I think everyone in our choir would agree that 2014 has been a fabulous year for singing!
We’ve performed in a play at the Young Vic and sung with other choirs both in and outside of Camberwell. We’ve provided the soundtrack for a silent movie and redefined the definition of ‘wine and cheese’ night..!
To finish the year off then, last week the choir performed at Kings’ College Hospital’s Community Carol Service. The chapel at the hospital was packed with doctors, nurses, patients and other members of the hospital and local community. We sang two solo items and led the congregational carols with some awesome descants. It was a perfect service with a historical perspective too; 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of the Christmas truce in WW1, a conflict which saw many of the staff from the hospital volunteer and consequently lose their lives in the fighting.
As a choir, we really enjoy singing at occasions you might not always expect a community choir to be singing at – our silent film night is a perfect example! But singing at events in Camberwell which bring local people together is a real privilege too and since ‘community’ is in our name – we hope to continue doing it for a long time time to come.
So our last event of the year is ‘Carols ’round Camberwell’ – the last word in community carol singing! It’s on Tuesday 16th December and we’ll be performing some carols in St Giles’ church from 7pm before heading out into Camberwell – if you’re in a local pub or restaurant along church street, keep your ears pealed as we may drop in and surprise you!
Our Halloween / silent film / scary choir concert went so well!
The buzz about it is still going on and there’s been so much interest in our choir and music at St Giles’ since then. In fact, no one can remember the church so full for a concert! Awesome work by everyone involved – we just need to have a think now how we can beat it!
With Christmas coming, there’s at least another two opportunities to perform this year. First up on Wednesday 10th December at 6.30pm is Kings’ College Hospital’s Christmas Carol Service. It’s a service for all the staff and patients at the hospital and should be a really special occasion. It is a service as appose to a concert, so there’s obviously a religious element to it although if that’s not your thing, it’s still an opportunity to have a bit of quiet time to yourself before the onslaught of Christmas shopping and the like! Plus, some of the music choices will be really special and it’s important that as we’re called a ‘community’ choir, we perform all over our patch and share our music with everyone.
Then – the big one. Our Christmas concert is on Tuesday 16th December at 7pm in St Giles’ Church. ‘Christmas Concert’ doesn’t quite cover it though as it’s going to feature ‘Carols ’round Camberwell’ which basically involves donning a heavy winter jacket, scarf and the like and then walking around Camberwell singing Christmas Carols. It’s awfully good fun – last year a thunderstorm started just as we walked outside and the year before that was the ‘Great Wind’…. But we’ll take shelter in lots of pubs en route and hopefully it will descend into a choir party as well. So three events in one night – we never do anything by halves!
Find out more details on Facebook/camberwellcommunitychoir
The scariest night of the year is fast approaching…and when you’ve finished trick or treating, come over to St Giles’ Church in Camberwell and enjoy a classic silent film with live music – where sadly everyone will hear you scream – as it echoes around the church!
We’re showing ‘The Lodger: A Tale of the London Fog’ at 7pm on Friday 31st of October. The choir is going to sing along with creepy piano music in-between the songs. It’s a sort of concert and film screening all at once – but sadly the church pews don’t have any cushions to hide behind so we’re laying on a bar to dull your senses instead!
It’s one of Alfred Hitchcock’s first films as director and is set in the London of the roaring 1920’s. At night, lurking in the fog, a serial killer known as “The Avenger” is on the loose. When a mysterious man arrives at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, suspicions begin to arise…
Despite all this, families are very welcome! It’s rated PG and probably the scariest aspect of the evening will be going to the loo as the toilets at St Giles’ are downstairs in the crypt… But it should be a fab night and just to make it that bit more atmospheric – feel free to come in costumes or period 1920’s dress. Tickets are £5 and £3 available on the door.
And if you’re hungry for more music and thrills after all this, why not head down to the crypt bar for live jazz? Funky band ‘Paragon’ will be down there playing music from their new album ‘Cerca’. Have a listen for yourself here. The crypt is open till witching hour and you can get joint tickets for the film and jazz (from 9.30pm) at wegottickets.com.
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!
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!
Last night was the big concert at St Mark’s and we sang so well! Our four songs were probably the most varied we’ve sung together in one performance; from the four-part latin motet ‘Ave Verum’ by Mozart to the classic ‘rhythm of life’ and the World War One song ‘they’ll never believe me’ to the American folk song ‘Wayfarin’ stranger’ sung in a motown style, we had everyone singing along in their seats!
It was a great sound joining in with the other choirs too in ‘lean on me’ and ‘amazing grace’. There’s something so moving when you hear so many voices alongside your own – such a good experience. All three choir leaders joined in the mass singalong and we forgot to get a photograph of everyone in action – thankfully though we do have a picture of the after party!
Anyway, that’s all for this term! Choir starts again on Tuesday 29th of April in the St Giles’ Centre at 7.45pm. We’ve got lots to look forward to – rehearsing for a theatre project with the Young Vic and preparing for a World War One concert with King’s College Hospital. Thanks for all your efforts and support so far this year – have a very happy Easter.
At choir last night, we were putting the finishing touches to our programme for our spring concert next Thursday. We have one choir rehearsal left!
Usually we do our spring concert all by ourselves in a venue in Camberwell. This year though, we’re travelling to St Mark’s Church next to Oval Tube station and joining in with two other community choirs – and a few school choirs for good measure!
It’s fair to say that in the last ten years’ or so, there has been an explosion of singing both in schools and in communities. TV programmes, such as ‘The choir’, have contributed to the general attitude that singing is once again cool. Research shows that there are physical and mental benefits to joining a choir. And perhaps most of all in today’s fantastically busy world, singing provides a unique way of escape. You could even go as far as saying it puts us back in touch with our roots – in an age of amazing technology.
So without getting too sentimental about the times when singing was so much more commonplace in people’s everyday lives than it is today, it’s so good that we can join other choirs just like us and promote singing for what it is. A way to make music and improve your body and soul.
We’ve just added a contact page – if you’d like to get in touch with us about anything, you can Email us now. But if you’re eager to try out those vocal chords and learn some exciting new (and old) music – by far the best way still is to come to a rehearsal! Your first one is free, our choir members are all lovely and we will look after you! And after our last rehearsal on Tuesday, I have never seen our half-time refreshment box so stacked with goodies! You will love it!
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?