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?
Well at least with our choir, you can’t blame the leaders for not keeping you on your toes. And we’re all going to have to be for our next performance… Yes, we want to scare people with our singing – but in a good way!
It’s our choir’s third Halloween performance and this year we’re really pushing the boat out! The plan is to sing along to a 1924 silent film featuring Victor Hugo’s tragic hero, Quasimodo. It’s going to be a lot of work, but in collaboration with lots of other musicians we think it’ll be worth it and hopefully lots of fun too. It’s going to be screened at St Giles’ Church at 7.30pm on the 2nd of November and we’re even hoping to ring some of the bells in true Notre Dame style.
So that’s the plan for our next month of rehearsals. We have to admit though, with only 83 days to go, we’re already starting to think about Christmas…
With 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!
On Tuesday, we’re looking forward to our first collaborative choir gig!
We’re joining the Pop Up Choir in St Giles’ Church to sing some uplifting and distinctly ‘summery’ music to get everyone looking forward to the long sunny days ahead…fingers crossed. It’s all part of the fantastic Camberwell Arts Festival and our concert is call ‘Camberwell Sings.’
Doors open at 7.30pm and the concert starts at 8pm. There’ll be wine available and the concert is free – donations are gratefully accepted.
Thank you to everyone who sang and helped with our 2013 Spring Concert! It couldn’t have been much colder outside… but inside St Matthew’s church, our music warmed everyone’s hearts!
We probably had the most varied programme yet for our choir. Matt’s song from the ‘Marriage of Figaro’ was thrilling! Aga’s version of ‘Stand by me’ was the perfect way to start our concert. And Ashley’s choice of Mendelssohn’s ‘Spring Song’ with unusual words certainly put a smile on people’s faces!
We’re going to have a break now until we resume rehearsals on Tuesday, 23rd of April at 7.45pm. Hopefully.. the weather will be warmer with the lighter evenings so it’s a perfect chance to ask people to come and visit our choir!
A quick note to say that this Sunday, the choir will be performing a Spring Concert at St Matthew’s church, Lilford Road, SE5 9QG at 5.30pm.
If you’re reading this post as a choir member and you need to know what to wear etc. click on the Calendar tab above!
If you’re reading this post as a possible audience member – please come! We have an interesting programme of music..from Rogers & Hammerstein to the Marriage of Figaro. Aga is also planning some audience participation…
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…
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!