hell with the diet?
If a New Year detox is not for you – come to our Wine & Cheese night on Tuesday 10th February. It’s basically a short choir rehearsal followed by your favourite tipples, creamy cheeses and a singalong round the Joanna – it’s now a choir tradition and you’ll love it! We’ve got lots more to plan and arrange performance wise, so we’ll keep you posted and bring you more details later in the term.
In the meantime, have a great start to 2015!
Autumn is here which means choir rehearsals begin again! Join us on Tuesday 16th of September in the St Giles’ Centre on Camberwell Church Street at 7.45pm for our first rehearsal this term. The diary is going to be bursting with gigs this term… but first, here’s what we got up to in the summer! In June we sang at ‘Masters of Pop’ which was simply EPIC! Featuring three other choirs, the concert kicked off Camberwell Arts Week and St Giles’ church was absolutely buzzing. The audience lapped up our ‘Goodnight Sweetheart’ even though it was supposed to be a pop concert! There was a huge singalong with all the other choirs and – the after party – wow! On to July and ‘The Events’ was probably one of the most exciting, poignant, exhilarating and fascinating performances we’ve ever done as a choir. The Events was a very dark – but ultimately hopeful – play about human nature and required a different choir every night to interactively take part in the performance. Step forth Camberwell Community Choir! We ended up performing twice at The Young Vic and both our performances went so well. It was hard work and there were loads of songs to learn but it was well worth it! We all had a lot of fun treading the boards and the production team and the actors were brilliant and ended up coming with us to yet another after show party! Evidence above! Our final performance of the summer was at Kings’ College Hospital on Denmark Hill. As part of the commemoration of the start of WWI, we sang some songs popular on the home front and the theme from ‘Band of Brothers’ by John Williams. Aga played some clarinet music by WWI composers and the ‘March Past’ music of the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Corps army unit, which was largely founded at Kings’. Matt sang some of the most heart wrenching music ever written by a British composer, who was killed in the great war, George Butterworth. It was a very emotional – and perhaps a difficult – performance to be involved with but it showed the power of music; to link people and events from a different time to the world we all live in today. So a very busy summer! But lots more to look forward to – Aga, Matt and Ashley can’t wait to begin rehearsals and meet some new faces along with the regular crew! You’re always welcome!
This could be a record…
Three MASSIVE singing opportunities in the same term. First up is the ‘Masters of Pop’ concert at St Giles’ on Saturday 14th of June. Everyone knows that it’s England’s first game in the Football World Cup – but since it’s starting at 11pm and this concert is at 8pm (doors open earlier) who cares?! What a great way to warm up the vocal chords for singing EN-GER-LAND, EN-GER-LAND later on raucously. Or not.
Anyway, next up is our debut at The Young Vic! Our two performances will be on Tuesday 8th and Saturday 12th July – see the calendar for details. ‘The Events’ has got so much praise from critics and theatre goers alike – it’s going to so good to be involved!
Finally, our term will finish on a somber note as we sing at a civic event commemorating the beginning of WW1 on Monday 4th August. We’re going to be leading the musical part of this service and we have the chance to make it a very special occasion for everyone there. Again, more details in the calendar section.
So there you have it – an epic term is in store! As usual, please tell others about what we’re up to and encourage people to come to a rehearsal or three!
Time passes so quickly! And embarrassingly it’s been ages since we put some news on this website. Our Facebook page won the battle in terms of Christmas updates, but it’s not as if things haven’t been going on!
‘Camberwell Scare’ at the start of November last year must have been one of our most successful concerts ever – who would have thought a 1923 horror film and a live performance from a community choir would work? But it did – and it was so popular we might have to do it again this year! Our Christmas Concert was loads of fun too with a record audience turnout. ‘Carols ’round Camberwell’ was a bit damp, what with a thunderstorm starting just as we set out to sing! But we raised nearly £200 in 45 minutes towards the Philippines Typhoon appeal which meant it was well worth soggy clothes (and music).
But now to 2014 – and you can be sure that our music choices will remain eclectic as ever! But throughout the year, there will be some songs popping up commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great War, 1914-18.
Music has probably played a role in warfare since the start of war itself – drums and trumpets always seem to feature highly when it comes to biblical battles (as the city of Jericho found out); flutes and fifes in the American Civil War (and closer to home in Northern Ireland); and of course marching army bands (watch the first 30 seconds of any ‘Blackadder goes forth’ episode!)
World War 1 got underway in the era of gramophones and perhaps more than ever, music on the home front and music on the front lines were connected like never before – often with some ‘edited’ lyrics by soldiers! A great example is the song ‘They didn’t believe me’ from ‘The girl from Utah’ by Jerome Kern and Herbert Reynolds. Arriving in Britain from the US in 1914, it became an ironic take on the allegedly ‘easy’ life of the trenches in the early part of the war. It was featured under another title ‘We’ll never tell them’ at the end of ‘Oh what a lovely war’, which is a bit of a hot topic for MP Michael Gove at the moment! We will be rehearsing this song at the next rehearsal with Ashley.
Anyway – even two rehearsals in – it’s never too late in the term to come and join us! And if you’ve visited us before, why not make a New Year’s Resolution to make music a part of your life in 2014?