Angmering Voices starts a new term of singing on the 11th of Jan
We’re really looking forward to a new set of songs this term and learning from our ever-patient choir leader, Hilary
Come along and sing with us if you’re looking for something to do on a Thursday evening from 17:30 – 18:30.
Looking foward to meeting you and singing with you!
Update on Angmering Voices and our grant…the lowdown.
Since forming in 2011, we members of the Angmering Community as well as some surrounding areas, have come to love our weekly choir sessions of Angmering Voices.
We’ve blossomed and have several performances under our belts with our new image as Angmering Voices (previously Community Choir). We’re always on the look-out for further opportunity to perform.
In gaining strength and performing in public, we have realised the need for uniformity among our ranks. We all already look much smarter with our plain folders, dark trousers and plain coloured tops, but want to take things a step further and define our look.
We have also wanted to brand and develop ourselves and the image of our choir, and have done so fairly well, with our various Social Media profiles and our website, but we have needed something more… more exposure and more oomph behind us.
We recently applied for a community grant, which we were awarded. This will be hugely beneficial in our plight for development, branding and learning. We plan to build up a library of sheet music and digital songs which we will use in our repertoire.
As a community based choir, we recognise that people have joined us for various reasons and to get different things out of their singing. Part of what this grant will allow us to do, is continue on our journey, singing, being healthy and happy and bringing joy to those who listen to us and hopefully, join us too, to share in the joy of being part of a choir.
To follow our progress, join us on social media, or even better, join us in real life! Both Men and Women most welcome, there is no need to be able to read music, just come along and sing!
Breathing for singing
In light of our upcoming performances at various year end and Christmas events, now may be a good time to have a quick refresher on breathing…all those long notes we have coming up, and we’re expecting many an encore…best be prepared!
Posture and breath control
Supporting your voice whilst singing is vital. Singing when the breath is finished is a sure way of tiring and even damaging your voice.
Read on to be reminded of how to maintain good breath control, or indeed improve your breathing.
Breathe deeply from your lower lungs – imagine a rubber ring around your waist (your diaphragm)
Breathe in and try to push the ring outwards.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose and mouth.
Avoid raising your shoulders as you breathe in – keep them relaxed and level.
Relax! Tension will prevent you from making a good sound.
To practice breathing well, try this:
Lie on the floor on your back with your hands on your stomach. Breath in (inhale) and your hands will rise. Now breathe out (exhale) and they will lower. In this position it is virtually impossible to breathe incorrectly. Try to breath in the same way when you sing.
If you can’t lie on the floor, sit on a chair, sit well forward in the chair, back straight, shoulders back, feet flat, head facing forward and at a comfortable angle, not tilted down or up, as this will impede or alter the breath.
Practice breathing regularly to improve your technique and build your capacity
Exercise 1 – Hissing
Breathe in to the count of 4, breathe out, hissing, to the count of 4
Then, breathe in for 6, and hiss out for 10
in for 6, out for 12
in for 2, out for 12
in for 4, out for 16
in for 2, out for 16
in for 4, out for 20
in for 1, out for 20
The idea is to monitor your breathing, and ensure that you can last through long phrases. Be economical with your breathing. Make sure the hiss is consistent; that it is not louder at the beginning than at the end. You are aiming for a smooth even sound.
Exercise 2 – Snatched Breaths
Breathing in gradually, think of your lungs filling up in fractions, when you count. Focus on the diaphragm, being careful not to hold tension in the throat.
On the count of ‘1’ – breathe in (¼ full)
‘2’ – (½ full)
‘3’ – (¾ full)
‘4’ – (full)
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 – breathe out, gradually.
Repeat, on the count of ‘1’ – breathe in (½ full) ‘2’ – (full)
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – breathe out gradually.
Happy practicing, and here’s to some big, controlled sounds from us in the coming weeks!
Angmering Voices performs for the community.
Saturday, October 4th, just a few short weeks ago, Angmering Community Center celebrated its 5th Birthday with a collaboration of every person or local organisation, making use of their facilities to provide a service to the local community.
OF COURSE Angmering Voices was there to entertain and show our faces…hoping to attract more members.
We had a ball! Sang for our tea (quite literally, there were scones and tea afterwards!) and made friends with some potential members.
Our set proved quite popular and had the tea-goers singing and humming along nicely.
To start off, we sang The Carpenters’ “Top of the World”, for a lovely happy feel, for a more sombre mood, we moved into Carole King’s “You’ve got a friend”.
Easing back into good feelings, we then sang Michael Buble’s version of “Feeling Good” and ended off in a dream-like way with The Everly Brothers’ “Dream, dream, dream”.
We hope you enjoy our post, moreover, we hope you enjoy it enough to join us!
Thursdays, 17:45 – 18:45 at the Angmering Community Center – £4 per session and no audition, but loads of fun and some great results, as you can hear!
Follow us on Facebook if you would like to keep up to date with us, or ask questions
Angmering Community Choir performs at Worthing’s Party on the Prom
Last Saturday, the 14th of June, saw Worthing ablaze with colour and engaged with a host of lively performances by local groups and community organisations.
Holding our heads high, and with the rock-steady guidance of our musical director, Hilary, Angmering Community Choir, gave a cracking performance!
Performers before and after us felt the full impact of the not-so-great weather of the day, but we seemed to have everything going for us…a break in the rain, a bit of sun, crowds forming to listen, wonderful song choices… all adding to a great blending of voices.
We even managed to work a little impromptu humour into our routine, when, at the perfect ending to our rendition of Simon &Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence”, an ambulance sounded it’s siren. Hilarity ensued.
