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, 27 January 2014

Wikipedia and pictures

There is a Wikipedia page on the Music of Sussex.  Within it are references to the South Downs Songs project and, as from just now, the SDFS.  Check it out here.

Whilst I have yet to post all the photos we have taken over the months on the 'Photos' page, a sneaky look at most of the ones that are up there can be found by searching 'South Downs Folk Singers' on Google images!

Adrian F

Birdsong in Lewes!

The SDFS have been invited to join in the bird-themed session at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club this Saturday at the Elephant & Castle from 8 till 11.

£3 per head for general admission but it is £1 for each of us as we are a group.  Family, friends and hangers-on (go on - bring 'em - you know you want to!) are £3 each.

Bring songs, tunes, readings and terrible puns about bird life in general!

We had a good time last time so let's do it all again!  Let Margo know if you'd like to join us (about six going so far ....)

Adrian F

SDFS on tour! Germany, we are coming!

We have been invited to attend the Swyzertag folk festival at Waldshut Tiengen, very near the Swiss border, in southern Germany on 5 and 6 July.  The event involves parades, performances on stage, beer and sausages.  This year, they are highlighting England.

The trip would be under the auspices of Lewes Twinning Association - it is through them that we have been invited.  As is often the case with twinning events, visitors can be put up in people’s homes.  The organiser can arrange accommodation with hosts in the town, which means we would just have to fund travel (flights around £120 into Zurich or Basel - both from Gatwick) and food, but they need to know how many people might be coming.  So far, Gaynor and John are going.  We will travel out on the 4th and return on the 6th.

So .... any advance on Gaynor and John??  Please e-mail John Crane in the first instance.

Adrian F

PS - anyone know the German for 'Twanky Dillo'?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Lewes Saturday Folk Club 1st February

We are returning to the Lewes Saturday Folk Club on 1st Feb so come and be part of it if you're not already signed up!  More details soon!

Adrian F

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 21st January 2014

A small but enthusiastic group of seven singers gathered at the Royal Oak for the first Lewes session of 2014, including new singers Mac Poulton and Margaret Daly from Saltdean.

We sang old favourites West Sussex Drinking Song, Old Adam, Life of a Man, Ebernoe Horn Fair, Cuckoo, Rolling in the Dew and Jolly Good Song.  Newer songs tackled with great gusto were Sussex by the Sea, Where Stormy Winds do Blow, Blacksmith and Unquiet Grave.

There was also discussion of two very different upcoming gigs: on 1st February, the Lewes Saturday Folk Club has a come-all-ye evening with a theme of “Birds”.  In our repertoire we have Cuckoo, Nightingale, Three Maidens (Bird in a Bush), Rosebuds in June (small birds) and Eilean Na Ruin (fly with a broken wing) and we currently have six singers going along.  Then on the weekend of 5th to 6th July we have been invited to take part in a festival in Waldshut Tiengen, Lewes’s twin town in Germany.  This is at a very early stage of finding out levels of interest and availability so keep an eye on the blog!


Friday, 17 January 2014

Wassailing ahoy!

Just a couple of days to go till the annual SDFS Xmas bash!

Are you singing?  Telling us a story?  Reading a poem?  Let Linda know so that she can schedule a slot for you.

Bring some food to share (and drink as well!) - plates, cutlery paper serviettes etc are needed too.  And bring your own drinking vessel (a wassailing bowl??)

If you do not have a ticket, do drop a note to Linda to let her know you'll be coming (gives an idea of numbers) - thanks!

7.30 on Saturday - details on the party page - see you there!

Adrian F

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Harmony workshop

It was suggested last night at the Worthing session that a harmony workshop might be useful to help us nail some of those pesky harmonies that we know and love - well .... maybe don't know quite as well as we'd like ....

Probably a Saturday.  More details in due course.

