Previous Concerts & Events in 2014 to 2016:
Click here for Concerts & Events in 2013 and before.
Concerts & Events in 2016
Friday 16th December 2016
Christmas Concert at Stamford Arts Centre
Stamford Arts Centre hosted the latest festive celebration from Woven Chords, the local natural voice choir who have gathered a loyal following and a strong reputation for close, tight harmony work.
This was Abi Moore's last concert as choir leader and her work with the choir has seen them move from strength to strength. Friday night's concert was another example of the professionalism and sense of real enjoyment that she has fostered within the group and how this is transmitted to the audience.
A full house showed its appreciation as the choir performed Basque and Catalan Christmas songs, as well as Swedish, Polish and Ukranian carols, all sung in the original language, as were the Italian protest song and the Hawaiian Earth blessing. Alongside the seasonal songs were others from their extensive repertoire, including Barbara Ann and Blowin' in the Wind.
All songs were sung unaccompanied and great credit goes to all concerned for the mastery of the material displayed and the light and shade created during the performance.
The audience were left feeling that Christmas was now upon us and the Woven Chords Annual concert is now the unofficial launch of the festive season for many people in Stamford and the surrounding area.
Friday 26th August 2016
Paul and Phillippa’s weddingReport by Carol Scrimshaw
The choir members were delighted when two of their number, Paul and Phillippa, asked whether we would sing at their wedding reception at The Crown Hotel in Stamford, following a marriage ceremony at Stamford Register Office. They both joined the choir after attending a singing workshop at Stamford Arts Centre in summer 2014. They had never sung before and found it a bit daunting at first but nevertheless had a great time. It was at this workshop that they met Liz Underhill, who was at the time the Musical Director of Woven Chords, and a few more members of the choir, all of whom they found friendly and welcoming, and they decided to join the choir in the following term in September 2014.
Paul and Phillippa’s debut performance with Woven Chords was in the Christmas concert at Thurlby Church in December 2014. They felt quite nervous but had done a lot of practicing and said there was a wonderful atmosphere at the concert – the rest of the choir were very supportive and the audience was appreciative. When they arranged their wedding, they asked the choir to sing as they felt that they were their new friends and they wanted their family and older friends to share something that was very much about their lives in Stamford and experience some of the choir’s great singing.
The songs which Paul and Phillippa chose from the choir’s repertoire included: Happy Together (which they are!); Wild Mountain Thyme (a favourite of Phillippa, her sister and her mum, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago); Fa’fetai (a beautiful song which Abi, our current Musical Director, has enhanced and improved so that it sounds even sweeter than ever); and One Day Like This (a song from the early days of their relationship which they love and has many happy memories attached to it – and which featured Abi singing the verses and accompanying herself on guitar). Paul also sings with a male folk group, Millstone Grit, and joined some of his co-members for a rousing folk number.
Naturally, not all choir members were available on the August date, but a large contingent of 28 arrived at All Saints Church for a rehearsal (much to the surprise and entertainment of the people who were enjoying their coffee there that morning). Despite there being an initial imbalance with only 4 altos and 11 sopranos, luckily a few more altos arrived to swell their section and we all felt more confident by the time we moved across the road to perform at The Crown. For choir members, it was a joyous occasion and we were delighted to have been asked to share in Paul and Phillippa’s special day – Phillippa showing her allegiance to the choir by wearing a lovely turquoise gown.
|Paul and Phillippa together with members of Woven Chords|
Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th July 2016
Woven Chords Residential WeekendReport by Brenda Smith
For the second year running members of Woven Chords took to the hills of Derbyshire for a weekend of singing and great merriment. The Nightingale Centre in Great Hucklow near Buxton played host to 35 members of the Woven Chords choir, who wasted no time in getting down to some serious eating, drinking and bonding!
