May News Update

 

Since Christmas we have welcomed new member, Kate, and welcomed back Caroline, Judy and Julianne; it’s great to have you singing with us.

Picture1On Saturday 14th May we had the pleasure of singing at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at the Queen Elizabeth Park Centre, Guildford. The sun helped to make this a very good day with a large turnout and much fun all round.

rehearsal

LABBS 40th Anniversary Beacon Scroll

Guildford Harmony choir chorusThe Labbs 40th Annivarsary Celebration Scroll was passed to Guildford Harmony on May 17th when ‘Spirit of the South‘  hosted a meal and celebration at the Harvester in Port Solent. Labbs Regional Director, Jackie Edwards, also attended this event. Judy from Guildford Harmony collected the Scroll.

Guildford Harmony will pass the scroll to ‘Cascade’ on 25th May.

Surrey Fringe

IMG_3735Kas, Sally, Sue C, Sue L, Julianne, Katharine and Annika joined up to create a Septet to appear as the guest performers at Surrey Fringe’s Gala concert for the end of their sing-with-us course on 17th May.  The Guildford Harmony Septet sang two numbers: ‘Bye Bye Love’ and ‘I Find Your Love’. The Lady Mayoress said she was impressed and we hope to invite her to one of our sing-outs.  We had lots of fun and thanks, guys, for the invite.

Forthcoming Events

Picture1On 25th May we are off to Waterlooville to Cascade’s HQ where choruses Cascade (hosting), Wight Satin, the Pitch Pipers and Guildford Harmony will join for a buffet and social evening of songs and chat and to pass on the LABBS Beacon of Harmony.

On 10th June we are looking forward to the Great Tangley Manor singout singout when we will be taking part in the Son et Lumiere to celebrate the Park’s 1000 years of history.  However we are sorry to say that tickets for this extravaganza are sold out.

On 8th June we will be singing at Froyle near Farnham, details to follow.

On 23rd June a group of us will be going to Chilworth Manor for the annual Picnics & Pimms musical evening in beautiful surroundings.

On 9th July we have a chance to be entertained by Sue Lampard’s 50s/60s band ‘Out of the Shadows’, who are performing at Compton Village Hall – tickets are selling fast so contact Sue ASAP to avoid disappointment.

On 26th August several members will be off to BABS Harmony College for a weekend of fun and music making!

Our Charities

Over the years Guildford Harmony has supported many many local and national charities. Fundraising is through members’ subscriptions and sing-out payments.  Some of these charities include: MacMillan Cancer Relief, Cancer Research UK, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Rainbow Trust, Shooting Star CHASE children’s hospice, Riverside Café (Age Concern, Surrey), and Surrey Air Ambulance.

In 2013 we raised important funds for GUTS bowel cancer charity, in 2014 we supported Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a rare condition affecting one of our members and in 2015 we helped Bloodwise, the blood cancer charity for leukaemia and lymphoma in support of a member who lost her son through leukaemia.

cropped-bloodwise-1-1.jpg

This year we are supporting the Sam Beare Hospice, Woking.

For more details on any of these charities please click on the links. If you would like us to support a charity you are involved with, please contact us.

 

New Musical Director

Guildford Harmony has a new Musical Director, Sue Lampard.  A very big welcome to you Sue, and we are sure we will have a lot of fun learning and performing with you.Sue Lampard choir director

Sue has a great deal of experience both as a singer and director.  She trained as a voice coach with Vocal Process and enjoys vocal coaching as well as helping singers develop their knowledge and understanding of music theory.

Her love of close harmony singing initially began when she became part of a quartet singing with her school Big Band.  Sue moved to Surrey in 1982 and soon after joined Guildford Harmony, initially as a baritone, but eventually taking on the role of assistant and then acting Musical Director.  Sue left Guildford Harmony in 2004 and formed her own A Cappella chorus (In Accord). From that point on she began writing her own musical arrangements.

In 2010 Sue formed ‘Minor Chord’ which enables teenagers (of both genders) to learn about singing close harmony with backing tracks and A Cappella.  As well as being involved with the singing groups, Sue is the keyboard player/vocalist in a sixties band ‘Out of the Shadows’.

Sue will enable Guildford Harmony chorus to develop a new range of more contemporary songs, polish our old favourites, as well as improve our singing techniques and performance skills, so we are of ‘one voice’ in saying we are lucky to have you at the helm Sue.

A big thank you also goes to Katharine and Sue C who have done a fantastic job of leading and managing the chorus since last December and holding things together through this period of transition.  During this time they have also planned and managed five well-received performances.  Well done to you both and thanks again for your huge commitment!

