Latest News

23 news items to display

  • Viva Vocallective! Summer Showcase tickets on sale
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 18 May 2019
    Viva Vocallective! Summer Showcase tickets on sale

    Hallo Vocallective Friends!

    Thanks for your interest in our choir.

    We had to let you know that our Summer Showcase tickets are now on sale.
    "Viva Vocallective!" is taking place on Friday 5th July at 7pm.
    The venue is the Westwood Theatre at Sydenham High School.  It's a fantastic 150 seater - a far cry from our showcase two years ago at the Corbett Library, and a step up from our Catford Studio Theatre show last year.  We are really excited to be producing the show ourselves.  It's our first chance to inject some real creativity in terms of lighting, design and choreography to really make the repertoire sing!

    We have two guest performers to open the show:  an emotive folk singer by the name of Leah Blakelock and a young singer-songwriter called Lila Harrison.  

    Our Catford Fringe Show sold out last year and many were disappointed.  Book your tickets now to avoid being turned away: theatre policy means that no tickets can be sold on the door.  Online bookings only! Follow the link below.

    Viva Vocallective! Celebrate Summer with Vocallective and Special Guests

    We look forward to seeing you.  Help us celebrate eight glorious years of friendship, diversity and inclusion wrapped up in song!
  • Our First Choir Festival!
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 21 Oct 2018
    Our First Choir Festival!
    This term has been incredibly busy!

    What with my new "day" job with Hummy Mummies (where I'm thrilled to have nearly 60 members across the branches), 50% growth in my local day choir "Vocalise" and 15 new members at Vocallective, I've barely had time to catch my breath!  Thank goodness half term is here to give me a chance to catch up with everything.

    The most exciting thing about the next half term is that Vocallective are producing our first Choirfest.  Our first experience of this was a few years ago when I got chatting to a member of the East Dulwich choir, Note-Orious, in a cafe.  He told me that a few local choirs were getting together to sing for each other and raise money for charity, hosted by Note-Orious.  They were kind enough to let us join in and we had a great night.  Two more choirfests of a similar nature followed, but we didn't feel we were ready to be the hosts of one.  Were there any suitable venues in our neck of the woods?  Who would do all the organising when we were a non-committee choir?  It felt too "big" and we forgot about it for a while.

    Eventually we got a stage where I was able to ask founder members Pippa Philips and Jana Smith to look after events and admin respectively, and it wasn't long before Pippa brought up the idea of a choir fest.  We thought about it for a while and then decided on a date.  We booked a local church as a venue as this had always worked well for similar events we'd been part of.

    Then a few choir members and myself went to see the all-female choir Lips sing their tribute to Amy Winehouse at the Amersham Arms in New Cross.  It was brilliant, and the idea occurred to me that THIS was the place for a choirfest!  I wanted a bit of an "edge" to the proceedings and this place was perfect for it.  We let the other venue go and it was full steam ahead. Thanks to the incredible work of Pippa (who I shall be calling "Tenacious P" from now on!), her husband Phil and the fantastic marketing talents of Jana, we're virtually ready with a few weeks to go.  

    The mix of choirs we have curated will be so entertaining: Take Note, the Kender Grove Singers, Felix's Rock Choir, Telegraph Hill Community Choir and Tongue and Groove.  Each is unique with their own particular brand of musicianship.  We're really excited!  With tickets at £2 each it is a bargain and profits are going to Tommy's, a charity very close to many of our hearts.

    I hope to see you there.  It's going to be quite a night!

     
  • Vocallective - The 2 Minute Movie (finally)!
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 21 Oct 2018

    Yes - still catching up!

    I shot some vox pops at the end of the summer term and pledged to turn them into some sort of promo.
    I finally got round to it in September and really enjoyed doing it (even though I'm not very competent and it took
    hours!)  

    I recently realised I'd shared it in a few places, but not here.  So here it is!   I think it says a lot about who we are, what we 
    do and how much we love it. x
    YouTube Video URL:
  • UPDATE
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 28 Sep 2018
    UPDATE
    Hi everyone!


    Week 2 was a storming session – what a huge sound!  Loving it.  And yet another newbie in the form of Sian, who will singing tenor – welcome Sian!

    Absentees – we got all the way to the end of Survivor and it’s in very good shape already.  We’re slightly ahead of schedule, which is brilliant.  This coming week
    we will be revisiting Cough Cough as well as honing Survivor, so please revise
    accordingly.  In fact I will very likely take some sectionals  so the newbies can join in with their harmony mates before throwing you all together.  So newbies – the more you familiarise yourselves with it the better...it is challenging in parts but once you get used to it, it’s rather fun.  I like to call it our “Bohemian Rhapsody”!

