The second event is our 2024 Winter concert. This is our big showcase of the term, where we will share the songs we have been working on for the last few months. The concert will be on Sat 10 Feb at 7:30pm – save the date! We are looking forward to singing our hearts out and making you smile!
We hope to see you at our events and thank you for your support!
We’re thrilled to share the wonderful news that Sing! Community Choir’s Summer Concert raised more than £1,320 for the charity Home-Start Cambridgeshire, which supports struggling families across our county.
Huge thanks to all the Sing!ers – and their amazing friends and family – who gave so generously at our summer concert on 8 July, which saw a sell-out audience dancing in the aisles. At nearly 300 people, it was our biggest audience yet and it was definitely a night to remember!
Aaron Venables, Chair of Trustees for Home-Start Cambridgeshire, said: “We are delighted that Sing! Community Choir chose to support Home-Start Cambridgeshire. Their summer concert was a fantastic way to show support to a charity that has community at its heart, and the money raised will go directly to help families who have fallen on tough times, here in the county we all call home.”
It was an extra special weekend at the beginning of May. Not only was it the King’s Coronation but it was also the Sing! Community Choir weekend away. Woohoo!! Sixty of us ventured into the Suffolk countryside and descended on Ringsfield Hall, near Beccles. Having stayed in the beautiful Thetford Forest for the past four years, there was some anticipation about how this space would work for us, but I think I can safely say it all worked out very well.
Choir members began trickling in from about 5pm on a slightly rainy and damp Friday evening. Since we were hidden down some country lanes, this was perhaps a little adventure for those arriving after dark! Once safely inside, it was exciting to see all the space we had. There were some ‘soft areas’ with comfy sofas and chairs for us to relax in. It was also ‘exciting’ to see the bathroom/toilet situation (some members with quick maths skills looked a little pensive at the bathroom-to-weekender ratio; but it all worked out fine!).
Once most of us had arrived and settled in, we launched into a few hilarious rounds of Just A Minute – the popular radio game show, brilliantly hosted by Andy and marvellously masterminded by Marie. We learned that Rowan really does love dinosaurs and how the battle of Hastings actually happened in 1666! Who knew?!
Off we toddled to our dorms, with a few party people staying up later to enjoy drinks and crafts and late-night chats.
Saturday: a day of activity
Our social guru Jon miraculously masterminded a timetable for us all so we could enjoy as many different activities as possible. The workshops were run by members of the choir with other talents besides singing. There was glass fusing, printing in nature, haiku writing, improv, movement to music, felting, lino printing, cross stitch, social crafting and a ‘watching the coronation’ group. Ringsfield Hall also put on some outdoor team building, bushcraft and archery activities for us. So there was plenty to choose from.
Choir members were free to do as much or as little as they liked. Some went for a peaceful walk in the beautiful grounds or found a quiet corner to knit. Some sat on the stairwell plaiting each other’s hair and some found contentment playing the piano. Some even went for a run!
Saturday night dinner was provided by the venue, something we didn’t have at Thetford. It was delicious and much appreciated after a busy day of activities. There was plenty of pasta bake and bolognaise, salad, garlic bread and pudding for us all. With our bellies full, choir members slowly wobbled out to the campfire to gather under a bell tent of sorts, and enjoyed all being together and having a sing. I heard everyone had a lovely time. (I may or may not have passed out on my bed fully clothed at about 8pm!)
Sunday: a day of singing
Choir numbers grew on Sunday as we were joined by our lovely choir ‘day trippers’ for our teaching session by Craig Lees and Declan Davies (Craig is the Musical Director behind Leeds Contemporary Singers). I think I can safely say on everyone’s behalf how utterly brilliant they were. Also that most of us are now seriously considering how we can arrange a musical accompaniment to provide the soundtrack to our lives.
Without introducing himself, Craig brilliantly launched straight into an invigorating warm up. Choir members demonstrated excellent focus and concentration as they touched each other’s knees and massaged each other’s shoulders!
Craig taught us the Whitney Houston belter How Will I Know and how to get emotion into our voices. Who knew there were so many ways to sing the line “How will I know” – maybe with a whimper or a cry or absolute desperation? It was a lot of fun.
Next, Becky and Beth bravely conducted us singing a few songs from our own Sing! repertoire in front of Craig and Declan: the Friends theme tune I’ll Be There for You and Coldplay’s Viva la Vida.
They gave us helpful feedback on how to get more out of performing these songs.
The weekend away sadly came to a close about 4pm and everyone seemed to chip in with the final clean up before heading back to real life.
All in all, it was a great weekend. But don’t take my word for it. Here are a few quotes from other Sing! members about what they thought of our weekend away.
