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Community choirs and folk

Saro 20 Jan 08 - 08:01 AM
Marilyn 20 Jan 08 - 08:25 AM
Cats 20 Jan 08 - 09:26 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 20 Jan 08 - 09:50 AM
Saro 20 Jan 08 - 12:52 PM
Willa 20 Jan 08 - 03:19 PM
Saro 20 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Jan 08 - 04:11 PM
Joybell 20 Jan 08 - 06:52 PM
JennieG 20 Jan 08 - 07:50 PM
Saro 21 Jan 08 - 04:55 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 21 Jan 08 - 07:40 AM
Saro 21 Jan 08 - 11:03 AM
Bagpuss 21 Jan 08 - 11:19 AM
Willa 22 Jan 08 - 09:10 AM
AggieD 22 Jan 08 - 12:07 PM
Marilyn 22 Jan 08 - 01:07 PM
Saro 22 Jan 08 - 01:32 PM
Marilyn 22 Jan 08 - 02:32 PM
Joybell 22 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM
greg stephens 22 Jan 08 - 05:06 PM
Marje 23 Jan 08 - 12:01 PM
RTim 23 Jan 08 - 01:18 PM
Willa 23 Jan 08 - 01:29 PM
bradfordian 01 Oct 09 - 05:27 PM
Old Vermin 01 Oct 09 - 07:14 PM
Folkiedave 01 Oct 09 - 07:27 PM
Stringsinger 02 Oct 09 - 01:01 PM
Marje 02 Oct 09 - 01:20 PM
Willa 02 Oct 09 - 05:01 PM
Vic Smith 02 Oct 09 - 05:32 PM
bradfordian 02 Oct 09 - 06:54 PM
Eve Goldberg 02 Oct 09 - 08:33 PM
Saro 01 May 13 - 05:44 PM
Tattie Bogle 01 May 13 - 07:54 PM
Saro 02 May 13 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 May 13 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 May 13 - 10:32 AM
greg stephens 02 May 13 - 03:06 PM
greg stephens 02 May 13 - 03:14 PM
Tatterfoal 02 May 13 - 06:49 PM
Joybell 02 May 13 - 07:08 PM
Saro 03 May 13 - 03:17 AM
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Subject: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 08:01 AM

There have been several references to community choirs recently, and I am very interested in the link between community choirs and folk music, particularly in the UK. In Hampshire, there are a number of community choirs, and while I know that some will rarely, if ever sing a British Folk song, there are others which do encourage the paerformance of British, and more specifically, English, traditional songs. Carolyn Robson, Paul Sartin and I all use english folksong as part of our choir repertoires. Our various choirs have been involved in eprforming at Folk Festivals, and this has encouraged choir members to attend and support other performances of folk music in the area, which has been great for boosting audience numbers!

I'd be interested to hear from other people (especially in the UK) who lead or sing in community choirs, and to hear about whether you include any English Folk songs in your repertoire, if so what, if not why, and if there is any overlap between your choir and the folk scene in your area.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Marilyn
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 08:25 AM

I sing in a local community choir (mid-Cheshire) and we do include some folk/traditional songs in our concerts. They are usually arranged for SATB with a few SAB.

Our musical director is keen to have a really good mix of items in our concerts so we can be singing Schubert, Mozart, Sting and Early One Morning all in the same programme. It works!

The 'folksongs' we sing:

Danny Boy
David of the White Rock (my favourite)
Early One Morning
The Lark in the Clear Air
The Last Rose of Summer
O Waly, Waly
Hamba Lulu (Zulu traditional)
I'm Going up a Yonder (Spiritual - does this count?)
Swing low, sweet chariot (another Spiritual - they are new to us this year)
When the Saints Go Marching In (the music says it's trad. arr. Hood)

We do seem to be including more and more trad. stuff (as well as quite a bit of 'pop' which I, personally, am not keen on) presumably because the audiences like it!

