Louds

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The choir were there but I decided not to include us in the photo. We have two more meetings of the choir before we break up for August then return in September.

Loud Mouth Women is an a capella choir, who meet at Newcastle Baptist church in Stafford Avenue, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme on a Tuesday evening. It is made up of female singers who don’t audition or have to read music and is open to anyone woman who wants to sing. It improves confidence, allows you to socialise, and gives you the opportunity to learn a new skill of singing in different languages. To do this we learn by repetition, learning songs phonetically.

Tonight we learned an arab song about friendship, sang an old favourite “moonriver” and had the pleasure of being taught by Caroline who was deputising for our normal musical director Kate.

We have also recently had the enormous pleasure of going to a Yoga group run by one of the Louds, which is run an hour and a half before we sing. I was so relaxed tonight I almost fell asleep in the choir.

Music and singing

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I’ve been to a choir workshop on Sunday where we learnt songs and short pieces over a four hour period, then tonight I was learning songs for the penkhull mystery play which is being accompanied by Clay Chorus, a choir I’m part of. I’m a member of the cast of the play, so I might not actually be singing all the songs but it’s good to learn them.

It is quite tiring doing so much singing. It takes concentration and the ability to listen closely to your fellow choir members and the choir leader. We learn a capella so we often don’t have any accompaniment.

I also went to a concert on Saturday night and later today I will be watching a live broadcast of the Pirates of Penzance at our local cinema.

Music can transport your mind, calm stress, but also excite and enthral. Music can be raucous, noisy, loud, rhythmic and ugly. It can also bring tranquility and peace.

I think music should be taught more, to all ages and abilities. It should not be elitist and should not be for the privileged few. Music broadens the mind and the senses.

Night out at Keele

Keele University not Keele in Germany!

There is a choir called Keele Bach choir who do regular concerts of music by Bach and other composers each month or so.

We arrived on time but struggled to find a parking space. There are lots of spaces for approved permit holders only. Plus ones for electric vehicles, spaces for thirty minutes only and of course disabled spaces (which I would never park in) in the end we parked in a permit holders space, only to find out they are not policed after 5pm!

To the Chapel where the concerts are held. Lovely music, wonderful singers and beautiful organ laying. I didn’t get the titles of the short peices because we didn’t have time to get a programme, only getting there a minute before the performance. But there was an Ave Maria and then later an Ave Maria Stella.

During the interval I tried drawing the asymmetric windows in the Chapel above where the choir were singing.

When we came out the clouds were looming again. Pink edges to the clouds did seem to signify a slightly better day.

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Singing at Audlem

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Today I went singing with a choir I am in called Loud Mouth Women. We were at a place called Audlem which is in Shropshire or Cheshire I think. We managed to avoid a couple of heavy showers and stayed dry. We sang twice. Once on the canal towpath and then outside a pub called the shroppie fly.

We sang a mixture of songs, from Polynesian to Zulu with a smattering of Latin and Hindi. We learn songs by repetition and also sang a Spanish song called ‘DeColores’. I do like our groups multinational ethos. We also sang ‘Nana was a Suffragette’ and ‘Do it now’ which is a green song about doing something about the Climate Emergency.

A very enjoyable day out at Audlem annual music festival.

 

Brolly

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When you are an artist you get asked to do odd things. Our choir is going on a parade in May and everyone has been given a brolly (umbrella) to decorate. Thus is my idea for it. It’s already black and white so I thought splashes of red. Lips 💋 to symbolise singing and LMW which is the initials of the choir. (Loud Mouth Women). The choir sings all sorts of different songs and languages so the singing mouths are appropriate.

I hope they will be pleased with it.

Choir practice

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Singing is part if my life now. I started singing lessons about 15 years ago then joined a choir a few years later. I met a variety of people who loved music and I was swept along. We were all interested in learning music from around the world and the group learned acapella songs by heart so that we don’t need sheet music.

Singing calms me down, excites me, can be really irritating when it’s something I don’t like, or enthralling when it’s something new or an old song I love but had never previously learnt fully.

After being a choir member over several years I joined another choir so now I go and practice at least twice a week. Sometimes I join other groups and sing with them too.

I also try and sing when there are music nights at pubs. It has helped my confidence and calmed my nerves. Without it I don’t think I would have got involved in amateur dramatics. If there is a group in your area why not join?

Choir practice

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I’m off out to choir practice today. Learning new songs, and old ones to different tunes.

I’m sure my mental health has been better since I began going to a choir over ten years ago. It’s good for things like relaxation and concentration. I would recommend it to anyone who nerds some stress busting.

I can be sitting with the choir with no memory if the words or tune. Then almost miraculously they come to me as we start singing. We sing mainly acappella and my voice is most suited to alto and low parts.

We learnt a version of let your little light shine for the Stoke sings choir festival the weekend before last. With words that were appropriate to the cities history of pottery and mining.

I hope we sing it again tonight. It was fun to sing with 600 other people belting out the various parts. It is on YouTube  somewhere.