Newsletter – November 2015

And so ends another term-some groups will continue until well into December because of cancellations mid-term, whereas some have already had their end of term farewell bash! But as always there is plenty going on in the run up to Christmas and opportunities to keep those voices working.

Oundle Class, 3rd December 2015 Change of Venue

This week’s Oundle class will be held at the Oundle Methodist Church Hall, Drumming Well Lane, Oundle, PE8 4AA.

Sadly there will be no tea or coffee before the session this week but it is hoped that we could go for a Christmas drink in Oundle after the session if anyone wishes to join us. This potentially could be our new home for Oundle and this is an opportunity to "try before we buy!" I hope you can make it.

Spirit of Christmas, Friday 4th December

There is a rehearsal for this on Friday morning from 10.30 am - 12.00 pm and members of the Spalding group will be providing tea, coffee and cake. Bev has kindly offered to organise some sandwich platters from Morrison’s for lunch. This will be just £3 per head for a selection of sandwiches and savouries on sharing platters followed by cake, tea and coffee. Please let me know if you want to be included.

The plan for Friday is to leave cars at the Scout HQ on Monks Road and car share as far as possible to the South Holland Centre for the event at 1.00 pm. Please, please, please be well practiced on all pieces as this is a high profile booking and I need it to be a great success.

Carol Concert All Saints Church Stamford, 17th December at 7.00 pm.

Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall will be holding their traditional “Lights of Love” concert which is available to book on the members’ area. In addition they are holding a carol concert for people who support Thorpe Hall but do not have any links with the building – they view it as “Lights of Love on Tour”. This will take place on Thursday 17th December at All Saints Church Stamford. This is a completely new idea and we are delighted to have been invited to go along and lead the carols as a choir, and to perform one carol ourselves. If you would like to support Thorpe Hall in this way please email me to let me know you are interested, and I will supply the music for our showcase carol.

AHOH at the Indigo at the O2

Friends of AHOH have very kindly offered to fund free coach transport to London and £40 cash per performer to help with ticket purchases for those members who wish to take part as an incentive to assist performers signing up to sing.

Currently 1 alto, 5 mezzos and 6 sopranos have expressed an interest in taking part in this performance which does not meet the minimum numbers set by 1640 Productions, so it will not go ahead if there is no more interest. The O2 proved to be unlike the traditional West End theatres when we took part last time, so for those of you who are new to the “London Experience” this would be something different.

If you would like to take part in this show and can agree to the criteria set out in my e-mail of 08/11/2015 then please let me know. I have extended the sign-up date for this event to the 15/12/2015.

Booking for Concerts

As always plenty of performing opportunities available between now and mid- January; please use the following link: https://www.handfulofharmonies.co.uk/concerts/

A Success Story!!

Massive, massive thanks must go to Hayley Gibson (Stamford). Hayley has tirelessly brought in friends and work colleagues as well as delivering fliers to Waitrose and other Stamford based businesses in an attempt to boost the numbers at Stamford to prevent a second AHOH class from folding. This has helped enormously - thank you Hayley - the Stamford class has agreed dates for another 6 weeks at the United Reformed Church in the New Year and I hope that this trend for new members can continue. Hayley - we salute you!!

Workshop

To build on ideas for attracting new members to any of our groups we will be holding a free workshop on Sunday 10th January 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm in the Ballroom at the Stamford Arts Centre where we will be learning “The Circle of Life” from Disney’s The Lion King in six parts! Absolutely anyone is welcome and it will be an ideal opportunity for potential new members to see how we work.

Show Choir /Chamber Choir

After much deliberation, reading feedback and chatting to randomly selected members I believe I (we) have made the right decision for Show Choir for 2016.

We (Mel and I) want to make it very, very clear that this decision is in no way related to the performance of the break-off group who had learned Merry Christmas Darling as musically; the finished result was, in a short amount of time, absolutely lovely. Likewise the group who worked with me on the SSA carols; the a capella hymns that we sang were absolutely fantastic. I just want to get back to basics and the reason that Show Choir was established in the first place.

For those members who weren't with us when it began in November 2012; Show Choir was established to give people from all groups an opportunity to sing in a bigger choir. The first year was a great success with a London performance or two and the energy and enthusiasm was high. Since then it has become rather segregated and lost its way.

From 2016 Show Choir-

will return to working as one group
will work on polishing for performances locally and more widely
will work on back catalogue pieces and existing Show Choir material covered so far.
There is still an expectation that members will work on music between sessions and for those who want an extra challenge a fourth part will be added which will be taught within the regular session. Additionally for those who wish to be challenged please remember that the Altos always need extra voices. So nothing to stop you giving that a try!

The "Chamber Choir" may continue in the future but at this present time my (our) priority is to build a strong, positive and crowd pleasing Show Choir. The Chamber Choir will be re-visited in 2017 at a time and location that does not detract from the Show Choir experience.

I appreciate that this will be disappointing to some of you but I really want this Show Choir to be absolutely top notch!!

So all that remains (and I’m sorry it’s still November!) is for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas, a prosperous new year and heartfelt thanks for your continued support as we enter Year 5 !

With love and best wishes,

Andrew xxx