Thursday 18 July 2024

Inner Space, 15 July 2024


 

We are excited at the moment and really looking forward to our two concerts as part of the Buxton Festival Fringe, so it’s probably quite appropriate that we took part in the Inner Space event held at the Friends Meeting House, Mount Street on Monday 15 July. It brought us some focus.

We sang two sets: one at the beginning of the evening and one at the end as the participants came forward to receive a gift of sweets and a small card with a message of affirmation. We received such gifts, too.  

For the rest of the evening we were actual participants of the main event. We were invited to listen to the gentle and wise words of Sister Jayanti, participate in two meditations and calm that inner space which is the most effective starting point for change. This is something rare and strange for most of us. And yet, the next evening at our regular rehearsal, several choir members who’d attended commented on how well they’d slept the night before and how mentally and emotionally refreshed they felt.

Sister Jayanti had the measure of us. “It’s the way you work together and the way you support each other that counts.” Is that what makes the magic work? Yes we must sing the right words,  in the right order, open our mouths,  and know when to look at our MD and when to look at others in the choir or in the audience and even know how to recover from a mistake but it is that intuitive cooperation that brings an extra dimension. That harmony with each other and with Jeff, and not just in musical terms, though that is naturally important.   

Two days later I would discuss with a fellow committee member what our USP (unique selling point) might be. Our strap line is “Singing form the Heart of Salford”. “Heart” is emphasised in the graphic. Does this need a tweak? Should it be “Singing from the heart in Salford”? 

 

We’re singing a few songs at the moment that might be very appropriate for the troubled times we live in: Grant Us Peace, Deep Peace, Oh Earth Loving Mother, Colours of the Wind, Cool Moon, Deep in the Night and even some covers of popular songs bring the sort of affirmation that Inner Space offer: Love is the Sweetest Thing, Make You Feel My Love, Why Walk When You Can Fly and   Everything I Do. Several featured on Monday evening – including some of the covers.      

And is this a good omen? The photo of us that Inner Space used to advertise the event shows us outside St Mary’s church another time at Buxton

It was a magical evening and as ever good to perform together. Inner Space, thank you for having us.                     

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Friends and Family Concert 23 June 2024

 



And didn’t we have fun.

“So we have an audience?”

We’re in the car park and it’s warm enough for us to get out of our cars and chat.

A few choir members and a few of our audience have arrived early because there was a little worry that the carnival at Prestwich might have held up the traffic. It didn’t. By 2.45 pm a solid choir and a very respectable audience have already assembled.

And there is plenty of cake. There is a mountain of cake. Making and eating cake is our second best activity after enjoying our singing.

This so reminds me of the Koffikonzerts I used to attend when we lived in Holland. You paid the price of a coffee and a slice of cake – usually apple cake in that case – and you got the coffee and cake as well as a very good concert.

So, £5.00 not bad for a brew, some cake and a concert?

The emphasis is on “friends and family” and it is all very relaxed.

We work through our repertoire which contains some old favourites like The Water is Wide, I Say a Little Prayer and Love is the Sweetest Thing. And there are also newer items such as Why Walk if You Can Fly, Make You Feel My love and O Earth Loving Mother. Of course we also think of nature with Cool Moon and Colours of the Wind.

Jeff tells our audience that we’re going to sing a couple of songs that might touch our troubled world.  “It probably won’t make any difference to what you hear on the news,” he says. “But we hope it will do something.” 

So, we also sing Deep Peace and Grant Us Peace. Both the door to the Studio and the outer door are open. Are these songs going out into the world? Will they make a difference?  

An hour slips by without us noticing.

Our audience is lovely. It’s good to chat to them afterwards. Some of us are curious about how much people might enjoy listening to a choir like ours. We enjoy singing and I do like watching and listening to other choirs but part of the enjoyment of that comes from knowing what the process is.

“You get better every time,” says one of our visitors.  We hope we do; it’s what we aim for.

Their daughter, one of our altos, rolls her eyes and says “They say that every time.”

“I think they mean it though,” I reply.

We are very pleased with the GoChurch studio as a place to rehearse and perform. It was such a fun concert.

And so what’s up next?

Buxton of course. Shall we see you there?    


 

Tuesday 18 June 2024

We Invented the Weekend 2024

 


 

Sunday 16 June found us once more down at the Salford Quays, helping to celebrate one of Salford’s achievements.

The weekend was invented in Greater Manchester in 1843 when Salford Lyceum Director and workers’ rights activist Robert Lowes (also Sir Ian McKellen’s Great Grandfather) campaigned to win workers the right to leisure time on Saturday afternoons.

So there we were, on Sunday afternoon celebrating with hundreds, maybe thousands of other people, despite a miserable summer. There were so many activities to choose from.

“We’ll only do songs we’re confident with,” said Jeff.

So that’s what we did. We did include a newish one, Make You Feel My Love.

We performed at 15.25. I’d actually been on the Quays since 11.30, on other business, and I chatted to a lady form Age UK as we listened to another choir.

“Do you do rock numbers like this?” she asked.  Well, yes we do. See above. But we do all sorts of other things as well. I realised as we chatted that that is one of the things we appreciate – the variety in what we do.

We had an appreciative audience.

Jeff pointed out where we rehearse a couple of times. “You can almost see it from here,” he said. Yes you could. Go Church, where we rehearse is perhaps ten minutes away if you walk slowly.

We gave out some leaflets. Will we have more opportunities to sing or gain new members?

It was a squeeze on the stage but we did have mics. Having seen another choir about the same size as ours earlier in the day I was able to reassure people that it would work.

The weather in the end was kind. Although it pelted down as I changed from bus to tram in Whitefield, as my tram drew in at Media City the sun came out and pretty well stayed out. Although the breeze remained cool there was a hint of summer in the afternoon.  In fact for us that is probably better than it being too hot.

And it was nice enough to enjoy outside a beverage from the Seven Brothers’ Stand. Seven Brothers is another Salford success. A drink always tastes better after an enjoyable performance.

Next up: our concert on 23 June. Will you be there?                  


       

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