The main focus for the weekend was the singing and we were led by Beth de Lange, an accomplished world music practitioner, who introduced us to some challenging Georgian songs on Saturday morning and uplifting African material on Sunday. On Saturday afternoon we were free to enjoy the great outdoors, some striding out into the hills to explore the village of Eyam, others enjoyed a nearby well-dressing celebration, while others stayed at the centre to enjoy the peace and quiet of the grounds......and, of course, in the evening there was some more singing, of the home grown variety, a trip through the Woven Chords catalogue of favourites and some well known folk songs thrown in for good measure!
This was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend which hopefully will be repeated next year....the date has been booked provisionally with the Nightingale Centre and will be confirmed to choir members in the near future.
|African workshop with Beth de Lange|
|Out walking in the hills|
|Well dressing at Stoney Middleton|
Friday 24th - Sunday 26th June 2016
Street Choirs Festival 2016Report by Ivy Moore
About a dozen members of Woven Chords attended the Street Choirs Festival over the weekend of 24-26 June 2016, hosted this year by Red Leicester Choir in that wonderful city. The Street Choirs Festival has been going for about two decades now and I can see why: the whole festival was a joy, wonderfully organised by Red Leicester and the whole thing ran like clockwork.
The festival ‘kicked off’ (hey, Leicester did win the premiership!) on Friday evening with professional entertainment and a party to follow at the Curve Theatre and included comedy, dance, and drumming.
Saturday saw us back at the Curve to rehearse several songs which we then sang at the ‘Mass Sing’ at Jubilee Square and the rain held off! Following this we had three busking sessions around the city centre, where we teamed up with Raised in Song and Syncapella (Abi’s other choirs). We sang four songs in these slots but you know what singers are like - we could have sung forty!
The evening was spent back at the Curve listening to a fabulous selection of choirs from all over the UK, ranging from Brighton to Edinburgh and Cardiff. It was great to experience the different approaches, styles (and outfits!) to a capella singing. It was great to sing in such a wonderful theatre and to such an appreciative audience.
Some of us stayed overnight, and on Sunday had the opportunity to join some workshops at De Montfort University. These included belly dancing, drumming, and singing workshops from leaders such as Chris Samuels and Faith Watson. We all came out singing and dancing.
We enjoyed the whole of the above at a ridiculously small fee (not including our own hotel and food and the odd glass of lemonade of course).
Next year’s festival will take place in Kendal and I certainly want to be there.
|Abi leads the combined choirs in Leicester city centre|
Friday 10th June 2016
Summer Concert at All Saints Church in Stamford
Report by Debbie Rimmer
Our summer concert took place this year at the beautiful All Saints church in Red Lion Square, right in the centre of Stamford. This was a new venue for us and it was declared a successful choice. (Thanks to Julie, Brenda and Abi for spending time visiting and checking out this option earlier in the summer.) We were lent some excellent staging by All Saints and church members were really helpful in terms of helping us to set up and take down at the end.
Our two sets for the concert this year consisted of a wide range of a capella songs from traditions as varied as English and Scottish Folk, African and European numbers. The harmonies resonated beautifully in the church and, judging by the warm applause from our audience, the concert was much appreciated. Indeed, one person was overheard to say that they felt tears flowing as we sang ‘ Wild Mountain Thyme’! Another person commented that they had already put our Christmas Concert date into their diary as they wouldn't miss it for the world!
There was torrential rain on the evening of the concert and we had worried about numbers attending; however, we need not have done so as the church appeared full! Refreshments in the interval and a raffle to raise funds for the choir added to a really good atmosphere and overall we felt very pleased with the way the event went. An additional bonus was that we were able to donate £140 to the Music Fund at All Saints church.
We owe many thanks to our leader, Abi, for her patience and professionalism in rehearsing us over the preceding months and helping us to achieve such a well-received concert performance.
Saturday 9th January 2016
Wassailing at Stamford Community Orchard
Concerts & Events in 2015
Friday 18th December 2015
Christmas Concert - at Stamford Arts Centre, 7.30pm.
