Tonight was our last choir practice until September. We were trying to learn a south seas song called tangihina. It is about a man who has to choose between his lover and a watersprite who had taken her form. He chose the waters sprite by mistake and was swept out to sea.
While I was there I started to draw the singers arriving. I’d began by drawing the chairs but everyone arrived in a rush. I’ve only done one side of the room but that was all I could manage. As it says in the drawing, see you in September!) although it won’t stop me from blogging in the meantime.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been out all day singing at workshops with various tutors. Then in the evening 16 choirs were involved in a concert to raise money for three charities.
The day started early at a local theatre, groups went off to various changing rooms, bars and the auditorium to learn new songs and vocal techniques. In the same way as artists have different styles so do musicians. The first workshop I attended was called “joy” and it was joyful and bonkers. Fast cheery tunes and ” jazz hands”, it woke us up and some of us even threatened to join the teachers choir. The second workshop I went to was called “raise your voice” and helped us to harmonise and listen to each other while we learnt two folk songs.
In the afternoon around 400 of us.. Yes that many, learned a new song written specially for the day. Based on “let your little light shine” the lyrics were written by a local poet and music by a local musician. The result was filmed this evening when we sang it at the end of the concert.
It should be going on YouTube.
Each choir also sang one or two songs. Some of the singers were in 3 and even 4 of the choirs so they were busy.
We had a satisfying day and I think everyone should be proud of what they did.
After 5 days and 6 performances we finished singing with the play Beautiful thing tonight. We did two performances today and I’m shattered. We have had a great time though. The choir was accepted by the cast and crew of the play and the New Vic theatre staff. I think we had a wonderful welcome and great support throughout the run.
Now the play is off to Lancaster to run for a week up there. They will be joined by a new community choir. It would be good to go up and see the actual play (we only saw the bits when we were on stage). It had come up from Bristol after a run down there.
So what next? Back to normal. One of the choirs I’m in (Loud Mouth women) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two musical workshops and a party. Then normal choir practice with Clay chorus the following night.
I’m staggered at how much singing we have done. But it’s been a blast.
Well we are doing it. Singing to accompany the cast of Beautiful thing. Clay Chorus and some of Loud Mouth women led by Greg Stephens and Kate Barfield. Here I am with the cast members playing Jamie and Ste. I have to say we are having a good time now people are getting over their nerves. We are half way through a run of 6 performances so that’s why I’m not on social media as much. Here is a link to the review of the play .
I hope you can follow it.
It’s on at the new victoria theatre, Basford Newcastle-under-Lyme until Saturday.