Apropos of nothing, one of the songs we sing regularly is Amanda McBroom's 'The Rose'. After a recent concert an audience member was heard to say 'The Rose is just about my favourite folk song'. What???!!!
Personally, I can't stand it as it's too sickly and sentimental for me but that's just my own, very biased opinion so don't shoot me down in flames 'Rose' lovers, will you?


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Cats
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 09:26 AM

Saro ~ Jon is very pleased with the arrangemnet you did, and the performance of, his 'Lifeboat Prayer'. If all community choirs use that as a level they are on the right road.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 09:50 AM

Saro, I direct a women's community choir in Keene, New Hampshire, USA, and we do almost exclusively "music of the world's traditions" including music of the Americas, the British Isles and Ireland, and every continent we can find traditional music that can be sung chorally! I'd love to share ideas with you and all the other chorus folks here.
My website is supposedly getting updated this weekend; you can check us out at www.animaterra.8m.com (for some reason the Link Maker isn't connecting to this site, although it is up and running!)
Allison


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far. I'm wondering about setting up a distribution list so those who are interested in sharing choir ideas and maybe material (or even exchange visits!!) can contact each other. If anyone wants to do that, send me a pm with your email address and I'll start the ball rolling.
Cats, thanks for your comments. It is a great song and the choir love singing it!
Animaterra, I'll have a look at the website, thanks for details.
Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Willa
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 03:19 PM

Beverley Community Choir came into being as part of the Beverley FF and is now led by Sue Murray and Jennie Beasty - both regulars at folk events.

We sing a wide variety of songs, including Sally Gardens, Will Ye Go, Lassie Go, Fairy Lullaby, Lovely Joan, Dick Gaughan's 'Different Drum', The Copper family's'Christmas Song, Horee Horo.

I'm hoping to teach them your 'Keep You In Peace' soon!

We have sung at Cottingham Live, and in Beverley Minster as part of the FF each year. We do have links with Hull Community Voices, who, like us, were first led by Ali Bullivent.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM

Thanks Willa - I'd be interested in contacts for Sue and Jennie. Shall I see you at Whitby this August?
Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 04:11 PM

I sing in a very formal choir, we usually do classical pieces by Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi and Brahms, but we have on occasion, had a stab at some of the Vaughan Williams folk song settings, they're the ones most easily available.

I've noticed a distinct difference in my formal choir and the folk chorus - although an ability to read music is not necessary in the folk chorus, folkies are a lot more relaxed and find it easier to create their own harmonies whereas the formal choir find it very difficult to sing even simple folk melodies without the music score (dots) in front of them.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 06:52 PM

I'd very much like to get involved with a community choir. I've been approached about starting one myself but our small community is full of eccentrics with strong personalities -- I can see interesting times with free-for-alls if we don't have a strong leader. I'm a good organizer and a natural singer but I lack voice training. That's OK for a solo singer. Anyway I'd like to join this thread and exchange ideas. Thank you Saro.
Animaterra, so nice to meet you now and then on a thread. Your group does beautiful work.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Jan 08 - 07:50 PM

I sing in a community choir in Sydney, Oz. We are called The Bright Star Singers (after the song 'Bright Morning Stars are Rising') and sing mostly folk from all countries - we sing in Turkish, Maori, Greek, Spanish, you name it! We also have a few doo-wops in our repertoire; if you grew up in the 50s-60s as some of us did that was our music.

Several of our songs are Aussie folk songs too, settings of poems by Henry Lawson - Past Carin', Andy's Gone with Cattle; more modern Aussie songs - Graham Seal's The Country Knows the Rest (about the time police fired on striking mine workers in 1929, killing one man); a few gospel/spiritual songs, and some older songs like Stephen Foster's Hard Times.

Joy, I wish you luck in your venture, it would be wonderful to have a community choir! Could you start by asking each person to bring along one suitable song for the group to try?

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 04:55 AM

Animaterra has suggested that we ask if we can have a Mudcat Permathread for community choirs/folk, where we could share ideas and information. Is that possible?
Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 07:40 AM

I've just sent Joe Offer a PM to ask about Permathread status.
(Hi, Joy- what fun to see you here!).