    SING OUT LEWISHAM
    Our festival has grown.  We now have SIX choirs performing and will be joined by Tongue and Groove, Kender Grove Singers, Take Note, Felix’s Rock Choir and Telegraph Community Choir.  Big thanks to Pippa for all her work thus far.  It’s going to be quite a night!

    We have two events (Ideal Home Show also) in the diary for this term, but we are actually much more in demand than that.  So far this term I’ve had to turn down several gigs because they clashed or were simply too early in the term to do us justice.  Beckenham Place Open Day, Lewisham Remembrance Day at the Broadway Theatre, and the Cake&Bake Show at ExCel so far.  This week I was also approached by Rosamund at the Ella Roberta Foundation https://www.justgiving.com/ellaroberta-familyfoundation who are holding a fundraising concert that clashes with our Ideal Home Show.  It’s such a shame as it’s a local charity led by the mother of a 9yr old girl who died of asthma five years ago.  Rosamund has led an amazing campaign for research into air pollution and it’s effects. The Guardian wrote a piece about her work last week.
    She was lovely about me saying no, but asked if I would get you all to sign her petitionht for a new inquest into her daughter’s death.  They are trying to get 200k signatures.

    That’s it till Tuesday.  Look forward to seeing you all!

    Have a great weekend xx
     
  • Welcome to Vocallective 2018/19!
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 22 Sep 2018
    Welcome to Vocallective 2018/19!
    Hi everyone!

    Well what a magnificent start to the term – we couldn’t have asked for more.

    First of all I’d like to say another warm welcome to all our newbies:
    Irene, Lin, Vanessa, Sem, Davinia, Jacey, Charlotte, Kay and Maggie and welcome back to our lovely “returners” Annie, Fiona, Hope and Catherine.

    As you can see there’s a distinct of lack of testosterone in that line up..!

    We are about to start a little social media campaign targeting men, which has been long overdue but brought into focus due to the sad departure (due to a house move) of Chris Crawford – a baritone who had been with the choir for nearly five years.  We’re going to miss him (although he can now watch guilt free footie on Tuesday nights). 

    If you know any men who could be persuaded to come and try us out please get them in!  We will also send the flyer out so you can splash it across your social media.

    So back to this week.  We had a lively warm up and settled the newbies into their correct harmony groups, then we managed to get more than halfway through Survivor which was great.  Here’s a little clip of that:

    https://twitter.com/VocallectiveLDN/status/1042368263387324416

    SING OUT LEWISHAM – NOV 10th

    We will be performing four songs:  Survivor, Love The One You’re With, Days and Cough Cough.  Please don’t wait until the day before we start re-rehearsing them to revise the two songs from last year’s rep!  Newbies – I’m going to email you separately about this, but you have now been added to the harmony lines of all the songs except Days, which isn’t quite finished yet.

    HUMMY MUMMIES

    On a different “note”, I had my first proper week as a Hummy Mummy leader this week and, though it’s been exhausting sorting out my new schedule, I am loving it!  If you know any mums of young children/toddlers who love singing and live in SE London, then do point them in the direction of our website www.hummymummies.com.  Here’s a little clip of one of my classes this week, singing “Torn” - so sweet!  https://youtu.be/ALJiEcCgS1E

    Have an amazing weekend and I’ll see you next week! xx

     
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Vocallective - The Movie
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 9 Sep 2018
    Vocallective - The Movie
    Yes, finally I've had the call from Richard Curtis and Phyllida Lloyd.  They're making a movie about us, using our songs to turn it into a musical!

    OK, you've rumbled me  - that was just bants.

    Well it's been on my list all summer and this weekend I finally got round to making a little promo.
    I'm not well versed in iMovie, so I was really proud to have done this all by myself!
    Hope you like it - I shall be grabbing more vox pops so I can keep swapping and updating.
    Thanks to everyone for their contributions!  Send the link far and wide! xx
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Tone deafness is a myth, and 4 other reasons you SHOULD join a choir
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 19 Aug 2018

    5 Reasons Why You Should Join A Choir Today

    Thanks to choirplayer.com for this great article!

