Category Archives: New Term

The Roaring 20’s are back

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.

PiccadillyIn 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!

Razzle Dazzle ’em

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!

Night and Day PosterOur 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!

Dates for the Diary

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?
wineIf 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 Leaves

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! 2014-06-14 20.05.27 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!   2014-07-15 08.20.26 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. 2014-07-13 01.09.01 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. IMG_2712Aga 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!

Busy Term incoming…

This could be a record…

Masters of popThree 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.

At the Young Vic Theatre

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!

Already 2 Rehearsals in…!

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).

Michael Gove’s favourite

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?

Autumn already…

AutmnWith another spell of hot sunny weather forecast for this week, it seems like only yesterday our choir met on a warm day in July to sing and celebrate Brunswick Park’s 106th Birthday! Lot’s of people since then have been saying how quickly 2013 seems to have gone so far. And although I think people say that every year – I think that this time they’ve got a point… And so onto a new term of Camberwell Community Choir!

Rehearsals begin on Tuesday 10th September at 7.45pm as usual in the St Giles’ Centre, opposite St Giles’ Church on Camberwell Church Street. If you’ve never been to a rehearsal with us before – why not try us out! We’re friendly, quirky, fun and belonging to a choir has so many benefits… If you look at our Facebook page you’ll see for yourself! Who’d have thought singing could rewire your brain and cure snoring?

This term we will once again be preparing for a scary concert in October – and this year it’s going to be epic. Like the movies epic… (hint!). And in December we will be ‘owning’ Camberwell with performances of Christmas carols both old and new. An exciting term to come!

Happy Autumn everyone – and see you soon! AV

Welcoming Spring

Happy New Year!

Welcome to our new home –

You’ll still be able to find us on Facebook, Twitter and the Music at St Giles’ web page but here’s where we hope you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know about our choir.

Term starts again on Tuesday 15th of January at 7.45pm with Matt. If you’re a returning choir member – welcome back! If you’re thinking about coming to our choir for the first time, please do. Either way, you’re in for a treat…

Originally 'Camberwell Green'
Originally ‘Camberwell Green’

170 years ago this year, who would believe that none other than Felix Mendelssohn (Queen Victoria’s favourite composer) wrote a song about Camberwell? The young composer stayed at 168 Denmark Hill and wrote his piece to reflect the tranquility of the area… Sadly his piece didn’t find fame under the title ‘Camberwell Green’ but it did after he had changed it to ‘Spring Song’.

Nevertheless, using Mendelssohn’s piece as our starting point, we’ll be rehearsing and performing music dedicated to springtime. It’s going to be fun!