Ah, the joys of starting a chorus. I had it easy- although there were certainly strong-minded types, I was clearly the one with the training, knowledge and experience (I have a B. Music in music education and choral conducting). I was also the one who was spearheading the effort, so I was deferred to as we got started. I'm still technically at the helm, although we now have a board and a lot of the nitty gritty stuff is shared. But I still get to choose the songs and decide how we sing them! And teach them, and rehearse them, etc. etc. Hard work, but very rewarding.

I've just pulled together a program for our spring season, with songs from Native American traditions as well as Japanese, Croatian, Irish, Hawaiian, Yoruban (Africa), African American, southern American gospel, French Canadian and New England! I did a lot of the arranging myself, since we're a women's group and even songs that are written for 3 or 4 parts often need to be tweaked for our voices. I look forward to starting rehearsals next week!

Allison


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:03 AM

Sounds fantastic, Animaterra, and I've already emailed you to see if we can set up a site where participating choir leaders can share some arrangements. So...Joybell, there might be a ready supply of material for you! And by the way, although I've sung in harmony groups for eyars, I have virtually no formal musical training, not even O level (that's GCSE for those of you a lot younger than me). By the way, don't believe those who say either A) if you have formal training you then can't do folk music or B) if you haven't got formal training you can;t write interesting arrangements. Just have a go!
I've just come back from my afternoon singing group which I started last Autumn and now has over 30 members. Today we sang a butter-churning round, an African Song, a Shetland Song and Da Doo Ron Ron (in four parts). Nest week I plan to start work on something English and trad - wish me luck!!
Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Bagpuss
Date: 21 Jan 08 - 11:19 AM

I have been in a couple of community choirs. The first, in Gateshead was very folk oriented and did a number of British folk songs, as well as world music. The second, in Yorkshire we did the occasional local folk songs, but the focus was more on world music, as well as "socialist songs", shapenote music, and some contemporary stuff (we did a cracking arrangement of Dancing Queen...). Thee is also a choir local to where I live now, which I plan to join when it becomes more convenient for me - they focus mainly on local traditional songs I think.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Willa
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 09:10 AM

Hi, Saro; guess the Shetland one was Minnie o' Shirva (?)
I love it, and it's on our 'to do' list.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: AggieD
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 12:07 PM

I'd really love to be able to start a community choir, we have nothing around here like that, but have never plucked up the courage. Having sung in a more formal choir where folksongs were very arranged, to the point that they made my teeth itch, I'd love to learn a bit about running a more folk orientated choir.

So any suggestions/arrangements would be a real help to get my confidence up enough to make an effort to start something off myself.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Marilyn
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 01:07 PM

I get the impression from the above posts that, when people here say 'community choir' they mean a folk choir - is that right?

The choir I sing with is a 'formal' choir according to the feelings expressed here. We sing Bach, Schubert, Brahms etc. (as well as a little bit of jazz and some folk song arrangements).

On the choir's promotional material we are called a community choir and I have understood the term simply to mean a local, community based choir, open to anyone in the local area (i.e. no auditions and no requirement for sight-reading etc. although many members, myself included, do have formal musical training and can sight-read).

Would you argue that this isn't a community choir because we sing mainly classical stuff? Does this mean that calling ourselves a 'community choir' is misleading?

Isn't it confusing? We all use the same words but we each seem to mean something different!


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 01:32 PM

I can't see any reason why your choir shouldn't be called a community choir, Marilyn. I'm just curious about the overlap between community choirs and folk music. I guess, because folk music is my passion, I include a lot more of it in our repertoire than some choirs do, and as I love arranging songs, folk music provides a vast source of wonderful material for the choir. However, I suspect that repertoire apart, we'd have a lot in common. I think the key factors for me are inclusivity and no demand for music reading and prior "choral" experience.   If I were more familiar with the classical repertoire I'd probably do a bit more of that as well. I'd love to see your arrangement of Lark in the Clear Air - any chance of an arrangement swap?
Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Marilyn
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 02:32 PM

Saro: I've sent a PM to you.
Sorry, I didn't intend to give the impression that I had arranged 'The Lark in the Clear Air' myself. The version we sing is in a little booklet published by Faber of arrangements by Alexander L'Estrange (Danny Boy and The Last Rose of Summer are the other two songs in the booklet).