    Are you a shower crooner with a secret desire to sing in public? Maybe there’s a community choir in your area and you’re toying with the idea of joining? Or perhaps you’d love to sing but were always told you don’t have a voice? Here we offer five good reasons why taking the plunge might be the best thing you ever did.

    1. Musicality. Its official, singing in a choir improves the way you hear music, it draws out your innate musical ability and intensifies your appreciation of harmony. There is a natural learning curve that occurs quite organically as a consequence of singing regularly in a group that strengthens your ear. Where choral singing is concerned, the whole really is the sum of its parts, and choir members soon become aware of how harmonies combine and complement each other. The Choir Player app is a tremendously effective way to consolidate choir rehearsals and deepen a singer’s understanding of harmonies. It allows choir members to practise the harmonies of set songs at home by listening to all 4 choir parts and the backing track, either separately, together, or in any combination.
    2. Mental Health. Professor Grenville Hancox, Director of the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health in Kent, has researched extensively into the benefits of choral singing on psychological well-being. He is so passionate about the enormous emotional benefits of choral singing, he has been trying to persuade the medical profession to prescribe singing instead of Prozac, “If we could engage more and more people in singing, I’m sure we would have a healthier nation.” Studies have shown that the mental health benefits of choral singing include enhanced brain function, strengthened feelings of togetherness, and the release of endorphins and oxytocin resulting in reduced stress and depression.
    3. Confidence. It’s surprising how many people are told at school they can’t sing, a myth that can discourage potential singers for decades. Most people don’t imaging they will ever perform in front of an audience, and to experience this for the first time as part of a choir can be life changing. The truth is that, unless there is hearing loss, anyone can learn to sing. Singing in a community choir gives you permission to make noise as part of group, and choir leaders report witnessing new members’ confidence grow at an alarmingly fast rate. The Choir Player app can be a great way to increase this newborn confidence, with all the lyrics and backing arrangements supplied, choir members can stand up in the comfort of their living room and really let rip!
    4. Belonging. The modern world is one where people are becoming increasingly isolated, social media networks offers a semblance of community but the lack of contact with people in real time and space can intensify feelings of alienation. Singing has been central to religion and ritual as a way of connecting communities since ancient times. Being part of a group working towards a shared endeavour, can fulfil this human need for belonging and union. Recent research reveals that groupsinging helps forge social bonds, and it does so particularly quickly, acting as a powerful icebreaker. People feel valued and inevitably make friends with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds, so horizons are broadened and social cohesion is improved.
    5. Aerobic and toning. A proper singing session is a wonderful workout for the lungs. The actions of warming up, breathing deeply and opening the diaphragm will oxygenate the blood, creating more white blood cells, which strengthens the whole body. The breathing rate slows and deepens, releasing endorphins and increasing a profound sense of well-being. All this lung action reduces the chance of illness and is excellent for people who suffer asthma, and emphysema. Singing also improves your posture and tones your stomach muscles – a strong core supports the spine so your body will be less prone to injury as you age.

                                           So, what are you waiting for?

  • Summer Workshop '18
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 16 Aug 2018
    Summer Workshop '18
    SUMMER WORKSHOP

    Well, what a blast we had on Tuesday night!

    The brief for this year's workshop was "perfection". 

    We chose two contrasting songs at an intermediate level of difficulty:
    Joyful, Joyful - a gospel arrangement of Beethoven's iconic composition and Iqude, a traditional Zulu women's work song.
    Numbers were kept small in order for the singers to work more closely with each other.  Then everyone learned their parts thoroughly in advance to enable us to spend most of our time working in detail on expression, performance and dynamics.

    We only spent two and half hours together (with plenty of space for a chat and a giggle) but we still produced two fantastic stand alone pieces of work, with a little choreography thrown in for good measure. I think it's true to say we were all thoroughly pleased with the results!

    Check out the links above to see video clips.

    It's a little early to be thinking about content for next year's session but I must admit I'm already looking forward to it. I can't help it, I'm a self confessed choir boffin...

     
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Autumn Taster Night!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 16 Aug 2018
    Autumn Taster Night!
    Following the success of our Open Night in July where we sang songs by the Jackson Five and Destiny's Child whilst quaffing Pimms, it seemed rude not to do something similar at the start of the new Autumn term!

    So I'm happy to announce that on Tuesday 11th September at 8pm there will be a Taster Night for all those who didn't make it last time, and of course all the other fresh newbies who want to sample the delights of Vocallective.