Traditional Christmas Carols, global songs and winter poetry.
Saturday 11th July 2015
Summer Concert - at Haconby Church, near Bourne, 7.30pm.
A sold-out concert with a mixture of African songs and songs from our global repertoire plus a few familiar songs including a gospel medley, under the leadership of our new musical director Abi Moore, and a most appreciative audience made for a very enjoyable concert at Haconby church, with lots of money raised for Malawi Education Link.
A response from St Andrew's Church in Haconby.
Saturday 11th July saw St Andrew's church running out of chairs, so full was the church. The occasion was a concert by the Stamford Community choir, Woven Chords. The sixty strong choir sings unaccompanied folk music from around the world. On this occasion many of the songs were from southern Africa, but the programme also included music from Samoa, the United States, and many other parts of the world.
Africa was specially featured because the concert was to raise money for MEL (Malawi Education Link) which helps to build schools, teachers' houses and latrines in remote parts of central Malawi, centred on the Lake Malawi village of Ngala. This project has been supported by the Ringstone in Aveland group of churches for many years and four of our people in Haconby and Stainfield have led groups of English sixteen year-olds at their own cost to provide the manual labour for the building work and to join with local schoolchildren, learning about life in a very poor third-world country.
The choir was superb. The combination of strong voices, the tonality and the sheer enjoyment in singing made the whole performance a wonderful experience for the packed audience. All the songs were a joy to listen to, and, for those of us who have been fortunate to listen to villagers singing in Africa, especially in Malawi, the sound had an authenticity which took us back to wonderful evenings in the African bush.
The conductor of the choir, Abi Moore, led the singing with great enthusiasm and skill. During the interval audience and choir were served with wine and nibbles by members of the PCC and friends - it was amazing how quickly over 160 people were served! Our thanks to Woven Chords for a brilliant evening.
Saturday 28th March 2015
Easter Concert - at Oakham School Chapel, 7.30pm.
A joint concert with Global Harmony, in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Saturday 17th January 2015
Wassailing at Stamford Community Orchard
Concerts & Events in 2014
Saturday 6th December 2014
Woven Chords Christmas Concert at Thurlby Methodist Church, 7.30pm
Thurlby Methodist Church, High Street, Thurlby, Near Bourne, PE10 0ED
Carols from around the world including familiar traditional favourites, mixed in with a glistening selection of unseasonal songs from our ever increasing, wide ranging world music repertoire.
Thurs 24th July 2014
End of term pic-nic on Stamford meadows.
After an amazing feast in glorious evening sunlight, any passers-by on the meadows were treated to some ad hoc singing by all those there. A great way to end the term!
Saturday 12th July 2014
Summer Concert at Langham Church
A lovely summer evening, a beautiful church, an energetic and enthusiastic choir, a responsive and appreciative audience – all added up to a great evening!
Woven Chords gave of its best and gave its services free enabling Langham Church to make nearly £600 for their church maintenance fund raising campaign. Debbie and Hilary and their team from the church provided some delicious interval refreshments.
A good time was had by all and the choir enjoyed an opportunity to socialise afterwards at the village pub.
|The smallest choir for some time - it's called the summer holiday effect!|
|Only 6 basses - but they sounded like many more!|
|Some of the tops giving it their all|
Sunday 13th April 2014
Easter Concert in the Ballroom, Stamford Arts Centre
A response from Sue Archer (alto) who is convalescing and so was able to be in the audience for a change:
“I was so pleased to attend the concert on 13th April in the Ballroom. It was very strange to be in the audience rather than on stage though I couldn't help singing along to most of the songs! All the songs chosen by Liz sounded amazing. The balance of the four parts, the tone and the notes were all superb. I really liked the Japanese song when everyone was standing in a circle around the audience - it sounded fantastic! The African set was particularly moving, made all the more special by Richard's amazing drumming, but what made the concert so great was the sheer confidence, exuberance and enthusiasm you all showed both with the singing and movement. You looked like you were having a ball! I came away feeling completely uplifted - and with a raffle prize too! - so all in all it was a really great evening. Thanks to everyone in Woven Chords for a very special concert and I look forward to being back singing with you very soon.”
