Monday 5 June 2023

We Invented the Weekend 4 June 2023


Well, we didn’t, but we certainly enjoyed quite a chunk of this last one at the event of the same name held in and around Media City and Salford Quays. Deckchairs by the Ship Canal? What would those activists, who in 1843 launched the campaign for work to finish early on Saturday, have made of that? Job done?

We were blessed with good weather, so as well as taking part in three workshops and three performances we had time to wander around and see what else was going on. There was plenty: street food, sports, arts, dancing, acting. Goodness, you’d need several weekends to do all of that.

We had fun. We were joined by some of our friends from Blackburn People’s Choir  and of course the whole point of the workshop was to involve members of the public. The workshops lasted forty-five minutes and were followed by a fifteen minute performance. The performance consisted of the song we’d just learnt with everyone singing and choir members then offered two or three songs from our repertoire.

Okay, so the songs we learnt in the workshop were ones that the choir may have learnt some time ago. But it was really a long time ago and newer members won’t have met them anyway. And yet.  Within forty-five minutes we were singing in parts and without music or words. And we hadn’t skimped on the warm up.

We learnt three songs in total; a South African lullaby, a romantic ballad and an African activist song.

We mixed up parts a little; a couple of altos and tenors sang bass and a bass sang soprano. All good fun.

It was great to see members of the public join in with gusto and becoming confident very quickly.

And they don’t need to wait until the next “We Invented the Weekend” to do it again. We rehearse at GoChurch on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 pm. It’s near the Broadway Metrolink station.  And we don’t audition. Read more here.                    

Friday 2 June 2023

Chorlton Festival 2023


There’s something about Chorlton. It has a Bohemian feel. Restaurants and bars abound.  It’s a leafy suburb to the south of the city. A group of us gathered in one such establishment opposite the church where we sang. Some decent coffee and cake fortifies you for an hour’s singing. And the drink in a nearby pub afterward is also most welcome.

There is a strong sense of community in this place. It has some fine buildings and it holds a fine festival . yearly in fact, since 2002 with a couple of years off because of the pandemic.  One aim of the festival is to being some of Chorlton’s finest buildings and some fine creative practitioners together.

So we felt privileged on the afternoon of 27 May 2023 to be part of this vibrant festival. Wilbraham St Ninian’s is a pleasant church with nice acoustics. We’ve been there several time before and it was good to be back.

It was lovely to have some of our newer members sing with us for the first time. Congratulations to our soloists, Sally and Victoria.  We sang for an hour. Our songs were vaguely organised into themes: unrequited love, requited love, joy, hope and peace.

“Open the doors and let this stream out to the world,” said Jeff, as we started on Grant Us Peace.

Why We Sing says it all of course. The main event of course is singing together