Getting back into the swing of things

Now the Summer break is drawing to an end, we have a brand new year of en Choir to look forward to. This means it’s time to dust off those rusty pipes and get singing again!

While we’d love to think everybody has remained diligent in their personal practice of singing, we know the allure of the sun and sand too well and we know that for many of us, Summer just isn’t the time to sing. Continue reading “Getting back into the swing of things”

Until next time…

What a year it’s been! Every year with en Choir is a great year, new faces and new songs make all the difference, and it’s truly something special to see familiar faces with us, returning each year to lend their voices to the choir.

In many ways, it’s sad to be breaking up for the summer holidays. The end of year concert is always a high point, and it makes you want to just keep going but, as some of you may have noticed, we’re now well into summer, and rest is needed.

So what final notes can we talk about before we spend the next couple of months on the beach?

1. Keep practising!

You’re singing voice is like a muscle, and keeping it honed is important. By now, you should have an understanding of how to warm your voice and keep it working.

It’s easy to fall out of the habit, without Emily to lead you, but you’ve spent a year learning about your voice, and it’s a shame to let things slide while you’re away.

2. Keep drinking water!

I know, I know, we always say this, but by now, you’ve probably come to understand the many benefits hydration has for a singer. We’ve probably mentioned drinking water in half of our blog posts, so if ever there’s only one lesson that land with you, we hope it’s this.

As we’re guessing many of you will be spending your summer holidays in the sun, catching a tan or visiting the pub for a nice, relaxing pint in the garden, drinking water becomes even more important.

3. Keep your ears open!

en Choir is a wonderful platform for appreciating new music but it’d be impossible to cover every single song worth covering.

As you walk about, keep your ears peeled for new music, even if it’s not the kind you would normally listen to. Try to apply what you’ve learned to appreciate what the singer is doing.

Some of you may even remember an older article of ours where we talked about the benefits of listening to music recorded in other languages (it helps the brain multitask), or perhaps you’ve become fascinated by one of extended vocal techniques we’ve discussed and you’re hoping to catch them out in the wild.

4. Follow our fearless leader!

Emily, our choirmaster extraordinaire, also has a busy career as an artist. While the resat of us are taking the time to relax, Emily is no doubt cooking up something new and exciting.

Regular readers will remember she won a British Composer Award for her work at Folkestone Triennial, while others might have seen her installation at Ramsgate Harbour’s Sailor’s Church as part of Ramsgate Festival of Sound.

Whatever else she has planned, it’s bound to be exciting and we can’t wait.

And so, we come to the end of another year of en Choir, but never fear, we will be back in the new term, starting September 11th. Until then keep singing, and we look forward to seeing all our friends again, as well as new faces and voices.

en Choir Performance Dates!

There’s a lot of things to love about learning to sing in a choir. Of course, there’s the sense of community. Obviously, you learn to sing, and sure, you get time with a teacher who can offer constant feedback and support but one thing we don’t talk about enough is the setting of goals.

Goals are super important when learning any new talent. It’s a clear way of measuring progress but what do you consider a goal? For some, it’s nailing a certain song but for a lot of people, it’s performing live. Most of us who want to sing want to share that gift with others, but it’s probably a bit too much to travel around singing at individual people.

Fortunately, there is another way. As part of the yearly cycle of Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir, we get the opportunity to show off what we’ve learned at an annual concert. It’s a massive deal, a full house of friends, family and public eager to hear the well-honed instrument the choir has become.

This year, Bigmouth Chorus and en Choir take the stage at a pair of gigs, offering mutual support to each other, with a catalogue of songs including Guns ‘N’ Roses, The Bangles, U2, Queen and Simon & Garfunkel.

Catch Bigmouth, with en Choir, on Friday 19th June at Queens Road Baptist Church in Broadstairs.

Then make your way to Whitstable on Saturday 20th June St Alphege Church (opposite Whitstable Playhouse) for en Choir, with Bigmouth.

Facebook event for Broadstairs

Facebook event for Whitstable

Tickets are £8/£6 with children under 12 admitted free! Tickets are available in advance from We Got Tickets, from Three Graces gift shop (The Broadway, Broadstairs) and on the door, subject to availability.