A message from Marion (alto) who was also in the audience:
As you know, for the first time, on 13 April just gone, I was in the audience listening
to Woven Chords, rather than on stage singing with everyone.
And WOW. I was just stunned at how good the choir is! I know it sounds odd, but I’ve never heard
the choir Live before and I had no idea that it was SO AMAZING.
The choir looks so happy on stage and the group self-confidence allows you all to give so much to the music. The concert was all about rhythm and joy, and about working as one.
Outstanding. Well done all. You were great!
Very best wishes from Marion (Alto) - the latest Woven Chords TOTAL FAN!
Saturday 29th March 2014
Community Choirs Festival, Stratford on Avon
On Saturday, 29th March, sixty-five representatives from Woven Chords and Global Harmony joined forces and travelled to Stratford upon Avon to take part in the annual Community Choirs Festival.... a celebration of a cappella singing. Over 500 enthusiastic singers from all over the country came together to share their enthusiasm for and joy of singing, to socialise and perform. Choirs of all types and sizes from far and wide....Yorkshire, Hampshire, Wales, London and many locations in-between gathered with great excitement and anticipation of what the day had in store.
The event was lead by four well known and experienced choir leaders each taking charge of a group of singers teaching the various harmonies until the four parts came together in a crescendo of wonderful singing. Two songs in the morning session and two songs in the afternoon were taught from scratch and the result was absolutely astounding even to the veteran singers in the hall.
At lunchtime choirs were invited to busk and in glorious sunshine Liz took the opportunity to lead us in a couple of our favourite African songs in front of a very appreciative audience.
The day culminated in a concert of songs from all the choirs who had participated in the day. It was truly incredible to share in every choir’s story....groups like Gridtones who had come together in the work place (National Grid Birmingham) inspired by Gareth Malone, others who had begun in ‘singing for the terrified’ groups and had grown in confidence to join this event and perform for the first time and those from small communities who meet for the friendship and pleasure of making music together.
At the end of the day a few members of Woven Chords who were able to stay over and enjoy an early evening supper together spontaneously ‘flash mobbed’ a version of Tulli Tulli to the bemusement of some customers but then at the request of another we rounded off the evening with a rendition of Fa’afetai.....a happy end to a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying day! Can’t wait for the next one!
Brenda Smith, a tenor with Woven Chords.
Friday 7th February 2014
Global Harmony and Woven Chords go back to school!
Woven Chords and Global Harmony singers inspire children to sing!
About 30 members from the two choirs spent a wonderful day on Friday 7 February with the children of Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Leicester for their curriculum day. The children’s objectives were - ‘to be able to sing in unison’ (for the whole school) and ‘to be able to sing in two parts’ (for Years 5 to 7). The choirs’ objectives were - to pass on the love of singing, and, to make it through the day!
During the morning assembly in front of the whole school of 400 children and staff the two choirs sang three songs which were met with enthusiastic approval from the packed hall. Choir members were then assigned to a particular class or age group and spent most of the morning teaching the children a song which would then be performed in front of the rest of the school during the afternoon assembly. This was no mean feat since the school is made up of pupils from all over the world and where over 20 different languages are spoken.
The children were brilliant and were heard singing - and dancing - to their songs during the morning and lunch breaks! The young ones enjoyed learning the actions to their songs, while the Yr 2 and 3 children managed to do some wonderful two part rounds like Belle mama. Not satisfied with singing in two parts, the Yrs 4,5 and 6 children learned to sing Tulituli, Lizela and Noyana in up to four parts - all of which could be heard! The final assembly concert was a triumph for all the pupils and earned them a special badge for having achieved their objectives. The choir members said farewell with a final rendition of ‘Ooh a lay lay’, brilliantly accompanied by the children.
