Wednesday 1 May 2024

Buxton with a New Twist

 

We’re off to Buxton again on 20 July and this time there’s a bit of twist. We’re trying to get some funding from Ticket Source, the company that handles our on-line ticket sales.



 

Ordsall Acappella Singers


Ordsall Acappella Singers started as a community project engaging the locals of Ordsall and persuading them to sing. Over fifteen years later, countless concerts, competitions, a number of competition wins, songs and rehearsals we have a choir that can perform at any occasion. Now a registered charity, we aim to foster the love of choral music by encouraging people to join us and sing with us and by providing enjoyable performances for the local and the wider community. Often we are able to support other organisations with fund-raising efforts by singing at their events.    

 

 

Event name

Simply Acappella (and cake)

We are offering two concerts on 20 July 2024 as part of the Buxton Fringe Festival:

·         10.30 am at the United Reformed Church, Hardwick Square East, Buxton SK17 6PT 

·         3.00 pm at St Mary’s Church, Dale Road, Buxton SK17 6NL (This one with cake!)

We certainly enjoy singing and we aim to spread that joy to our audiences, maybe challenging them to get involved in singing themselves. In fact, it’s certain; there will be some audience participation. 

Our repertoire will be a mixture of old favourites and some of the much newer material we’ve been rehearsing recently.  Our singers will include those who have been going to Buxton since 2010 and newer choir members who have joined us in recent months.

You can book tickets here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/ordsallsingers

 

What will the funds be used for?

In order to cover the cost of our event we have to had to charge for tickets. We are aware that this may exclude some participants – those on low incomes, those living with disability, those in full time education and disadvantaged community members.  We would like to be able to offer such community members a free ticket.

 

How will your event strengthen you community?

Listening to and joining in singing are uplifting activities that can enhance mental health.  Activities of this nature are very much needed at the moment and probably particularly by that section of the community we seek to support. Supplying free tickets will make us more inclusive and remove some of the barriers to participation, thus helping to ensure that the whole community is represented.  It leads towards a happier and healthier community.    

If you would like to support us in this you can do so by voting for our event at: https://ticketsource.wishpondpages.com/ticketsource-community-fund-2024/entries/205495614

Thursday 21 December 2023

Final Performance of 2023: Moorside Unit, Trafford General Hospital, 19 December 2023

Can you spot the title of our newest Christmas song in the picture?

It’s all Christmas jumpers, tinsel and fairy lights as we offer our Christmas repertoire of well-known carols, lesser known carols and popular Christmas songs. Some of them with unusual arrangements. We add to the mix a few songs that people might know from our normal repertoire.  

We visited the unit twice in 2022 and were given a very warm welcome. No less so this time. It’s so good to see staff and patients alike joining in the ones they know and moving in time to the ones they’ve not met before.  

We perform twice: once to the older residents and once to the younger folk. We’re stopped after the first song to the second group.

“Is it all right if we make a video?” asks our host. Of course it is.     

Tuesday is our normal rehearsal night.  Why not go to the unit and sing there instead, suggested one of our altos who works there. A very good idea indeed.   

We’re encouraged to practise between rehearsals and everything to make that easy is provided for us in Drop Box.  But as there are no more Christmas performances, we should really now start concentrating on our other repertoire,

Here’s a thing, though. Classic FM is full of Christmas carols and other Christmas songs at the moment. And I’ve even heard there the same arrangement of White Christmas as we use.   

Note to self: find out when Jeff is doing his 2024 Christmas song workshops and get them in the diary early.  

So, all there is to do now this year is, as in our newest Christmas song, to say that we want to wish you a merry Christmas.

And of course a happy new year.

New Year’s resolution = join a choir? We start up again on 2 January 7 pm, at GoChurch, Dallas Court,Media City.               

Monday 18 December 2023

Singing for the Friends of Buile Hill Park 17 December 2023

 

 

There’s something rather special about this park, particularly on a December afternoon when the sun is already quite low and the sky is mottled grey, white and pink with the hint that the sun is shining somewhere.

It’s not particularly cold but it’s not that warm either: cosy hats, Christmas jumpers, and knitted scarves are all justified. The hot tea and mince pies are very welcome.     

We have a good audience: the Friends and their friends, some of our friends, and passers-by in the park.      

