Thursday 20 July 2017

Sparkling for the NHS, the Lighthouse, 19 July 2017

They wanted something to kickstart their day. Something that would give it a bit of sparkle. We only had a little notice for this and not that many of us are available during the day. Nevertheless, we assembled a bass, four altos, four tenors and four sopranos. Not so different, then, from our small group singing and actually very similar to what happened when the choir first started out just over ten years ago.

The Lighthouse is at once a church and a conference venue. It is situated very near to the Metrolink and has a car park. Easy to get there, then. It is also just a short drive from the Salford Quays. Added bonus: there is a purpose-built performance area.

Warming-up in the pleasant cafĂ© area was just as enjoyable as the performance itself. It was partly a matter of finding the songs which worked best with this combination of people. Jeff  settled on I Say a Little Prayer, I Got Rhythm and Sleep My Child.  

It was thoroughly pleasant and though there were only a few of us, we could feel the weight of the whole choir behind us. All of that practising together makes this work. 

Then it was coffees all round and a quick trip down to Media City for an hour in the sun before we all set off back to our daily lives. 

We hope we sparkled enough for the NHS and that they will continue to do their very good work happily.       

Monday 17 July 2017

Buxton Fringe 15 July 2017

Yes we're here again. It's a little cool first thing and the jingle-jangle of the Morris dancers as we eat breakfast and later lunch remind us that both the main festival and the fringe keep on growing. Now several members are staying overnight in order to enjoy other performances.  

"Oh yes, Buxton is busy in July," one of the residents claims. We learn that people are coming from all over. Earlier in the month a couple of us came and distributed leaflets. All the local businesses are so friendly and helpful. They're all willing to take a few flyers. It was a good day to be there, in fact. We were able to see some of the well dressings and the pump room was open. Bonuses for sure! 

The day warms up, so do our voices and so do our lovely audiences. You can read a full review here. Do take a look. You'll need to scroll down but the other reviews are interesting, too. We feel privileged to be reviewed by Keith Savage who is the chair of the Fringe Festival. It's very clear that he knows what we're all about. All of the Fringe's reviewers are friendly, generous and constructive in their reviews anyway and we've met many of them over the years. 

We get those double basses tuned for I Say a Little Prayer, Amanda sings the solo in Somewhere Out There beautifully, and Fix You, One Day Like This and In Remembrance are each responsible for a few tears. 

"Which is your favourite?" asks one lady. 

"Difficult to say. I think I tend to like them all once I know them and can really perform them. Which did you enjoy the most?"

"Also difficult to say. I enjoyed them all. Even when we had to sing."  
Ah. There you are, you see.
The United Reformed Church and St Mary's in Buxton now feel like home. Our audiences are a mixture of old friends and new faces.

And what of the cake?

"Who made the white rocky road?"

"You should try the chocolate one – it's triple chocolate."

"Boiled fruit cake? Boiled fruit cake? How does that work? My, it works." 

At least two members admit to eating a lot of cake and yet there is plenty for all of our guests. There is definitely something about A Cappella and cake. Which is probably why we do it, after all.      

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Newsletter 12 July 2017

Last shout out for Buxton  

Buxton Fringe 15 July 2017

We’ll be singing at our usual two venues:
Book your tickets at If this link doesn’t work copy and paste it. This allows you to book separately for each event. takes you to both events. Some people have reported some difficulty with this. You can also text 07778 866661 to reserve tickets.
Tickets: £5.00 full price, £3.00 concessions, children under five free, family ticket £12.00 (up to four people, one of whom must be a concession) 
If you've not been to Buxton before we can really recommend this. It's a lovely place. The Fringe Festival is exciting, the weather forecast is great for this Saturday and there'll be plenty of cake.     

Breaking for the Summer

We have just two more rehearsals before we break for the summer. What shall we do on a Tuesday evening in August? Many members will of course be taking their annual holidays. But we all have our music and we are able to listen to recordings so there will still be plenty of singing. And there is one more event to go – see details below – as well as one in the autumn.  

Forthcoming Events

You can also find details on our Facebook page and we’ll usually put links on Twitter as well.
At most of our events you can get tickets on the door. However, we do recommend getting tickets in advance where we offer this. It helps us and it guarantees that you won’t be turned away at the door. We’ve not had to do that yet but we’ve come close to it.     


Ordsall Festival 22 July

This takes place in Ordsall Park Salford. We’ll be performing at home, in effect. It’s always good to remind ourselves of where we come from. We'll be singing between 12.30 and 2.15.


Victoria Baths 10 September

We’ll be singing at about 1.00 p.m. and 2.15 though watch out for updates on this newsletter and on our Facebook page. If you’ve not been before the Victoria Baths are well worth a visit. 
We now are singing there regularly a couple of times a year. You can read about our previous visits here.

Looking further ahead

We’re already looking to the autumn and winter. We have several unconfirmed events but as soon as the details are clear we'll get them out to you. They're quite exciting, actually….  

Past Events

We had a busy weekend last weekend.
Read about our performance at Swinton Grove here.
And Victoria Baths here.

Happy singing and listening, everyone.


Victoria Baths 9 July 2017

Our busy weekend continues. And we're at another old favourite. The Victoria Baths always come up with something new and there's always some clear evidence that the renovations are going ahead. Were those signs there last time? We're pleased to see this lovely old building surviving. 

This time it's a food festival.

Some of us eat pizza in a little court yard we didn't know about before. It's good pizza and it only takes four minutes to cook in the super oven. This doesn't feel quite like Manchester. Are we in Italy or somewhere? The weather deceives us but the red brick reminds us that yes, we're definitely in Manchester. But is Rainy City an urban myth? 

We sing twice. We get a request to do One Day Like This again. Of course we will.
We're astonished and delighted to see how many people come to listen both times.

"So, I'm going to stop talking and we're going to sing some more," says Jeff. Notice the  "we"- because he does have to start talking again to explain that we're "all mixed up", not standing in our parts and he is no longer at the front conducting.

It's always good to sing in the bath. We love coming here. And we'll be here again on 10 September.     

Swinton Grove Family Fun Day 8 July 2017

There's always a great feeling of anticipation when we arrive for this event. People are setting up stalls. There are as ever some old favourites and something new as well.

"Look, the birds of prey are here again."

"I wonder whether they'll perform like they did last year." 

The ElizabethGaskill House opens its back gate. They provide an excellent tea room. Certainly worth a visit whilst you're here.
The Fun Day starts at 12.00 and we're part of the opening ceremony. It's pleasantly warm and most people sit in the shade whilst we wait. Yes, it's certainly looking like it's going to be a beautiful day. 

Naturally we sing One Day Like This, followed by a few other songs that are firmly in our repertoire. As we sing we can smell the food cooking. There's always a good lunch provided at this event.

It's a lovely, lovely occasion as ever.

Ice cream features largely for many of us.

Swinton Grove is grand on a warm Saturday in July. We hope we'll be invited again.