It was worth getting up while it was still dark just to see all the happy faces at the end of the day! And we got a box of chocolates each too!
Hazel Collier (A tenor in Global Harmony)
Our Day at the Sacred Heart Academy in Leicester
After volunteering to spend the day at a school in Leicester I’m sure that most of us did not know what to expect. Probably not to be catching a coach at 6:45 on a wet Friday morning in February. Still, we were all in good spirits as we set off to pick up our friends from Global Harmony in Melton. We had had our warm up session on the coach -all in good voice - and arrived at the academy in time for tea and biscuits in the staff room. After being given our name and bar code security passes we were welcomed by the staff and a given quick run through the day’s agenda. Then it was time to join their assembly, we sat as a choir while the children filed in to the hall, they greeted the headmaster, teachers and visitors - obviously taught how to be polite and welcoming to staff and guests.
The days objectives were explained "I can use my voice expressively, I can sing in unison and two parts". Liz explained how we sang in harmony , we then sang three songs -and received an amazing response from the children, some appeared to be surprised, some were moving to the music and some were trying to sing along- and what an applause- if only our usual audiences were so responsive!
Then it was off to work. The choir had been divided in to small groups and allocated a class and songs to teach. I was with Ann and Sue, we were singing with "Hazel" class, Mrs Berol - the teacher and Ms Mehan who looked after the two special needs children. We were introduced and as a warm up and get to know you song we asked the class "have you bought your singing voice" we had some great responses to have you bought your happy, sad , bouncy, squeaky, voices and then the children sang the response "yes we have" not altogether in tune but there were joining in. We then moved on to "Bella Mama" (low part) which was our concert song we had lots of excellent guidance from Mrs Berol who showed on the classroom screen views of the islands where the song came from. We found that by using our hands to indicate when notes were moving up and down the children were learning the tune. Liz popped in and was asked some great questions like "was is it called when you wave your hands in front of the choir" and "how did you get the job"! By break time the class were singing and moving to Bella Mama in two groups.
After tea and biscuits- and comparing notes we ran through Bella Mama once more and then moved on to "Ooh a lay lay" this one the children really enjoyed and we were soon paddling and singing together. The choir was then treated to lunch, fish and chips with healthy veg followed by a pudding. - excellent food which the children told us they do enjoy.
After lunch we joined Rosemary and Rita with "Maple" class who had learnt the high part of Bell Mama the two classes sang together as a rehearsal for the concert. They did surprisingly well -the signs were good! The whole school then re-assembled in the hall for the concert - they were excited and quite noisy at times but I think seeing the choir respond to the "hands up I want quiet" signal from the head may have helped.
Each class then gave a performance along with their choir leaders, starting with the Foundation class (3-4 year olds) up to year 6 ( 10-11) and what performances we were treated to ! They all did amazingly well managing to sing in two, three and four part harmony, plus singing and moving to songs such as "Tuli Tuli " and "Lizela". I believe the Head master and staff were surprised at just how well the children were performing and how much they had learnt in just a few hours. After each song the children were given badges for achieving the day’s objectives. Then a surprise for the choir- as thanks for spending the day with the children we were each personally handed a gift bag which contained a box of chocolates and a hand written thank you note - how thoughtful!
So to our final song as the choir children and staff sang "Ooh a lay lay" and how we sang! Again the response was amazing - the whole school singing together - what an experience - what an achievement. Sadly it was time to leave, the children waving and shouting our names as we left the Hall, lots of thanks from the staff, talk of another visit, a staff members wedding! - wow!
Altogether an amazing and very satisfying experience, a sense of achievement and feeling we had really connected with the children. They on their part were all well behaved, courteous and vey welcoming - our thanks must go to them and to the staff for letting us share their day.