    It's a chance to for you mingle with regular members, find out more about membership and (of course) SING!  It's the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the way we work.  Then if you want to join us (and I'm sure you will!) you can do so at the start of the term the following week.  This is a crucial time to join the choir as we will be approaching the limit of our membership numbers very soon.  Miss out and you may end up on the waiting list!


    Book your place here for the Taster Night.

    If you're not available that night, you can book a regular taster session after term starts (providing there are still spaces to be filled in the choir).

    Book a regular taster here.

    This is the one of our favourite times of the year - it's so much fun sharing what we do with new people.
    We look forward to meeting you all!
  • September Taster Night!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 16 Aug 2018
    September Taster Night!
    Following the success of our Open Night in July where we sang songs by the Jackson Five and Destiny's Child whilst quaffing Pimms, it seemed rude not to do something similar at the start of the new Autumn term!

    So I'm happy to announce that on Tuesday 11th September at 8pm there will be a Taster Night for all those who didn't make it last time, and of course all the other fresh newbies who want to sample the delights of Vocallective.

    It's a chance to for you mingle with regular members, find out more about membership and (of course) SING!  It's the perfect opportunity to get a feel for the way we work.  Then if you want to join us (and I'm sure you will!) you can do so at the start of the term the following week.  This is a crucial time to join the choir as we will be approaching the limit of our membership numbers very soon.  Miss out and you may end up on the waiting list!

    Book your place here for the Taster Night.

    If you're not available that night, you can book a regular taster session after term starts (providing there are still spaces to be filled in the choir).

    Book a regular taster here.

    This is the one of our favourite times of the year - it's so much fun sharing what we do with new people.
    We look forward to meeting you all!
  • My new job!
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 30 Jul 2018
    My new job!


    I am thrilled and excited to announce that, in addition to the work I love at Vocallective, I am joining the Hummy Mummies!

    What is Hummy Mummies? Read on:


    Love singing? Tired of endless rounds of ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’?  Hummy Mummies is the modern, daytime choir for mums and carers of young children where you can let your little ones play while YOU sing, without being glared at if they make a noise. No audition needed, just a sense of fun, enthusiasm and willingness to get involved.

    Hummy Mummies has been established in East Dulwich, Peckham, Brockley for several years and I've been handed that baton, but I'm also bringing it to Catford!

    It's taking place at Abbotshall Healthy Living Centre, Abbotshall Rd SE6 on Wednesdays from 10-11am from 18th September.

    So if you're a mum who could do with some singing "therapy" then go to the HM website and join the mailing list to get all the updates - such as details of the special introductory session I'll be running in September.  Or you can email me on selondon@hummymummies.com

    Check out the video - so cute!

    xx


     
    YouTube Video URL:
  • Beckenham Palace Flower Show
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 22 Jul 2018
    Beckenham Palace Flower Show
    Many thanks to Sarah Williams -sarahlwi11iams on instragram for this great pic of the gig at Beckenham last month!
  • Hither Green War Memorial Service
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 1 Jul 2018
    Hither Green War Memorial Service
    For the fifth year running Vocallective sang at the Annual War Memorial service today.

    Although it can be hard to perform in the sweltering weather, it's an honour to be asked back every year and we really enjoy the chance to sing something in complete contrast to our usual repertoire.

    This year we performed the choral piece "In Flanders Fields" and a medley of "Pack Up Your Troubles/Tipperary".  We also  lead the hymns (songs that many of the choir hadn't sung since they were children - it's amazing how it all comes flooding back). Having said that, Guide Me O Though Great Redeemer was an easy rendition for the footie fans!
  • Samba Drumming workshop
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 30 Jun 2018
    Samba Drumming workshop


    As a little treat for all our hard work this year, I booked the wonderful percussionist Rob Davis to come and lead a drumming workshop at this week's session.  We got stuck right in with traditional hand drums and tambourines as well as recycled broom handles and pool supply tubs (who knew?).  It felt great to make lots of noise and sounded so cool.  So much fun!  A great way to focus on rhythm without having to think about lyrics and melodies too!
  • The First Vocallective Open Night
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 16 Jun 2018
    The First Vocallective Open Night

     
    You are cordially invited to:

    The Vocallective Open Night!
    3rd July, 8-9.30pm at Seniors, 260 Stanstead Rd, SE23 1DD


    For the first time, we'll be hosting an Open Night!
    Join Vocallective for a free informal singing session, full of the joy of the choir...
    ninety minutes of fun songs and, if our usual sessions are anything to go by,
    plenty of laughs.  You'll even get a snifter of Pimms to whet your musical whistle...!
    It's the perfect way to sample what a great team we are.  Come on your own, with 
    a friend, your mum or anyone who may be curious about the Vocallective choir experience
    (or fancies a cheeky yodel themselves).