What other people said…
“Everything I expected and more. Nice to meet new people and chill out in this corner of Suffolk.” — Alex
“Wonderful.” — Clare
“Delightful.” — Marie
“Lovely times with lovely people.” — Becca
“Lovely to spend time with people you see every Thursday at choir, getting to know them a bit better in the beautiful surroundings of Suffolk. There are so many talented folk here, sharing their skills.” — Vicky
“Getting to know people from other sections of the choir is great. It’s not an easy job to organise sleeping, eating and multiple activities for 60 people. Jon did a brilliant job and seemed unfazed and relaxed. We thank him very much and everyone on the music committee for making this happen.” — Elyse
See you all again next year 🙂 Katie
Please note that these facts may not be correct at time of writing and are purely the mutterings of my tiny mind. I do truly hope there are similarities to real people and actual events that occurred!
You can peruse more photos of the Sing! weekend away on our Flickr album here.
We’re on the look-out for more low-voiced members for our choir in September 2023 to join our Tenor and Bass sections (our Alto and Soprano sections are currently full).
No auditions or experience is necessary! Music is taught by ear, so you don’t need to read music. We meet on Thursday evenings during Cambridge school term times at Hills Road Sixth Form College. Subscriptions are kept low to keep Sing! accessible to all.
If you’d like to have a go at singing in our fun, friendly choir, then join us for our free taster sessions from 7th September 2023. We’ll be learning material right from the start that we’ll carry on through the term. Our taster sessions run for three weeks:
Thursday 7th September
Thursday 14th September
Thursday 21st September
The best option is to come along on the 7th if you can – if you then decide to join the choir you won’t have missed anything!
If you’re not free on 7th then you’re also very welcome to come and try us out on one of the subsequent weeks.
Summer’s here! Why not join us for our Summer Concert on Saturday, 8 July from 7.30pm at Netherhall School in Cambridge for an uplifting evening of music with songs ranging from Frankie Valli to Whitney Houston to the Greatest Showman.
Tickets are £8 (£5 for concessions) – under tens go free. All proceeds to HomeStart Cambridgeshire to help support families in need across the county .
I’d always loved singing in a group. Some of my happiest school memories came from being part of the choir; performing in shows, going to competitions and enjoying that amazing sense of camaraderie that singing together brings.
Skip forward a few (ok…maybe more than a few!) years and I’d heard about Sing! Community Choir. The rehearsals were local to me and I was encouraged by the fact that I didn’t need to read sheet music or do a scary audition. I thought I’d give it a go, thinking it might be fun and that I might enjoy it.
It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time!
I have loved coming to Sing! rehearsals every week. The whole experience has been so inclusive, welcoming and just downright fun! Even on the rare occasion I couldn’t make it, I knew I would be able to catch up using the lyrics and recorded tracks on the Google Drive.
I never felt any pressure and these were a great way to practise at home too. The rehearsals became a great social experience; it’s lovely to chat to so many different people from all walks of life and enjoy some delicious snacks very kindly provided by a different group each week.
Excitement in the air
Cut to the night of the Christmas Concert, which also happened to be the culmination of Sing!’s 10th anniversary year celebrations. Arriving at St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church, there was a sense of nervous energy and excitement in the air. We warmed up; we did some last-minute rehearsals, including practising the iconic stomp, stomp, clap to start Queen’s We Will Rock You; and we finally got to do a sound check and get on stage for the first time. Things were definitely getting real and I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt equal parts nervous and excited!
A quick dinner break, a chance for everyone to get changed into their beautiful red and black outfits and it was finally here: show time! Standing up on stage was an amazing experience. I somehow ended up on the raised platform of the stage, so had a perfect view of the audience who had given up their nights (during England’s last match in the World Cup no less!) to come and see us! The support from family and friends was just amazing and really helped to lift us all. The audience really gave it their all, even getting to join in with a very enthusiastic rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas – dance moves and all!
We sang a great mixture of Christmas and non-festive songs. Hearing all the different sections of the choir come together, along with the fantastic soloists, superb band and wonderful cabaret acts was a real highlight for me. My personal favourites included Hallelujah, Holding Out for a Hero (complete with onstage costume change!) and Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree with Jingle Bell Rock. We repeated the final song as our encore – thanks to Andy for his amazing conducting, especially the Christmas jacket and fairy lights!
Singing together with around 80 other people was an experience I will never forget. I am so thankful to everyone at Sing! for being so inviting and helping me to recapture my love of singing. I’m already looking forward to the Summer concert! ❤️
Huge thanks to our lovely 10th anniversary Christmas Concert audience, who together helped us to raise more than £1,100 in support of Cambridge Acorn Project
You can recapture the magic of all our concert videos on our YouTube channel here
Look out for more news about our Summer concert coming soon!
