Barrels and Carols

 

We are a Community Choir, and whilst this has a particular meaning in the choir world, in that anyone can join, we also feel that our task is to take music out into the community, and not wait for people to come to us.

Last year we held a Christmas sing song at the Lapstone pub in Fair Oak, and it went down well with the regulars. We’d hoped to go back for a non-seasonal event later in the year, hopefully to the same response, but sadly there was uncertainty about the Lapstone’s future so this plan was put on hold.

Will it close?  Will it stay open?

So this year we sing carols and eat pizza at the King Rufus in Eling on Friday 22nd December at 7pm. This pub is run as a sort of co-op and has regular musical events. Pizza is optional (?) and cooked on their outside wood oven.We have arranged to go and run a festive sing-along just before the final weekend before Christmas, and if they like us, we hope to return next year.

 

As to the Lapstone…

Mr Mayor, you spoil us

Southampton Mayor’s Carol Service

For many years now the Christmas season for the choir has been busy with events, as indeed it is for most choirs, but for us the traditional final gig before the turkey gets defrosted is the Mayor’s Carol Service, originally intended for Civic Centre staff and held in the main entrance hall of the Civic Centre, but anyone can come.

Southampton Civic Centre

 

It’s an impressive venue, with wide stairs and brilliantly painted plasterwork, and is a nice place to sing just at the peak of the festive season (punch and mince pies afterwards of course).

Southampton Guildhall Square looking very festive

This year however, in an attempt to be more available to the community at large the event will take place outside in the Guildhall Square, so it’s wrap up warm time, get those lanterns out and Sing!

This will be on Thursday 21st December at 3:30pm in Guildhall Square

 

This is always a lovely occasion, the proximity to Christmas and the sense that the excessive run up is nearing its end makes for a short but sweet event, ending as we eat the traditional mince pies and drink the mulled wine in the Mayoral parlour, trying to relax on the posh sofas in the knowledge that the old vocal chords will be getting a rest, at least for a few weeks.

20 years young and still going strong

One of our earliest photos. Central Hall 1998 OK, it’s Easter, we admit.

The Central Hall Community Choir started life in the autumn of 1997 to prepare for Christmas events at the Central Hall….

Central Hall 1998, the earliest photo we’ve found yet. OK it’s Easter, but Hey!We have come through many concerts, church services, weddings, cakes, carnivals, festivals, parties, cakes, memorials, choir trips away, cakes and singing in chip shops to here:

St. Peter’s Church Fete, Sept 2017 – a little less hair, but still singing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The choir is 20 years old this term so we are having a party to celebrate at the Central Hall in the evening of Saturday December 9th at 7:30pm. All former choir members and friends are welcome. The exact activities at the party are yet to be arranged but there will definitely be cake, displays of old photos of the choir spurring the inevitable “Who is that?” questions, and, of course, it wouldn’t be a choir without a song, so dust off those tubes!

Please bring some food and/or drink if you are coming, should be a good evening.

 

 

 

The Big Christmas Sing. Saturday 2nd December 7pm

 

This is  a magnificent pre-Christmas extravaganza with all your favourite Christmas songs, none of the ones you don’t like, and featuring dozens of singers and dancers, probably refreshments, hopefully cake and a thousand elephants!

 

This year at it’s St Alban’s Church Burgess Rd. Southampton on Saturday 2nd December

We’ve sung at St Alban’s in the past at a Red Nose Day event, and it’s a fine place for this seasonal feast of music.

 

This time we are joined by the Sing Out Choir young singers from the Highfield School singing club and the Parkewood School of Dance

Our hosts, St. Alban’s Church also have a choir who will have a spot as well.

Looks to be a fairly full evening, even if the thousand elephants don’t turn up

The goose is getting fat

Christmas is coming soon, and with it will come plenty of opportunities to hear the choir.

 

First up is The Big Christmas Sing

Saturday 2nd December 7pm at St Alban’s Church, Swaythling. We will be joined by dancers from the  Parkewood School of Dance and young singers from some local schools, and perhaps some others. This is an event we do from time to time and it’s always fun.

 

 

In previous years we have sung at the Mayor’s Carol Service, originally intended for Civic Centre staff and held in the main entrance hall of the Civic Centre, and anyone can come.

Southampton Civic Centre

It’s an impressive venue, with wide stairs and brilliantly painted plasterwork, and is a nice place to sing just at the peak of the festive season (punch and mince pies afterwards of course).

Southampton Guildhall Square looking very festive

This year however, in an attempt to be more available to the community at large the event will take place outside in the Guildhall Square, so it’s wrap up warm time, get those lanterns out and Sing!

This will be on Thursday 21st December at 3:30pm

 

 

The next day, we are going for an evening at the pub.

OK, Carols and Pizza at the King Rufus in Eling on Friday 22nd December at 7pm. This pub is run as a sort of co-op and has regular musical events. Pizza is optional (?) and cooked on their outside wood oven.

St Peter’s Curdridge once again.

It’s not often that we sing at the same place twice in a row, but we have been invited to help the good folk of St Peter’s Curdridge celebrate the 130th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of their church building.

The church itself is older than that as there was an earlier chapel from 1835, part of which remains, but it’s the later, current one we are celebrating.

 

This will be a Sunday afternoon church service at 4pm on 26th Nov.   3 days shy of 130 years.

Expect songs about stones and buildings – and of course cake.

 

The Augusta Burrell who laid the original stone was a local lady who owned Fairthorne Manor and donated about 25% of the cost of building the church, and also performed many other acts of local philanthropy.

 

Here’s a photo of us at the event, and a picture of a rather good matchstick model of St Peter’s:

St Peter’s model

Music in the City… Roll on next year.

170 acts

               22 locations

                                       1000 performers.

Here’s the choir in Quilter’s Vault in 2009

This event has run annually since 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here we are last year in the Undercroft

This time we were in the Bargate for the first time. There was a very appreciative audience, and we were preceded by 3p Suite, a vocal threesome and followed by the excellent Fiddler on the Hoof ceilidh band. It’s a real pleasure to sing in these unusual locations, some of which have been used in the city for centuries, the acoustics and intimate setting all make for a great gig .

Did you see us in the Bargate? Please leave a comment, or if you’d like to have a go yourself then you could come along to one of our Monday evening practices at the Central Hall, St. Mary St. Southampton, 8-10pm. There’s no subscriptions or auditions, but there is tea, biscuits, and sometimes cake.

St. Peter’s Church Fête Curdridge Saturday 23rd September

We were asked to perform a short concert to finish the St. Peter’s Church Fête  in Curdridge.  It was a lovely sunny day and the event seemed to be going very nicely when we turned up.

Fortunately the audience clearly enjoyed themselves, singing along at times and it was great fun to do. They had this amusing giant photo frame for us to appear in afterwards …