    Spaces are limited to 15, so book yourself a place here or just turn up on the day (but bear in mind we had to turn people away from our sold out show at the
    Broadway Theatre last month)!


    We can't wait to meet you...
  • WHAT A SHOW!
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 9 Jun 2018
    WHAT A SHOW!
    Well what can I say?

    The show was amazing!  Slick, precise, engaging, fun, a feast for the ears.  What more could you want of a choir?

    I was prouder than I have ever been of Vocallective.  The sheer volume of work from every individual that went into that performance was reflected in the result. We strove to raise our game and we raised it, and then some.  It was so wonderful to look at faces and see everyone really engaged in every song, and enjoying themselves.  Confidently moving, occasionally emoting, sometimes even "acting": I knew they could do it and it was so rewarding to confirm that pushing them all just a touch out of their comfort zone was absolutely justified.  Mind you I didn't really have to push them! One thing I love about VC is the utter trust they have in me as a director.  Even when I suggest something that feels out of the ordinary they tend to just go with it, maybe because they know if it's not working I have no problem saying I made a mistake! The feedback from the audience was that those little touches gave the show an extra edge, taking it way above the standard that is expected of "community" choirs.  

    What a rewarding experience for all of us.  We all hope we get invited back next year - but we'll need two shows next time to make sure no one has to be without a ticket...
    Attachment:
  • SOOOO EXCITED!!!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 7 Jun 2018
    SOOOO EXCITED!!!
    Well it's safe to say that we're just a teensy bit excited about the show tomorrow.  We've had to beg the theatre manager to squeeze some extra seats in to the auditorium, but as they can only give us five we've had to turn some people away!

    Such a shame, but they can catch us at the Beckenham Place Park Flower Show on the 23rd!  https://www.beckenhamplace.org/event/beckenham-place-park-flower-show/
  • It's official. FRINGE BENEFITS at the Catford Fringe is SOLD OUT!
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  •  Date Posted: Sat, 2 Jun 2018
    It's official.  FRINGE BENEFITS at the Catford Fringe is SOLD OUT!
  • Show programme
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 31 May 2018
    Show programme
    Hi guys

    Here's the show's programme - front you can see here, the back is attached.
    Please let me know if there are any problems.  I have only included the names of those of you who are actually performing, rather than the whole choir.

    Speak tomorrow x
    Attachment:
  • TWO MORE REHEARSALS TO GO...!!
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 23 May 2018
    TWO MORE REHEARSALS TO GO...!!
    Oh yes, things are really hotting up at rehearsals now!

    Costume decisions made, choreography and concepts being finalised and songs being tweaked here there and everywhere!

    No lyric sheets are allowed from next week (gulp) so it's about learning those "lines" for the final time!

    Super strict rehearsals are need now to get the best out of our performance, but it's all for the greater good:

    A SHOW TO REMEMBER!!

     
    Attachment:
  • Wedding gospel choir
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 20 May 2018

    This was the best thing about the wedding! The last handsome bearded man on the right at the back is Mark De Lisser, who wrote the Could it be Magic arrangement we did and I did a gospel workshop with him a few years ago which inspired I’m Going All The Way. The dynamics are sublime. He arranged this too. Simple but gorgeous. 

    https://twitter.com/skynews/status/997803590990249985?s=12

  • New flyers for 2018!
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 6 Apr 2018
    New flyers for 2018!

    Thrilled to launch the choir's new flyers for 2018.  Designed by our very own Sensational Sop - Jana Smith!!

    We needed a fresh new look and this fits the bill perfectly.  Everyone looks fab, but if you're not featured, don't worry...lots of new photos will be added to the site very soon.

    Thanks again Jana, you're a star xx
  • Spring term starts 9th January!!
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 28 Dec 2017

    SPRING TERM 9TH JANUARY-27th March

    And what better New Year's Resolution than to give yourself all the benefits joining this choir can give you?
    • Ninety minutes of uplifting, feel good singing every week
    • A chance to improve your singing voice in a supportive environment
    • A carefree session with people just like you - no airs or graces, a fabulously inclusive team
    • Stimulate the corners of your brain that have been crying out for attention
    • Doing something that's just for YOU
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