Barrie Brown (a tenor in Woven Chords).
A busy January for Woven Chords - 3 events in as many weeks!
Zulu Day, Stamford Arts Centre 26th Jan 2014
Wow! What a fantastic event. It was a privilege to perform in front of a full house at Stamford Arts Centre on Sunday 26th January. We all thoroughly enjoyed singing our repertoire of South African songs as a precursor to the storytelling and documentary about the making of the film Zulu.
Richard Seal and his African drum enhanced our performance and added to the authenticity of our sound. It was thrilling to be so close to our audience and able to see the expressions on their faces, as they could see ours. The theatre has great acoustics and it was a pleasure to hear each part of the choir clearly. We also had some great dynamics in the songs and I think our rendition of Noyana was the sweetest and most moving performance to date.
So from a choir member's perspective, it was an uplifting experience. It is also good to know that the audience enjoyed our music as well. The feedback at the interval was overwhelming and much appreciated. Thanks to Stamford Arts centre for hosting this informative event and also for showing the classic film Zulu later that afternoon. A good show all round.
Margaret Marsh (Alto)
The Chairman's Charity Gala Concert, Grantham 17th Jan 2014
‘The most direct route to happiness is in service to others’
One wet, windy evening approximately half the choir trekked over to Grantham Guildhall to take part in the Chairman’s Charity Gala Concert. We formed part of a mixed programme of entertainers fund raising for Cancer research. I will never forget the hilarity of the stagehands watching a group of old dears (so they thought) as we boogied on down to the rapping act that preceded us !
We may have only had three songs to sing but we gave it our all and were much appreciated. The thought that we contributed, if only in small part, to a cause that surely touches every one of us brings joy to the heart!
Wassail, Stamford Community Orchard 11th Jan 2014
"The banging & slamming & booming & crashing were something beyond belief" is how Mark Twain described Wagner's opera 'Lohengrin', but, in a definitely positive sense, it is an appropriate description of the enthusiastic Wassailing at the young but thriving community orchard where we've had the privilege of singing for the 3rd year running as part of this ancient English tradition.
Members of the public joined the SCOG & Woven Chords in several impromptu renderings
of the Wassail Song followed by a cacophony of pot & pan clanging & banging which surely
drove away all evil spirits from the orchard!
The roots of the largest apple tree were dowsed in local cider & toast placed in the branches,
then we sang 6 or 7 songs; the crowd joining in with Inanay Gapuwana & O please give us apples.
Having thus done our best to encourage the trees to produce "hatfuls & capfuls of apples" in the coming year, we took our lanterns, torches & our clattering pans & as dusk fell we warmed ourselves by the bonfire with mulled cider, commenting on how well the fruit trees were looking - obviously down to our successful Wassailing! In my opinion, this kind of event particularly evokes the ethos of Woven Chords; inclusive singing bringing people together & a repertoire of songs from all around the world which are mostly to do with the changing seasons, high days & holy days of nature's year &, running in parallel, the watersheds, rituals & rites of passage of human lives.
To sing is to be human & encompasses all our joys & sorrows together with Mother Nature's profound impact on all of us. Whether we are giving birth, playing, growing & sharing food, working, falling in love, worshipping, suffering illness, dying or mourning, mankind sings about it! The wheel of life & the cycle of nature are entwined melodies in the music of all human societies, universally uniting us all. Our concerts are fun to prepare for, usually help a charity & are wonderful opportunities to share our voices with others & give of our best, but to sing at a wedding or a funeral or in an old peoples' home at Christmas or for the Olympic Torch or to "Come A-Wassailing" are occasions when, for me, our songs truly resonate.
Sarah Hunt (Tops since 2010)
Booking the choir
We are always looking for performance opportunities (the more unusual the better!). We have already performed in a prison, and done our first wedding. For more information check out the Booking the Choir page.