Adrian F

Local Group Report – Wednesday at the Beechwood 8th January 2014

Welcome back for the new year!  As from the 8th Jan meeting, we will be using the Cellar Bar at the Beechwood, in an attempt to create a rather more intimate pub-style atmosphere suitable for a folk session.  More details on the 'Latest News' page.

Adrian F

UPDATE: In the end, we stayed put upstairs.  Several people who had not seen the cellar bar took a look during the break and Henny then took a vote.  31-3 in favour of remaining in the upstairs lounge was pretty conclusive!  So that's where we'll stay unless another local venue can be found.  Henny discovered that the nearby Richard Cobden pub hosted Sompting Village Morris on a Wednesday so that would not work.  Indeed, there was some concern on their part because a number of the dancers would like to join the SDFS – so could we change our night please?!!

Emily led a very sociable session where we refreshed our knowledge of many of the current canon, including Where Stormy Winds do Blow, Gooch's Beer, Life of a Man, Ebernoe Horn Fair and various others.

Adrian F

Local event - Worthing, 8 Feb

We have been asked to sing on 8 February at the Seed Swap event, organized by Transition Town Worthing.  It will be held at Oak Grove College, Durrington.  There will be two short sets: one at 1345 and one at 1445, each lasting for ten minutes.

Amaryllis is organizing this so please let her know (see the Contact Us page) if you'd like to be part of it.  More details soon!

Adrian F

Wednesday at the Beechwood

We had a good session at the Beechwood last night, ably led by Emily - more details on the Local Group News page.  Linda brought the tickets for the party too - get yours now!  Only £2!! 

And yesterday saw the first of the voluntary contribution buckets - a natty design by Phil Barber (or was it Angela?  Or both of them??!!) - whereby people can put in a small amount on each occasion so that we can build up some funds for the future.  We hope to do this at the other sessions too.  Currently, we have no other funding source (until the post of Funding Officer is filled: that role will persuade organizations to give us lots of money - because we're worth it!) and we need to be able to produce publicity, hire the occasional hall, produce CDs etc.  A suggested amount is £2 per session.

Thanks to everyone who chipped in. 

Adrian F

Monday, 6 January 2014

Meeting Notes

The meetings notes page has been updated and will now contain agendas for and notes from SDFS meetings.  Thus far, there are two committee meetings recorded here.

Adrian F

Wassail, everybody!

The SDFS Xmas bash approaches: if you haven't decided what you'll do yet (sing / play / storytell) then get your thinking caps on!

Linda T would like to know so that she can schedule a marvellous programme of entertainment for us all.

We have a large number of talented folk in the SDFS (the evidence is on the CDs!) so don't hide your light under a wassailing bowl and talk to Ms Tobitt!

Adrian F

The Brighton Pub Carols

This, from Ian Lamb, co-ordinator of the Brighton Pub Carols:


Thanks for your support this year and to the other members of South Downs Folk Singers. It was good to have such a large influx of good singers join us and improved the singing at both sessions.

I am excited to hear that you are in the process of completing a new carol and look forward to trying it next Christmas. The title sounds great, keep me in touch with your progress.

Hopefully we'll meet up again sometime during the year.


You know who you are!  It was a blast - here's to Xmas 2014!

Adrian F

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Last day today!!

Just a quick reminder that if there are issues you feel the new committee should be tackling on 18 January, today is the last day for submitting items for the agenda.

Adrian F

Worthing local session 8 January

We are going to try using the cellar bar for 'Wednesdays at the Beechwood' as from next week.  This will apply to the regular monthly sessions whilst any workshops, large-scale rehearsals etc will continue to take place in the large upstairs lounge room we have used up until now.

If the cellar bar doesn't work, we will try the Aga Room (usually used for meetings) and if THAT doesn't work, there is the room adjacent to the rear of the lounge.

This is because a number of people felt that a more folk clubby feel was preferable if we could achieve it.  We'll revert to the lounge if none of the alternative rooms work!

Adrian F