New Singers

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New singers  are always welcome to join us – read more

Event Organisers  – want us to sing for you? – read more
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Monday, 30 December 2013

Committee Meeting 18th Jan

The first meeting of the newly-elected SDFS Committee will take place at the Heene Gallery, Worthing, on 18th Jan at 6pm, prior to the Wassailing Party.

Notes from the meeting of 18th November will be posted shortly.  My sincere apologies for the lateness of these.

If anyone has anything they wish the committee to consider and discuss at this meeting, the details should be sent to John Crane as soon as possible and in any event by 4th January.  Please send them to him at the General Enquiries address on the 'Contact Us' page.  The final agenda will be posted by 11th January.

Adrian F

Friday, 27 December 2013

Merry (hic!) Xmas!

A very merry Xmas to all of the South Downs Folk Singers!  (No it's not over: today is day #3: there's nine more to go.  If you've got children, then that's lovely.  And exhausting.)  The end of Xmas is of course, not necessarily twelfth night as some customs carry it considerably further - the Christian faith into February in fact, when Candlemas is celebrated. The greenery (holly, ivy, mistletoe etc) has a religious connection but was not originally so related: an interesting page with more info is here.

And from Xmas, we drink seamlessly into Wassailing - which is all to do with singing for a good harvest in the forthcoming year and generally involves apples rather a lot.  Lots of interesting stuff about wassailing and the songs here.

Meanwhile, if you are not a South Downs Folk Singer yet, there's no time to lose!  Come and join us: check out the Latest News and Diary dates pages and explore the rest of the blog to learn more.

Happy New Year!

Adrian F

SDFS Xmas Party!

At last!  The details you've all been waiting for!

Adrian F

The Brighton Pub Carols

Saturday was even better than Tuesday! We crowded into the Sir Charles Napier in Hanover and began singing at 7.30. At 11.15, we finally stopped! Ok, we had had a couple of breaks but Ian Lamb worked us hard. Just four of us this time in the quire and I'm sure we will we there again next year! To everyone else: don't miss it in 2014 - it is the most fun singing carols you will EVER have! And, yes, of course we can pinch some of them for other SDFS Xmas time events: many are Sussex carols to less familiar tunes.

Adrian F

Friday, 20 December 2013

Local Group Report – Easebourne Thursday 19th December 2013

A huge thank you to Shirley and Clive for their hospitality at this last Easebourne session of 2014.  We had a great sing and some lovely things to eat, especially Angela's Christmas sweetmeats!

We sang a few songs from the SDFS canon, but explored others too:

Dave G sang Old Jacky Frost written by Barrie Temple, The Year turns round again / Snow Falls by John Tams,  a Christmas medley which included snippets of Let It Snow / Santa Claus is coming to Town / Jingle Bell Rock / Jingle Bells and of course we finished with John Tams' Rolling Home.

Sue sang I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, which Tina correctly identified as based on the 1863 poem by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (we are a knowledgable lot!)

We also had a bit of fun after the eats, singing two of the drinking songs we learned at Chris Hare's Ale and Hearty day in Lewes, namely The Man who Waters the Workers' Beer and Ale Glorious Ale which might be fun for the SDFS to learn next year.

Alan sang a lovely song by Colin Gates called Fields Lie Silent (see the YouTube version by Martyn Wyndham-Read).  We also sang the Coppers' Christmas Song and the parody Batter Your Sole.

Shirley sang her version of Country Life which is another song worth learning (also on YouTube by the Watersons).

And after that, we collapsed!

Dave G

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The Brighton Pub Carols

What a night it was on Tuesday!  Margo, Tina, Sandria, John K and I were there with the Napier Quire and four from Hullabaloo for 2 1/2 hours of great carol singing!  Just can't wait for Saturday!!

Adrian F

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Worthing Community Play

Those of us involved had a good time this afternoon running through most of the songs Ann has included in the play.  In addition to Green Grow the Laurel and part of Come Write Me Down, Jolly Good Song is featured in the play as is Fathom the Bowl.  The words are available on the WCP website here.  And some added amusement: we are also singing music hall ditties such as Daisy Daisy, The Boy I Love (is up in the Gallery) and Oh, I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside.  Great fun!

Even if you were not here on this occasion, you can join in again on Saturday 9 February for a second songs workshop between 2pm and 5pm.

There is lots more information on the WCP website.

Adrian F

Friday, 6 December 2013

Lewes Late Night Shopping 5th December

An enjoyable event took place yesterday at Lewes late night shopping, where brightly decorated shops and seasonal street events were strung out along the High Street (which was closed to traffic).

My journey hit an unexpected problem when the bus from Brighton was taken out of service after someone was sick on the upper deck!   Arriving mid-set, I found the other singers already in fine voice in the cosy back area of the Tourist Information Centre.

Angela Barber, Carol and Peter Bohannon, Tina Cox, Gaynor Gilbert, Henny Hawkins, Margo Hollingdale, John Lamb and Sandria Reese performed old favourites On Sussex Hills, Shepherd Of the Downs and Thousands or More, followed by The Sussex Mummers' Carol, The Sussex Carol and Wassail Wassail All Over the Town, before concluding with “singalong” numbers God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Deck The Hall.

The nearby competing charms of an excellent brass band and the equally excellent, exuberant Brighton Morris made it a challenge to be heard from the street and there was limited passing trade.  Nevertheless, the steady trickle of visitors to the TIC appeared appreciative of our efforts and the mulled wine and mince pies served by staff in Victorian costume further enhanced the occasion.  Afterwards, we joined in some carols with the brass band and performed a shorter flash mob set on the Law Courts steps before some of us visited the Christmas Market in the Town Hall to round off the evening.

Sandria’s husband Michael took the photo on Peter's camera; it will also appear on the photos page in due course. 

Thanks and well done to all those who took part - here's to next year!


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New SDFS Committee

Main points from a meeting held to elect the officers needed to form a committee to run the South Downs Folk Singers

Date: Monday 18th November 2013
Venue: Beechwood Hall Hotel (in the downstairs meeting room)
Time: 7.30pm

Prsesent: John C, Tina, Henny, Phil, Angela B, Angela S, Linda T, Amaryllis, Richard H, Adrian
Apologies: Linda P, Shirley B, Margo

Make-up of committee agreed, including required positions of chair, secretary and treasurer.  All other positions could be revised as the committee saw fit during the lifetime of the committee.

Key posts elected:
Chair: Henny Hawkins
Secretary: John Crane
Treasurer: Angela Barber
Events Manager: John Crane
Lewes rep: Tina Cox
Worthing rep: Amaryllis Gunn
Easebourne rep: Shirley Blott (elected in her absence)
Musical consultant: Angela Shaw
Web / blog: Adrian Figgess
ex-officio: Linda Tobitt

All positions to endure until the first AGM, to be held in June / July 2014.

No-one was elected to the positions of Publicity Officer, Press Officer and Fundraising Officer: these posts will be filled as the need for them becomes more pressing.

The first formal meeting of the new committee was scheduled for Saturday 18th January 2014 at 6pm (venue to be decided) prior to the SDFS Annual Social.

The full version of the notes from this meeting will be posted on the blog in the next few days.

Adrian F