I love the fun, creative, accepting, we’re-all-in-this-together atmosphere of Sing! Community Choir.
I love that it’s a community of like-minded, but also very diverse, people. We represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, opinions, passions – with a shared love of making music. And I love that Sing! makes music accessible – there’s no need for any formal training or even to read musical notations. It’s fun feel-good music that you can’t help but tap your feet and/or sway to.
I love that there’s space for everyone to contribute in their own way; whether you’re an aspiring soloist who wants to break yourself in gently by joining a semi-chorus or duet or whether you’re a shy distinctly average singer who likes to hide at the back (or at the front where you can actually hear your part-colleagues much better for reassurance).
Whether you love to bake, or organise, or make recordings, or store equipment. Whether you can conduct, teach a part, show people where the pub is or lead a simple warm-up; there’s a place for you at Sing! and the choir really does run as a community.
I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve been at Sing! but over that time, I’ve made new friends, been inspired and moved, learned a lot, had so much fun and been a small part of making beautiful music.
When I’d had a long hard day / week I used to sometimes skip a Thursday night rehearsal because I just felt too tired. But now I never skip a rehearsal if I can help it because – even if I felt drained beforehand – singing with lovely people uplifts me; re-energises me; and I leave with more of a spring in my step, humming away as I cycle home.
At the annual weekend away, and other social events, I’ve enjoyed the chance to get to know other choir members better whilst eating, chilling out and doing all sorts of activities together – from a treetop adventure course to board games and tiramisu making!
For the last note of the concert finale, One Day More, we really went for it – choir and band nearly raising the roof of the Atrium Hall.
The audience rose to their feet, cheering and clapping in appreciation of what had been a hugely uplifting, moving and entertaining show. A tribute to the power of music to bring people together. And a payoff for all the hard work done by the movers and shakers of Sing! Community Choir to get us concert-ready, raising serious money for our charity, Romsey Mill.
There were youngsters dancing down the front and old folk tapping their toes. We even managed to keep my Dad (88) awake. On stage they saw a sea of vivid pink, yellow and blue tops, a bit like Elmer the patchwork elephant. Smart move by the wardrobe department!
Sing! Community Choir is special. After a decade of rehearsing and putting on shows, they somehow manage to combine friendly informality with meticulous organisation. I first came for one of their Taster Days in January and loved it. I’m not very good at singing. But I wanted to have a go. I get a buzz from making music with other people. Singing in a choir is prescribed for depression on the NHS: it’s great for your mental health.
Sing! is run by a group of talented and inspiring people, with three of its founder members – Bethany, Naomi and Tizzy – still going strong. It has a rotating cast of volunteer conductors for multi-genre songs, which are taught by ear rather than sheet music.
All year we’ve been learning one or two new songs every week, building up to a repertoire of 14 for the concert. Audio files and lyrics for each part – alto, bass, tenor, soprano – are shared on the web so we can learn them. After a while you absorb these songs until you know them off by heart.
By July 9th, the day of the concert, I felt ready – excited rather than nervous. Blue skies were smiling at us as we gathered for a warm-up in the light and lofty foyer of Netherhall School’s Atrium Hall, with its quirky sawn-off Cadillac from Grease. We ran through the non-band songs while the musicians set up in the hall. Sounded pretty good. Cakes accumulated on side tables. During the interval the audience could have their cake and eat it. Keep them sweet! Another crafty piece of planning.
Then onto the stage to rehearse together with the band. I stood on the back row and enjoyed the view until I started to worry about fainting in the heat. What if I expired in a sweaty heap during the concert and fell backwards? It was a long way down…
We had been on our feet for nearly three hours now, so it was good to take a break. Netherhall playing fields are vast, stretching up a hill. Munching on a sandwich and basking in the still-hot evening sun I spotted a deer emerge from the bushes on the horizon. A good omen.
Changed into our finery, we assembled in a classroom for a final pep-talk from Bethany and took part in Tizzy’s ENERGY chant to get us revved up. Trying to be quiet, we took our positions onstage. The band played the intro to Shut Up and Dance and the curtains parted.
We were great. Did you ever doubt it?
Highlights for me were the songs I enjoy singing most – the breezy pop-rush of Rhythm of Love, the bonkers Grace Kelly (belting out the ‘violet skies’ bit gives me goosebumps), the trance-inducing One Day Like This and the epic One Day More.
For those of us who weren’t performing the Cabaret items it was a treat to sit down and enjoy them close-up for the first time. After Welcome Home and Love Medley (15 songs in 2½ minutes) I was tearing up a bit. The occasion was getting to me. When you’re right next to live choral singers it does something to you. When they sing in harmony (doesn’t have to be perfect) it goes straight to the heart.