Summer Songbirds

The Summer Songbirds – a Pop-Up Choir! 24.6.17

In the beautiful grounds of Manor House School 40 women from in and around Bookham, Ashtead, Leatherhead and Epsom met together for a day of singing beautiful songs from the worlds of folk, contemporary and pop music in multi-layered harmonies.

None of these ladies had ever sang together before, and were from differing experiences of singing. Some sang regularly in other choirs and some hadn’t sang since they were at school…

Hazel put the women at ease with fun warm-ups and ice-breakers, then through singing different voice-range exercises helped them choose which voice-part they wanted to be in. Happily there was a nice balance of numbers for each voice-part.

With the help of Meredith White on piano and singing leader Mary Bourne, Hazel taught the women how each part sounded and fitted in with the other parts, and within an hour of learning, there was magic in the air!

The morning session flew by until it was time to stop for lunch -outside in the garden was a pergola with tables. All of the participants brought a dish and boy! the food was amazing. So much choice and all so delicious.  It was all we needed to recuperate and refresh ourselves ready for the afternoon session.

This consisted of learning an African round, a sacred round which fitted over Amazing Grace and a short close-harmony ditty from Russia for the call of deer!

Followed by a couple of pop Mash-Ups, which was great fun, it got us grooving and certainly got us laughing and then down to the serious business of learning a 3-part arrangement of Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me -a perfect choice for 40 women to sing with attitude!

At the very end of the day, the newly-formed choir sang through all of the songs they’d learned. The 6 hours had gone in a flash.  It was a joyous experience, uplifting, fun, filling and harmonious, in every sense of the word.

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