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New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

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Monday, 26 November 2018

Music in St Giles Church

Looking at our three most recent posts, does St Giles have a fascination for singers? If you're making arrangements to go to St Giles Church, be sure to get the right one!

Christmas Concert in St Giles Church Graffham

Sunday 16th December 2018 at 5.00pm

Anne, Alan, Sue and David have been approached by Graffham's new lady vicar, the Reverend Vivien Turner, to put on a seasonal concert in St Giles Church Graffham at 5.00pm on Sunday 16th December and I am writing to you to ask if you would like to be involved (email as usual to confirm). We have put together a draft programme for this event which you will find attached. It would be fabulous if you could contribute by joining the other singers on the night. The acoustics are good and of course there will be no background noise, so if 15+ volunteer Singers were available it would make this a really enjoyable evening.

Download the programme and songs:
Programme for Christmas Concert in St Giles church Graffham.pdf
SDFS Christmas Carols for Graffham Concert.pdf

Cotillion Perform 'A Sussex Christmas'

Saturday 15th December 2018 at 7.30pm
St Giles’ Church, Shermanbury (map)

Cotillion, well known to many of our singers, will be performing their 90-minute show "A Sussex Christmas" with many local and other folk songs and tunes, poetry and anecdotes around Advent through to Christmas and the New Year. Alan says if you haven't been to the fantastic Shermanbury Church you really should go.

Tickets available at the door.

Whispering Woods in St Giles Church, Shoreham

Saturday 1st December 2018 at 7.30pm
St Giles Church, Upper Shoreham Road, Shoreham

Several of our singers also sing with Shoreham-based a cappella choir Whispering Woods. They will be performing songs and poems to commemorate the centenary of the end of WW1 and also selections from their repertoire of winter songs.

Tickets £6 including a glass of wine or soft drink, available on the door or from a choir member.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Local Group Report – Worthing – Wednesday 7th November 2018

Thirty-six South Downs Folk Singers gathered to enjoy some festive songs at “Y.O.H.A.H.” We caught up with news and plans (including the revised date for our winter social – now set for 2nd February, more details will be on the website soon) and then worked our way through some of the list of seasonal songs due to be used at the Weald and Downland Museum event on 25th November. Starting with The Angel Gabriel we moved on to the Falmer Carol (including its extra verses) and Pentonville, both with some splendid harmonies sung by the chaps. The Holly and the Ivy, Sugar Wassail and Hark the Herald Angels followed. After the break we paused the festive mood to mark this season of remembrance by singing My Boy Jack, before resuming preparations for the Weald and Downland with the Sussex Mummers’ Carol, Sweet Chiming Bells and then a speedy version of the Gloucestershire Wassail – after which we all agreed some increase in pace was in improvement, but maybe not as much as we’d done! At a calmer pace we had some fun with a couple of rounds, Hey Ho Winter Snow and Child of Light, before finishing with Deck the Hall.

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 and stall holders queue for quick entry 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 in 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

Update 14th December 2018: Unfortunately the planned social get-together after the singing cannot now take place, but please be assured the singing for the Arcade Knitters will still go ahead as previously arranged.
Update 5th December 2018: Here is the set list.
  1. Sweet Bells
  2. Sussex Carol
  3. Sussex Mummers' Carol (Righteous Joseph)
  4. The Holly And The Ivy
  5. Deck The Hall
  6. Here We Come A Wassailing
  7. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
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!