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New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

A Seasonal Celebration For The Petworth Society

Update 9th November 2018: Minor updates for singers and audience, please read carefully below. For any singers wishing to perform, please note the 15th November deadline for confirming.
Wednesday 12th December, 7.30pm
Leconfield Hall, Petworth (map link)

This event will combine several of the various elements that have steadily developed either independently or out of our coming together as Singers.

Those members who will be playing instruments, Mumming or giving recitations are already rehearsing their contributions, and the rest of us have & can brush up our renditions of the seasonal songs selected at our remaining various monthly meetings including the extra one on the 14th November at YOHAH.

Entry to the event is free for those singers who will be performing (list of names) but non-singing members, friends and family will be asked to pay the Society/Public £5 entry fee which includes refreshments and the hire of the hall.

Due to available space we are limited on the number of singers actually performing to around 30.

Please email by 15th November to confirm if you wish to perform on the night.

You will notice on the programme that Emily will again involve the audience in singing some catches.

Parking is free after 6.00pm in the main town car park (GU28 0AP), so arriving in good time around 7.00pm at the Hall to have any final briefing needed, and get seated, would be very helpful.

With your continuing enthusiasm it should be a great evening.

John C.

Download the Programme (which includes the set list)

W&DLM 'Christmas Market' Sunday 25th November

Again a packed event with over 150 stalls, so if the weather is reasonable it's worth making a day of it.

All the new 'Gateway' buildings are operational now.

As always Sunday is the busiest day with the whole of the overflow car park filled out to West Dean College by 1pm on a good day.

If you arrive early (around 10.00am) you may be able to park in the permanent parking area, or nearer to the entrance booths, and avoid being in the long traffic queues around the site. Use the dedicated members / stall holders queue for quick entrance by showing your wristband.

See the organiser's website.

We have two sets, at 11.30am-12.00 noon at the Music Tent in the Market Square and 1.00-1.30pm on the decking outside the Gridshell, with Emily leading us. This will allow you the rest of the day to take in the market stalls and hopefully leave the site more easily.

Dress for cold variable weather and wear stout shoes, but please don whatever festive headgear you want for the occasion.

Please email me to confirm you are coming to allocate the wristbands:

I will be at the practice at Worthing on the 14th November and should have with me by then the Singers' free passes for distribution. If you can't make it on the 14th please ask one of your meeting members (Chichester or Lewes) that are attending to obtain one for you.

If you are one of the above Singers, and in the interim you have discovered another commitment and cannot come to the Market, please email so that I can reallocate the remaining wristbands to those Singers who may be still on the reserve list.

John C.

Provisional set lists

First Set:
  1. The Angel Gabriel
  2. Sussex Carol
  3. Falmer Carol
  4. The Holly and the Ivy
  5. Sugar Wassail
  6. Righteous Joseph
  7. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  8. The Fields Lie Silent
  9. Pentonville (While Shepherds Watched)

Second Set:
  1. Masters in this Hall
  2. Wassail! (Gloucestershire)
  3. The Moon Shone Bright
  4. The Holly Bears a Berry
  5. Where Stormy Winds Do Blow
  6. Coppers' Christmas Song
  7. A Round for the Festive Season
  8. Sweet Chiming Bells
  9. Deck the Hall

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Singing for the Arcade Knitters in Littlehampton

Saturday 15th December, afternoon event about 2.45pm

Parkside Evangelical Church, 1 St Floras Road, Littlehampton, BN17 6BD (map)

The Arcade Knitters have asked us to entertain them at their Christmas event.

They meet to knit together and are involved in a number of charity projects, e.g. making wool hats for those who lose hair following chemotherapy and knitting poppies for a display in Littlehampton parish church. Their weekly meeting is between 2.00 and 4.00pm and we would sing for perhaps 25 minutes around 2.45pm. Suitable festive refreshments will be provided and we are sure of a warm welcome.

We will choose songs from the ones we practise for the other Christmas events and I will post a final list nearer the time.

Please email to let me know if you will be able to come. I do not think that Emily will be able to come, so would be grateful if one of our song leaders is able to do so. If not we will just do our best (and jolly fine that will be).


Local Group Report – Chichester – Thursday 18th October 2018

Last night’s Chichester session took place with 15 singers all told with Alan leading. After a few notices reminding singers of the upcoming events we made a start on some seasonal songs, as we only have two sessions at Chichester before the said events are upon us. We started off with the Sussex Carol and worked our way through The Coppers’ Christmas Song, The Falmer Carol with the addition of the extra verses, the Sans Day Carol, Pentonville which sounded great, and the Sugar Wassail. We reminded ourselves that The Moon Shone Bright is sung by the women with the men humming at the end of the verses. We also ran through The Sussex Mummers’ Carol and Sweet Chiming Bells followed by the new seasonal song Fields Lie Silent, which we all enjoyed. After our break Alan led us with a round of Stir Up We Beseech Thee, which after getting the timing right was good fun.  We finished the evening with a non-Christmassy Valiant’s All at Alan’s request as we hadn’t sung it for a while.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 16th October 2018

Sixteen singers made quite a noise at The John Harvey Tavern. Two girls sang with us for the first half as they sipped their wine and three young men having finished a meal, sat at another table and sang along with the help of borrowed words. It seems that English was probably not their first language; what must they have thought of the strange words and grammar!
“I’d rather rest on my true love’s breast
Than any other where.”
And they only met in the first verse!

