Satellite Singers - Community Choir Festival 2014

A group from the Satellites attended the 'Community Choirs Festival' at Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 30th March (a bad choice as not only was it Mothers Day, but also the clocks had gone forward, so we had get up an hour earlier than expected!)

The format was the same as last year:- there were four tutors, one for each voice, and they taught us four songs, two before lunch and two after. The songs are learnt by listening to the tutors and repeating what they have sung back to them; there is no written music involved. We are always so impressed by how quickly the various parts come together into a wonderfully harmonic whole. This year's songs were from South Africa, Tonga, and two in English, 'Wild Mountain Thyme' and one we didn't know, 'Hold On'. 

Unlike last year the weather this time was warm and sunny, so we could sit outside for lunch, and listen to various choirs busking in the courtyard - a real life-enhancing experience. 

We guess there were between 300 and 400 people there and it's wonderful to be part of the glorious sound that so many people make, so we would love to see more of you there next year. You can get some idea of how it all works later in the year when Hilary Davies, one of the tutors, does a workshop for us.

Derek and Yvonne

Satellite Singers - Vocal Workshop

On Tuesday 16th of April, several members of the Satellites joined with the Singing Group at Shatterford Village Hall for a Vocal Workshop led by Hilary Davies. After a warm welcome from the Singing Group with tea, coffee and biscuits, Hilary began the session with some very enjoyable warm-ups.

In her own joyful, inimitable style Hilary taught us orally to sing several rounds and part-songs. In a short time we learnt both simple and complex rhythms and melodies. We were able to produce very good results in a relatively short amount of time. 

Everyone had a most enjoyable morning which passed by only too quickly! When it was time to leave, we all felt very uplifted by the whole experience.


Elaine Yates

Satellite Singers - Community Choir Festival

Two of us went to this Festival, which took place in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 24th March. It is run by members of the National Voice Practitioners Group, one of whom, Hilary Davies, has run workshops for Anne Plant’s U3A singing group in the past. For the Festival, there were four tutors (one for each voice), and you learn by listening and then singing it back. The tutors are excellent and you are singing four-part harmony in a few minutes. We estimate there were about 350 singers all told, mostly in choir groups, about a quarter of whom were MEN! 

The day started at 10am and we learned four songs (two in English, one in Spanish and one in Xhosa), two before lunch and two after, finishing at about 3pm. After a break there was a concert with the various groups performing, although we did not stay for that.

A thoroughly rewarding day, and we would recommend giving it a go next year.


Derek and Yvonne Grainger

Satellite Singers - NAC Vocal Workshop

On Saturday 2nd March, 11 members of the Statellite Singers attended this vocal workshop, which was organised by the National Association of Choirs and hosted by Kidderminster Valentines in Kidderminster Town Hall.  The day started with refreshments at 10am, followed by a short NAC meeting and the workshops commenced at 10.30am.

The workshops were led by  2 well-known vocal coaches, Suzie Vango and James Llewelyn-Jones and they were great fun. We learnt a variety of songs, some with written music and some which were taught orally.

We all enjoyed a good, hot, 3 course lunch with a glass of wine, which had a noticable effect on the quality of the singing at the start of the afternoon session!  However, we were all soon in full swing and the day ended with a mini-concert - the men singing "Deep River" while the ladies sang "Your Life is in my Hands".

Elaine Yates