The Chester Ladies’ Choir : Vocal Makeover

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Do you watch those programmes where someone takes a property in need of some TLC and turns it into a sparkly new, bang up to date, palace? I do too.

Well, something similar is happening to the choir that I sing with, Chester Ladies.  We’ve been working with our new musical director David Bebbington BMus (Hons), PGCert, MA, DipLSM, FLCM, FHEA for about nine months now.

David is a talented vocal coach, pianist and teacher as well as a long established musical director and is bringing a fresh approach to learning and performing choral music.

Rehearsals now include vocal warm ups, tips and techniques on how to improve the voice, and a distinct focus on perfecting rhythm and musicality.  Many of the choir are reporting an improvement in their vocal range as a result of the exercises.

We’ve been tackling some really tricky pieces such as Bill Withers classic Lean On Me, which is not only vocally challenging, but requires sound effects which make us giggle but are certainly effective.
There’s no doubt that being in our choir is not an easy, once a week hobby.  It requires commitment to learning words, as we perform without copies, and we are encouraged to stretch ourselves vocally.  You never know what you can achieve until you try.
We welcome new members, so if you love to sing and are willing to commit your time and energy to being a better singer, then why not give us a try?
Details are on our website http://www.chesterladieschoir.co.uk/
 

Christmas With The Chester Ladies’ Choir

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When you sing with a choir, Christmas starts early.  Very early.  In fact we started learning Christmas music in October, so it’s fair to say we are pretty consumed by the season of goodwill already, even though it’s still two weeks away.

This week there have been two Christmas concerts.  Our main event was at Wesley Church Chester where we showcased our seasonal repertoire which includes firm favourites White Christmas and Winter Wonderland as well as sacred pieces Pavanne For A Silent Night and Gaudete.

Our audience had to do their bit too, with a sing along of Saviour’s Day to end the night.

We had some amazing guests:  Dylan Cernyw on harp and local Chester singers Megan Lamour and John Henry.  If you have never heard a harp played professionally, then seek out one of Dylan’s performances.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

We raised £248 for Guide Dogs, a charity which is especially close to our hearts, as one of our choir members, Clare, will have her own guide dog in the new year.

Our second gig was at Chester’s St Mary’s Centre, where we were guests of Theatre In The Quarter, celebrating choral music with ‘Joy To The World’.  We shared the stage with some wonderful local choirs: Dee Sign Choir, Hoole Community Choir, Dragonsong and Hope Street Harmonies. The atmosphere was buzzing as Matt Baker hosted this fun evening which was a real treat for anyone who loves to hear a choir sing.

Of course, it’s not over yet!  Next week we are singing for a local charity and will also be at M&S Outlet Cheshire Oaks singing carols to raise money for Guide Dogs.

If you would like to be doing this next Christmas, then why not join us in January?  We meet at St Luke’s Huntington 7:30 to 9:30 Tuesday evenings.

Enjoy your Christmas, music lovers!

 

 

 

 

Thank You For The Music

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I’ve been singing with The Chester Ladies’ Choir on and off since 1982 (I’ll leave you to do the maths).   I first joined because singing in the bath was just not enough, and there was no X Factor or karaoke in the eighties, otherwise I’d have been there like a shot!

These days, I’m there as much for the friends I’ve made along the way, as I am for the music.  We rehearse every Tuesday and spend a good time of that chatting!   I’m also on the committee, which is great, as you get involved with others on a different level when you work as a team.

We perform several times a year in concert.  It’s quite a buzz getting up on stage and having an audience respond to you positively.  We often sing for charities and it’s very rewarding to know you are helping someone out whilst having a great time yourself.

Our repertoire is pretty varied and includes contemporary music, songs from the shows and classics.  My current favourite is The Gypsy Song from Bizet’s Carmen and The Lord is My Shepherd arranged by Howard Goodall, which you would recognise as the theme tune to The Vicar Of Dibley.

We’ve also been known to go on tour! Our last trip away was to Bath where we performed at a concert with a local choir and had a fab weekend to boot!

To anyone thinking of joining a choir I say go for it!  If you live in Chester and are interested, have  a look at our website: http://www.chesterladieschoir.co.uk/