Tina managed to start us singing soon after 7.30pm with a rousing Fathom The Bowl before looking at another fifteen songs from our winter season songs together with several harmonies. Poor Froze Out Gardeners, Angel Gabriel, The Coppers’ Christmas Song, Shepherd of The Downs, The Fields Lie Silent Now, Searching For Lambs, Where Stormy Winds Do Blow and also our very own Caburn Hill which Dawn had climbed in the morning and new boy, Nick, that afternoon. After a break for refills and chat, we resumed with On Sussex Hills, The Seasons Turn, The Falmer Carol, “Pentonville”, Sussex Wedding Song, finishing with Pleasant And Delightful and Thousands Or More.

Several of us will be singing at the Brunswick, West Hove & Portslade U3A meeting on Wednesday 21st November at Ralli Hall from 2.30pm which Emily has kindly agreed to lead and we hope some of the Worthing group will be joining us.

Next month, the Napier Quire start their weekly rehearsals for the Brighton Pub Carols so Tina has arranged to move our SDFS practice nights to Wednesday 21st November, 7.30pm start, and Wednesday 19th December; that is the day after we would have been meeting. So it looks as if 21st November is a day/night to remember!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

New SDFS Performance Opportunities

For the attention of all our singers – some new singing events for November and December have been added to our Diary Dates page.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 3rd October 2018

Thanks to all those who attended and contributed to the AGM which preceded our singing. After a short break to revive ourselves the “West Sussex Drinking Song” got the singing started. Other requests followed – “Jim the Carter Lad” and “Where Stormy Winds Do Blow” – with repeated encouragement from Emily to exercise our memories and sing without printed words. “Hares on the Mountain” (yet to be adopted across all three of our local groups) was sung and fine tuned a little to improve the balance between male and female voices, and “The Fields Lie Silent Now” (the winter song brought to us last month by Alan and Emily) was tried again – another test for our memories! Steve from the Chichester group then prompted us to sing “The Stedham Oysterman’s Song” in its entirety – followed by another well-earned break. We resumed with “Life of a Man” before staring work on the autumnal “All Among the Barley” (another possible for our seasonal collection). After this we finished a busy evening with “Thousands or More” and “Rolling Home”.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Extra Singing Session on 14th November – to herald the winter season

Calling all South Downs Folk Singers who want to perform at the seasonal events we have planned for November and December….

Come and join us for some extra time at “Ye Olde House at Home” pub in Worthing on Wednesday 14th November, to brush-up our repertoire of winter songs.

It’ll be another merry evening of song and we hope to see you there at 7.30p.m. to be singing by 8.00!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Featuring One Of Our Singers...

Please Take Your Feet From Off Our Necks!
An Anthology of Women post WW1 and WW2

Sunday 14 October 5.30-7.30pm
Ropetackle Arts Centre
Tickets £8

The times are slowly changing on the rough and rocky road to equality for women. In Amaryllis Gunn’s new Anthology we hear the voices of the women, and men too, who from WWI & WW2 onwards have made us think, laugh, cry and helped us on our way.

Performed by Amaryllis Gunn, Libby Longhurst and Lucinda Cox.

Tickets from Tel 01273 464440
or go to:

Friday, 28 September 2018

Local Group Report – Lewes – Tuesday 18th September 2018

We started singing at our new time of 7.30pm but I don’t think that is the reason only six women were there! A lot of people take their holidays once the children are back at school!

We spent a very busy time working on harmonies to songs, most of which we will present at Alfriston in October. Tina had prepared and written down 10 harmonies; many of them will work in lower and higher octaves. When we combined the harmonies with the original melody they sounded wonderful – so much better than in unison.

The list consisted of Brave Eleven, Littlehampton Collier Lads, Bee Boy’s Song, Amaryllis’s harmonies for My Boy Jack, Oak Ash And Thorn, and after the break Constant Lovers, They Won’t Let Us Go To Sea Anymore, Follow Me ’Ome, A Smuggler’s Song, Pleasant And Delightful and Thousands Or More.

We all thoroughly enjoy singing and the challenge of holding harmonies, so if you fancy a taste of John Harvey’s and some vocal therapy at a friendly inn, join us next month at The John Harvey Tavern on Tuesday 16th October.