The booklet is called 'Danny Boy and other classic Irish melodies'. There are several other booklets in the series and one that choir intends to get this year is the one with O Waly, Waly in it (can't remember what the other pieces are in that one, though).

At choir last night our director gave out a new one: 'Standing in the need of Prayer', again arranged by L'Estrange. The choir seemed to like it!


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Joybell
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM

True-Love is considering the job of musical director - (for want of a better term). He's the one with the skills. I'm the leader-type. People accept us as a team. There's a local child of 7 with an Angel voice. I'd love to introduce her to really good solid material. Modern songs are so nebulous. It might work.
Isn't this a great place?
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 05:06 PM

Kate Barfield, fiddler and singer with the Boat Band, also runs the Loud Mouth Women in Newcatle-under-Lyme,N Staffs(England). They are an open access a capella community-type outfit. I'll try to get her to read this thread and say what folkie connections their repertoire has. I'm also involved with the Penkhhull Mystery Singers( Stoke-on-Trent) who just get for a few weeks before Christmas Christmas for some carol singing(some standards, some obscure folkie stuff).


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Marje
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 12:01 PM

There are some community choirs that do mainly classical music.The definition seems to be, as Saro says, an inclusive choir with no formal selection process or auditions. In folk/world music choirs, there's normally no requirement of musical experience or sight-reading ability, but I think this is not necessarily the case with classical community choirs. If you're going to do some of the big choral works, you need at least most of your members to be able to read music, or you'd spend years learning the parts. It may be that such choirs do use the music and just allow a certain percentage of the members to be "passengers" while the rest learn from the score. I just don't believe a whole choir could learn Bach's B minor Mass or Verdi's Requiem aurally, without anyone using "the dots".
I'd be interested to hear of others' experiences.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: RTim
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 01:18 PM

If anyone is on Cape Cod in February, please note the following:
http://www.chathamchorale.org/this_season/the_british_folksong_from_e.html

Sorry, again no blue cicky thing - I just can't do it?!?!?!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Willa
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 01:29 PM

http://www.chathamchorale.org/this_season/the_british_folksong_from_e.html


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: bradfordian
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 05:27 PM

"Animaterra has suggested that we ask if we can have a Mudcat Permathread for community choirs/folk, where we could share ideas and information. Is that possible?
Saro"
"I've just sent Joe Offer a PM to ask about Permathread status."(Animaterra)
You had time to think about it Joe,? ;-)

But seriously, the reason for my post is something I want to share.
Already being a member of a Male Voice Choir and a radical mixed choir, I have longed to be part of a community choir. The opportunity has just arisen as it runs on my free evening and so I have subsequently joined (masochist, I know!) We were going thru the parts of one song with each part -SATB- joining in in turn. So the men came in last and at the end of the song, one woman said "WOW, IT'S LIKE GOING FROM BLACK AND WHITE TO COLOUR WHEN THE MEN JOINED IN" And that was just a WOW staement! All the parts make the whole of course, and the whole is what it's about -- the harmonies! It would be just as incomplete without either of the female parts. We all need to be appreciated and I have noticed that all my Conductors/M.Ds do regularly praise the choirs' efforts. Indeed, there are some chords that are just magical, given the right accoustics (bathroom????)

brad


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Old Vermin
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 07:14 PM

Anyone tried doing any of the Coppers' material as four-part? It usually comes two-part. Good Ale, Thousands or More or The Christmas Song, say?

Oh, had an absolutely gorgeous arrangement to sing at Choirfest : Sandra Kerr's - what's the word - conflation [?] - of Steely Water and Lowlands Away.


Did a Paul Sartin version of Johnny Todd - very hard not to think of Z-cars. The bass part is for now firmly lodged as an ear-worm....


http://www.communityvox.org.uk/choirfest09-photos.htm - there will be a CD in due course.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Folkiedave
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 07:27 PM

There is the Sheffield Folk Chorale.