New Rehearsal Venue

Queen Elizabeth Park Centre
Queen Elizabeth Park Centre

Our rehearsal day and venue have changed.  From 31st May 2016, the chorus will meet at 7.45 PM every Tuesday evening (we continue through school holidays) at our lovely new venue, the Queen Elizabeth Park Centre, Railton Road, Guildford GU2 9LX.

Our evening starts with a fifteen minute warm up.  We then spend an hour or so working on current songs, sometimes as a whole chorus and sometimes in our sections.  After a short break around 9:00 PM we reconvene to polish off songs worked on and go over an old favourite.  We usually finish the evening with notices, refreshments and a chat.

(To find out more about the new centre visit: http://qepark.co.uk/)

LABBS 40th Birthday Beacon of Harmony

To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers, the LABBS Beacon of Harmony scroll is travelling the country, being passed from chorus to chorus.

Beacon Scroll comes to Guildford Harmony

Guildford Harmony choir chorus

Judy had a fun time with Spirit of the South who passed the scroll to us on 17th May which coincided with their eighth birthday celebration at Port Solent Marina.  We had a super meal with jolly company and finished the evening with a few songs. Next week it’s our turn to pass the scroll to Cascade who are hosting a four chorus event at their venue in Waterlooville on 25th May.

Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations

Guildford Harmony choir chorusQueen Elizabeth Park

The Queen’s 90th birthday celebration on 14th May turned out to be a beautiful day with lots of sunshine which helped to make this a very successful sing-out for Guildford Harmony.  We were very pleased to have Sue Lampard directing us – well done Sue and thanks for jumping in at the deep end and staying so calm and competent.  Lots of fun with a big turn out and our first practice in our super new venue, The Queen Elizabeth Park Centre Centre in Railton Rd.

Guildford Harmony choir chorus

News Update

It’s been a hectic time for Guildford Harmony recently. Last December we had three sing-out events: Christmas carols at Gomshall Mill; a carol concert at the Kingston Masons’ Christmas dinner; and we also took part in a charity Christmas carol concert at St. John’s Church, Normandy, where we helped to raise funds for GUTS (bowel cancer) and Bloodwise (formerly known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research). Bloodwise was our chosen charity for 2015 and during the year we raised £913, which we were proud to present recently to local Bloodwise rep, Rosie Spalding (see photo). Our heartfelt thanks to all who supported us. This year our chosen charity is the Woking and Sam Beare Hospice.

We have been very busy since Christmas working with different musical directors in new venues. These directors have helped us develop our warm up routines, dynamics and pitch. We would like to thank Phoebe Gaydon, Bill Payne and Sue Lampard for their excellent contributions.

Work in progress: we are currently working on several new songs including Mamma Mia, For Once in My Life, and Hooked on a Feeling. We have also welcomed some new members and congratulate Kate on passing her audition.

Guildford Harmony choir
Chair of Guildford Harmony Choir Katharine Willsher (left) and Acting MD Sue Couldery (right) hand over a cheque for £913.00 to Rosemary Spalding from charity Bloodline.

LABBS Harmony College

A group of us from Guildford Harmony went to LABBS Harmony College, held at the University of Nottingham, from 8th – 10th April.  This particular LABBS-run event hadn’t been held for some years so was an opportunity not to be missed!

Kas joined the Chorus Stream and was coached intensively by the brilliant Sally McClean.  Ali joined the Directing Stream and attended lectures and hands-on sessions with some of the top chorus MDs.

Four of us went as a quartet (one of whom was a last-minute stand-in Bari – well done Sally).  We received coaching from a series of LABBS and BABS medal winners, including the Doug Harrington!  By the end of the weekend we had learnt lots, including some really great techniques on song planning and interpretation, and had worked a lot on blending, really raising our standard.

Representing Guildford Harmony over three different streams of this musical education event we all came away feeling musically enriched.  Our experience was also great fun because everyone in the barbershop world is so friendly and approachable and we recognised many familiar faces from previous events.

The weekend was, of course, a great opportunity to spend social time with other GH members.  As a group we all enjoyed the spontaneous polecat singing at the bar on Saturday evening, which united the many represented choruses from up and down the country.

A few of us are already starting to think about BABS Harmony College (the mixed equivalent) in August. Extreme Quartets anyone?

Picture1

Guildford Harmony is currently looking for new members, in particular Lead (Soprano/Mezzo) voices so if you love to sing please do give us a call and arrange to come and try us out.