Tickets for Broadstairs

Tickets for Whitstable

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions

Singing New Years Resolutions

With the New Year here, it’s time for us all to look back on the year that has passed and figure out what we want from the year ahead.
We’ve spoken a lot about why you should spend time singing and how it can benefit other aspects of your life, from your happiness to your health. So the question then becomes, how do make 2019 your most music year? What New Years Resolutions should we be putting into action? Continue reading “New Year’s Resolutions”

Christmas news – Breaks, Concerts and Carols

As Christmas draws in, it’s looking like time for us to take a short break, but we’re not done just yet. There’s still plenty of thing happening over the winter period to keep you busy and singing until we return on January 9th.

As our friends at BIGMOUTH Chorus finish their term, they will be holding n informal concert on December 18th at Walpole Bay Hotel in Margate. While there wont be a ticket price, donations will be accepted for the choir and Thanet Winter Shelter. Guests will be welcome to attend from 8:15pm Continue reading “Christmas news – Breaks, Concerts and Carols”

Emily scoops up gold at British Composer Awards!

A huge congratulations are in order for our fearless leader, Emily Peasgood, as she picks up the award for Sonic Art at the British Composer Awards.

The award was earned for her work “Halfway to Heaven” which celebrated the rediscovery of a lost Baptist burial ground in Folkestone. The interactive installation was commissioned by the Creative Foundation as part of Folkestone Triennial last year, and was commended by The Times, The Telegraph and Wall Street International, as well as others.

Channeling those interned at the burial site, the work features motion-activated choral pieces featuring narrative elements which explore the relationship between two of the graveyard’s inhabitants. Bringing together a range of disciplines, including sculpture and programming, it’s little wonder Emily’s work was one of the most highly-visited sites during the Triennial.

The awards recognise the art of composition, and the creative talent of composers and sound artists in the UK

Last year, Emily’s works BIRDS and other Stories (2017) and Crossing Over (2016) were nominated at the British Composer Awards, marking the first time an artist saw two nominations in the same category.

All of us at en Choir are incredibly proud of the work Emily does and we’re excited to see her recognised in this fashion. We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next!

Image © Mark Allan

Pack Up Your Troubles…

Being remembrance week, we’ve been looking a little into how troops kept their morale during war. As it happens, music played and still plays a huge role in the morale boosting of soldiers. These songs did not just feature in the First World War, but also the Second World War, and the Vietnam War (as well as most wars throughout history). Popular choices were ‘Pack up your Troubles in your Old Kit Bag’, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, and ‘House of the Rising Sun’; these and many more songs formed a part of history and keep that history alive when heard. For that, we will remember them.

To follow the shape of the hills

We have been embarking on a new challenge this year with the help of one of our Sopranos to learn and master the ancient art of Shape-Note-Singing. ‘To the Hills (Wester Caputh)‘ written by Brendan Taaffe is one such Shape-Note inspired piece taking on the design and style of this art. This style features shapes rather than notes for singers to follow and sing. Watch this space for a history of Shape-Note-Singing, and keep and ear out for our concert in July at which we shall present our hard work. Fancy trying some of this plus many more styles of music? Come down for a free trial rehearsal or contact us with any queries.

Back to Love, Back to Reality

This week we have been bringing back more songs from our choir-history! ‘Back to Life’ by the talented Soul II Soul and ‘One Love’ by legend, Bob Marley have both been big hits with the choir in the past and they are again now. With everyone foot-tapping and head-bopping along, we’re immensely enjoying this trip down memory lane and look forward to entertaining you with these songs and many more in this year’s concert. Do you want to try these songs amongst countless other great hits as well as some incredible world-songs? Pop down for a free trial or contact us with any queries.

Walk!? How about SING like an Egyptian!

This week we have been learning how to Walk Like an Egyptian!; the song by The Bangles was a hit in 1986 when it was released and to this day remains popular! We love how wacky it is – but we bet you won’t recognise the version we sing! Arranged by the wonderful choir leader, Emily, we sing a swing version with the addition of the world’s most fun instrument – the Kazoo! We can’t wait to learn more of this song and more for the concert this year. If you would like to try this and other fun songs out, pop down for  a free trial or contact us with any queries.