“It wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t sing a few carols for you,” I say to one of the organisers. “We love coming here.”  We do.  Well, we have had this event on our books for most of the year but as soon as it was announced a good portion of the choir signed up for it, even though this can be a busy weekend for everyone, the one just before Christmas.

We sing some of our favourites: Coventry Carol, Carol of the Bells, Going to Bethlehem, White Christmas, Hail Smiling Morn alongside such traditional carols as Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Away in a Manger  Silent Night and .Oh Little Town of Bethlehem  It is good to see people joining in the those carols and another of our favourites A Holly Jolly Christmas.

Now then, if you’re one of those people who joined in …. Are you busy on Tuesday evenings? If not, why not come and join us. See details here.

We’re persuaded to do an encore and we’re surprised to present another old favourite but this time not a Christmas one…. .   Everything I do ….     

Just a note, though, here and excuse the pun. I’m talking about favourites but if I’m truthful I don’t really have them; once I know a song and feel comfortable with it, I love it. I suspect it’s true for most of us.  

From where we stand to sing we can see the contours of the park. After all, it is Buile Hill Park. That and

some well-established trees and shrubs make it very picturesque indeed. Just behind us are some pretty terraced houses. It is getting darker but isn’t quite time to draw the curtains yet. Lights shine on to the street.

 

We’ve had a lovely time. Thank you for having us again.

Friday 24 November 2023

Magical Salford

 

It takes our breath away as we walk into the main room at GoChurch, Media City.  This space is even bigger that the room next door, the one in which we rehearse every Tuesday evening. From the outside the building looks quite industrial, but as you walk through the doors – wow!

There’s a Christmas tree, of course.  Lights stream down from a central point in the ceiling and make the space look a little like a huge circus tent. The lighting is atmospheric. Tables are prettily laid ready to present guests with a two course meal. And the diners are being served prosecco as they arrive. Christmas music plays in the background.   

It’s so appropriate that it looks like magic because the real magic happens at the hands of the invited guests.  This is a celebration meal for the people of the Salford Food Bank. In fact, it’s more than magic; it’s a miracle. The work they do is so important.    

We have time for a quick warm-up next door, and then it’s into the main room and we become the background music. We start off with a couple of Christmas carols and then we sing along to what we call our Christmas karaoke tape – it has such old favourites as Jingle Bell Rock, Frosty the Snowman and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree. And oh yes, we spot one or two people joining in.  You must be local. Are you free on Tuesdays between 7.00 and 9.00 pm? Why not come along and see if we suit you? It really is fun, you know.

Soon it’s time for the meal to begin and we move away from the stage as they all say Grace  and then eat.

“There’s plenty of food,” says one of our hosts. “Do have some.”

I enjoy a delicious vegetarian chilli with rice.

Those who have come by public transport can even enjoy a glass of prosecco or Buck’s Fizz.

Then it’s time for us to sing again and this time we’re fully a cappella. There are the well-known carols – O Come Al Ye Faithfull, Away in a Manger, Once in Royal David’s City and O Little Town of Bethlehem. There are also a couple of our favourites: Carol of the Bells and Coventry Carol, as well as the more secular Holly Jolly and White Christmas.Amongst others.

A sort of Christmas uniform has evolved. Some of us wear jumpers and Christmas lights. Others stay with the all black but liven it up with our custom purple Christmas hats, tinsel and more lights. 


 

Thank you for having us, Salford Food Bank.  We had fun. We trust you did too.                                   

Monday 18 September 2023

Going up North to the South Lakes and even more Acappella

 

 

It was our very great pleasure to be invited to support the South Lakes Acappella at their concert at the beautiful St Mary’s Church, Windermere, a listed building.

It’s a long journey, particularly for those of our members who live south of the city, and it had been quite a hectic day the day before. So we were delighted that some of our friends form Blackburn People’s Choir were able to join us as well. Thank you so much, Blackburn!  

It was a moody sort of day. Dark clouds threatened rain and although the air was still warm it was a sharp contrast to the heatwave we had the week before. Indeed, just the right sort of afternoon for singing and listening to others sing. Not to forget the tea and cake afterwards.  Oh yes, Acappella and Cake is definitely back on the menu.