The clue is in the name!! :-)


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Stringsinger
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:01 PM

A choir is a church institution. A chorus can be secular.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Marje
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:20 PM

"Choir" is the term that's been preferred by churches over the centuries, but a choir can be secular too (otherwise all the modern "community choirs" would be church-based, and they're not). "Chorus" is generally non-church. But both words are from the same root, so there's no radical difference in meaning.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Willa
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 05:01 PM

Good to 'see' you here again, Bradfordian!

I belong to the Beverley Community Choir; it is one of the highlights of my week.

We have done the Coppers' Christmas Song (The Trees all are bare..)

Our repertoire includes Sally Gardens, Wade in The Water, Amazing Grace,Swing Low, I Wanna Sing, I Gave My Love A Cherry, The Fairy Lullaby,Here Is My Home,Plus rounds, carols in season, and modern songs.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 05:32 PM

Michael Marra was staying with us last week after singing at our club and he said that after his current tour he was going straight back to Dundee for the Fest'n'Furious festival which included a concert by a community choir that he had written for and scored the parts for. The choir that he was working with must have the best name of all the community choirs......

LOADS O'WIMMIN SINGIN'


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: bradfordian
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 06:54 PM

We are doing "Lowlands" in my community choir. "Only our rivers run free" in my radical choir. My MVC has done "Bushes and Briars;" but not as we know it, Jim.
In mixed choirs/choruses the m/f ratio seems to be 1:3. Are we guys lucky or are we scared to air our dulcet tones?
Except, in my Male Voice Choir, (Hmmm, the next bit censored!!!!)


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 08:33 PM

Great to see this thread here. I helped start a 70-voice non-audition choir that sings folk music from around the world. It's called "Common Thread: Community Chorus of Toronto," and it just celebrated its 10th anniversary in June.

After about five years of really hard work in organizing and running the choir (singing in the alto section the whole time), I backed off and became a regular member for a few years. Now I'm not even a member anymore, because my teaching schedule has just been too crazy. But I still keep a hand in with a few things here and there.

http://www.commonthreadchorus.ca/

Folks might also be interested in the Ubuntu Choirs Network, which is a network of community choirs, mostly based in British Columbia:

http://www.ubuntuchoirs.net/

The people who started the Ubuntu choir network also run a Community Choir Leadership Training, which looks amazing:

http://www.communitychoirleadership.com/the_program.php


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 01 May 13 - 05:44 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread, as I am currently researching UK community choirs and their use of English folk song.   I'm curious to see if the situation has changed, and if more community choirs are singing English folk material now. If you have any experiences to share, please post them!

Saro


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 May 13 - 07:54 PM

Having read through the earlier posts, I see here is resistance in some quarters to the word "Choir". Something of the same feeling here, where we tend to talk about Community Song or Singing Groups. There is a feeling, rightly or wrongly, that you have to be really good and probably audition to get into a choir, whereas most of the singing groups are about enjoying singing together, regardless of how "good" you might or might not be.
There is also a bit of confusion between UK and English here! (Big smiley if Mudcat would let me!)
Up here in Scotland, most groups would have a majority of Scots songs in their reperoire, although there may also be English, Irish, American and others.
One of my friends has set up a website for Scottish Commuity Song Groups detailing all groups that he knows about: others can be added if they so wish. It goes by geographical areas:
See:
http://www.angelfire.com/planet/scottishsonggroups/

Simon Thoumire of Scottish Culture Online and Hands Up for Trad (he organises the Scottish Trad Music awards - a real visionary!) has more recently started a "Scotland Sings" campaign to get more people out there singing. There is a free songbook for download.
See: http://projects.scottishcultureonline.com/scotlandsings/


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 02 May 13 - 07:08 AM

Well Tattie Bogle, i didn't mean to suggest that UK and England were the same (as i sing with a Scot and Northumbrian that would be a bad mistake indeed!) - but i am curious about singing groups across the whole of the UK. I am also looking particularly at their use of English folk material. I would expect Scottish choirs or whatever you call them to use more Scottish material, but equally, I'd expect English "choirs" to use more English material, but it doesn't seem to work like that.   
Saro

PS I might rename this thread to avoid causing confusion!