We are always looking for members, if you saw and heard us in Worthing and would like to be a part of a really fun community choir, come along and join us. There is no audition, no need to read music, just a promise of a lot of fun with trying something new.
Our Social Media is going strong, if you want to see what we are all about! Come and tweet along with us, or Facebook like us, we keep it relevant. Head over to Angmering Community Choir’sYoutube Channel if you want to take a listen to some of our previous performances, or some of the songs we are practicing. We are newly on Spotify too, GOOD TIMES!
“There’s no half-singing in the shower, you’re either a rock star or an opera diva.” ~Josh Groban
Bring your voice out of the shower and over to Angmering Community Choir, You could be singing on the Promenade next!
Performance at Worthing’s Party on the Prom
In light of Angmering Community Choir’s upcoming performance at Party on the Prom, we have had flyers and cards designed to handout on the day, before and after.
Join us this Saturday, June 14th, in Worthing at Splashpoint to hear the latest set of songs we have mastered! Say HELLO or join in if you feel so inclined 🙂
In days gone by, Sea Shanties or Chanties (possibly taken from the French “chanter”) were working songs sung on ships during the age of sail. They were used to keep rhythm during work and make it more pleasant. Because these songs were used to accomplish a goal, rather then for pure entertainment, the lyrics and melody were not very sophisticated. Still, the songs were usually meaningful and told of a sailor’s life, which included backbreaking labor, abuse from their captain, other crew members, alcohol, and longing for girls and dry land.
A typical shanty had a call-and-response format. One sailor (a shantyman) would call out a verse, to which the rest of the sailors would respond in unison. The work would occur usually on the last syllable of the response or some other cue.
Their rhythms co-ordinated the efforts of many sailors hauling on lines. Much loved by modern sailors and folk musicians, they are rarely used as work songs today. This is because modern rigging doesn’t require many people to be working in the same rhythm for long periods.
Shanties can be divided, according to their use, into two classes:
(a) Hauling shanties
a “short haul” http://youtu.be/ZXNT-EiA2LU
Short-haul ( short drag, double-pull, sweating up) these shanty songs were sung when quicker, strenuous work like trimming the sails, raising the masthead, or pumping required quick, hard pulls. The task and the song were shorter in length than other types.
A halyard/long haul shanty about going around Cape Horn to whale: http://youtu.be/8WwC4fTLqog
Long-haul (long drag, single-pull, halyard) shanty songs were sung during the longer jobs, such as hauling up the yardarms. The Shantyman would sing or line out the verse while the men would rest and perhaps get a better grip. The men would sing the chorus during the long haul of the rope, or halyard. The number of pulls made during the chorus could be between one and three, depending on the weight of the sail.
(b) Windlass and Capstan.
Capstan shanties were for long, repetitive tasks requiring a sustained rhythm, but not involving working the lines. These songs are considered the most-developed of the shanties, with a smoother feel, steady, rhythm, and usually a full chorus which complements the verses.
The former class accompanied the setting of the sails, and the latter the weighing of the anchor, or ‘warping her in’ to the wharf, etc. Capstan shanties were also used for pumping ship. A few shanties were ‘interchangeable,’ i.e. they were used for both halliards ( http://youtu.be/8WwC4fTLqog) and capstan (http://youtu.be/PZfYtCLA23s).
For ‘pull-and-haul’ shanty songs, the shantyman took up his position near the workers and announced the shanty, sometimes by singing the first line. This established the tune to which they were to supply the chorus. For capstan shanties he usually did the same. He frequently sat on the capstan, but so far as we know, he would take up his position on or against the knightheads.
Another type, often not recognised as a shanty was also sung. These were known as Forecastle or ceremonial shanties and were sung in the few time of rest or recreation the sailors enjoyed, or on special occasions such as crossing the Equator, or entering port.
Here is “Leave her Johnny” by Johnny Collins, a traditional Forecastle shanty.
Just recently, we as a choir have started learning an American/Hawaiian shanty, “John Kanaka”. It is a halyard shanty and was primarily sung during sail hoisting.
Here is a modern version sung by Skinny Lister, who were doing a “knock ‘n rock” type performance in a small town, promoting their upcoming concert.
A more traditional version for those who prefer, sung here by Fisherman’s Friends of Port Isaac, Cornwall
Happy Birthday Dame Vera Lynn!
“The Forces’ Sweetheart”, Dame Vera Lynn, the singer renowned during World War II, will release an album to celebrate her 97th birthday.
After making her stage debut at the age of seven, 2014 sees Dame Vera’s ninth decade in the business, a feat that will be difficult to match and one unique in the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
The Ultimate Collection will be released on June 2 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Second World War D-Day landings, which occurs four days later.
Social Media, we mostly all use it, so, not to be left behind, Angmering Community Choir is flexing some muscle and getting on to all the big name platforms!
Please join us, to make it work well, we need likes, clicks, shares, comments and your thoughts, it is social after all!
If you have any photos of topics you would like shared, just add them to the various pages, or this blog and we’ll oblige (singing or music related of course).
Ciao for now!
Welcome to our blog!
This post, our first, marks the start of what we hope will be a fully interactive and fun blog for both Angmering Community Choir and our local community. Please feel free to share any posts (or indeed pages) you find interesting.
We want this site and blog to appeal to EVERYONE…so, with that in mind, what would you like to read about? We have plenty that we’d like to write about, but would it be interesting to everyone…maybe a fair few, but in the interests of fairness…lets ask around and get the ball rolling!
We’d like to respectfully acknowledge the passing of Shirley Temple Black this past week, with a beautiful quote by Whoopie Goldberg:
The Good Ship Lollipop has sailed today with Shirley Temple aboard, a true one of a kind.