It was lovely to sit back and listen to the South Lakes Acappella. Their voices were strong and they filled the church with a lovely sound. I kept looking for the amplifier. Of course, there was none; they were just opening their mouths wide and breathing deeply – but only in the right places - and they had some strong basses that gave a really rich tone to their music.

We did a quite a few pieces together including two at the beginning when we surrounded our audience. Then South Lakes Acappella sang on their own. Afterwards it was our turn. I particularly enjoyed I Got Rhythm and Poor Wayfaring Stranger this time. Finally we came together to sing a few more including Oh Earth Loving Mother, one of the newer songs for all three choirs.

“It is so good to hear the church filled with music,” said our hostess who has been a member of the church choir since she was nine. Goodness. She told me her age. I won’t give it away but it does mean that she’s been singing in the church a little longer than I’ve been alive.  

I chatted to a family who had been part of the audience. We agreed that we love this formula: the church provides the drinks and venue and the choirs the cake and music. It reminded me of the Koffikonzerts we used to go to when we lived in the Netherlands.  For the price of cup of coffee and a slice of cake you got a cup of coffee and a slice of cake and a very good concert. The performers were often musicians in their
final year at one of the academies but there were also at times enthusiastic amateurs – bands, chamber orchestras and, of course,  choirs.

“It’s really lifted my mood, listening to you all sing, said the mum. That was good to know. And that’s one of the reasons why we sing, isn’t it?     

Yes it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. It’s always good, singing in a choir, working together with other people to create the best sound possible.  That is magnified again when several choirs work together as they did yesterday.

The journey there and back was very easy. Indeed the eighty miles were far less stressful then the eight miles I’d had to travel last week. I had time to stop for a coffee on the way there. As I waited for it to cool down a little I had a go at Wordle.  How appropriate. Yesterday’s word was “music”.     

Monday 11 September 2023

Victoria Baths 10 September

 

 

We usually shiver a little at the Victoria Baths . Not so yesterday, one of the hottest days of the year. Moving and singing actually felt a little cooler than just standing still.

Because of threatened road closures I personally allowed an extra forty-five minutes for my journey and bizarrely arrived forty-five minutes early even though I was stuck for a while in traffic. This had two great bonuses though; I was able to enjoy a cup of Earl Grey and a slice of their lemon drizzle cake and I was able to listen to the choir that performed before we did: the She Choir. They are an interesting group so do have a look at their web site. By one of those bizarre coincidences that occur more often than you’d credit I was actually at a meeting on Friday in the space where they rehearse.

Certainly the tea shop in Victoria Baths is to be recommended as is the bath itself as a place to sing; it was a joy to listen to them. This place really brings the music to life. The sound expands and echoes around the whole space.

It was soon our turn. The rehearsal space this time was the laundry.

“You’re not expecting us to do the laundry are you?” asked one of our altos. “We have enough of that to do at home.”

No, we needn’t have worried. No washing or ironing expected. Tough a little tucked out of the way  it was a pleasant space, quite cool and with a nice high ceiling.   

Then we were on and were soon singing to an appreciative audience. We have to take a little care with the echo; it’s tempting to slow down and listen to it. We were particularly pleased that one of our newer songs went well.  

We were part of the Pools of Creativity event that took place over the weekend. The artist Akinyemi Oludele was present at the event and indeed spent some time sketching us. He is Manchester based and has been involved in producing art for over twenty years. Indeed he often uses music and politics to inspire his work. He likes to draw what is in front of him. We were in front to of him.  


We always enjoy singing in this iconic space and hope to do so again soon. Yesterday was no exception.   

Saturday 5 August 2023

Buxton Fringe Post Script

 Look what we got! 



We were nominated for an award. Four other "large ensembles" were nominated as well.  See full details of all awards and nominations here.

And here is our review. You’ll have to scroll down I’m afraid. But maybe that’s no bad thing; you may be tempted to read some of the other reviews and get a flavour of what the festival is like.

Yes, it’s competitive and yes it is growing, offering around 500 performances this year. Yet everybody supports everyone else and wills competitors to succeed. The reviewers look for the positive.  The town’s people support the event. Many of the shops, caf├ęs and other businesses are happy to display leaflets and posters.

Just look at what was on offer this year. Buxton Fringe 2023.   

Certainly there is a lovely atmosphere as the Fringe event and the main festival take place over three weeks in July.

Will you give it a go in 2024?