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 May 13 - 09:53 AM

Tattie, you are addressing an important point with "choir" vs. "singing group". I think the latter is often considered to make "real folk music", even if they do some harmony and even have a professional arranger, whereas the former is for "educated music" or even "art".

Most Mudcatters know that there is no clear-cut distinction between the two genres, but most choral arrangements of folk songs (including the ones done by myself) do not claim to be authentic folk music. This gives us the opportunity to use sources from other cultures without having to understand the original style.

Many cultures, e.g. in Italy and the Balkans, have traditional music for several voices, in other words for choirs without need for rearrangement. England has little of that, notable exceptions being the rounds. These should be the first ambition of English choirs wishing to preserve their own traditional music.

On the other hand, whenever harmony singing is considered adequate, a skilful and discrete arranger can do a lot to make it sound more satisfactory without further reducing the authenticity. Clumsy arrangements are not a characteristic of folkishness, unless they are traditional themselves. The other day we discussed an example "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" here: a non-academic arrangement, dating from 1805, is now old and popular enough to form a tradition by itself, and thus be exempt from my criticism. I would not actively recommend to sing it though.

Summary: folk arrangers, choral or instrumental, should learn their craft, including "classical" harmonics.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 May 13 - 10:32 AM

A good folk arranger should be discreet rather than too discrete.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 May 13 - 03:06 PM

I write arrangements for community choirs and am very committed to (traditional)folk material. I co-run the Clay Chorus and the Mystery Singers in Stoke-on-Trent with Kate Barfield. She also runs the Loudmouth Women and the Seasonal Singers on her own. recent stuff sung by these choirs include English songs John Barleycorn, O Good Ale, Shallow Brown, Searching for Lambs, Leave Her John Leave Her, Tom's Gone to Hilo plus numerous carols; also folk material from other traditions. The choirs all sing new material as well They choirs are all open access, no audition, no music-reading.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 May 13 - 03:14 PM

Incidentally, on re-reading previous posts I should add something about the name choirs/singing groups. We often use the term singing groups in advertising, rather than choirs, as some people definitely seem to think(for some reason) that choirs need to (a) be ecclesiastical and (b) read off the dots. I don't happen to agree with those definitions of "choir", but it has to be recognised that some people do make that distinction.
I also recognise there is a huge difference between the way groups/choirs sing folk songs. The categories merge and smear into each other, but I can see three clear types: the formal choirs that do classical-type arrangements of songs; the organised groups of folkies(festival/club types) that sing chorally; the "natural voice" type of choirs, who basically have "ordinary" singers, neither folkies nor trained choristers. All three approaches produce very distinct sounds.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Tatterfoal
Date: 02 May 13 - 06:49 PM

I sing in the Scunthorpe Community Choir and they would never dream of doing anything folky, I have even provided music in parts as a suggestion but due to most choir members being very main stream, we sing musical numbers mostly.   I have loved singing in folk choirs with Sandra Kerr, CBS, and Stephen Taberner of the Spooky men and would love to perform this type of material on a regular basis but Scunthorpe tends to be a Folky desert as regards choirs.


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Joybell
Date: 02 May 13 - 07:08 PM

Fun to see this thread revived. Thank you Saro. I have nothing to add on this subject regarding the UK. I do have an update on activities here in Victoria, Australia though. Since my last post I have continued writing and directing musical plays in our little community using traditional and popular songs from all over. I also include parodies that I write. Now we've begun a Ukulele group as well. We meet weekly. Couldn't actually call any of our gatherings of singers choirs but we are a community singing group.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Community choirs and folk
From: Saro
Date: 03 May 13 - 03:17 AM

I imagine a lot is down to the leader's personal preference. It is interesting that in the Hampshire / Surrey area we've got a lot of community choirs (who do use the name choir) and who sing English folk material - but then we've also got Carolyn Robson, Anna and Nonny Tabbush, Paul Sartin....


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