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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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Singing in Sainsbury's

Here's a message from one of our singers, Sydney B:

Hi All,

There is a fund raiser for the Sussex M S Treatment Centre (based in Southwick) on December 13th at Hove/Portslade Sainsbury's. It starts at 11am with the M S Centre's own little singing gang, followed by Amaryllis's group "Good In Parts". At about 11.50am they will start a FLASH MOB singing Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem.


I realise that there is singing at Sainsbury's in Chichester as well, but I am sure that some of you would come to this instead, either because it is nearer or because it will be great fun, OR just because I am GROVELLING!

After we have all come out from the fruit and veg, or baked beans aisles, etc, South Downs singers will have a slot of about 30 minutes to sing our carols and/or some of our usual South Downs songs. I already have a few volunteers, but need as many as possible.

Please let me know through the usual channels.

Many thanks

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Local Group Report – Easebourne Thursday 20th November 2014

We had a really good sing at the White Horse in Easebourne on Thursday 20th November. There were 18 of us, happily ensconced in the room adjacent to the bar and we all had a jolly time singing a mixture of carols and our favourite SDFS songs. Stephen Allberry brought along Ian and Penny, a couple of friends from Petersfield, and they enjoyed the camaraderie and singing along with us. I hope they'll come again. There was also a return visit from Jo Gunning who joined us for the first time last month at the Three Moles. Thanks also to a large contingent of singers who came over from Brighton, Shoreham and Worthing to sing with us. It was great to see them this far west!

Stephen A introduced us to three songs from the album he has recently made of folk songs collected in the locality and sourced from the Full English website. They were The Saucy Sailor, The Young Recruit and Valiants All. It's absolutely great that one of our members has taken the initiative to track down and print out more authentic West Sussex songs but we'll need a bit more than a few notes played out on a mobile phone to be able to learn the tunes properly! Watch this space...

Oh and the regulars in the pub enjoyed our singing so much that several of them came through to say how great we all sounded and one even put a donation into our collecting bucket as a measure of his appreciation!

David G

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Singing in Chichester – Saturday 13th December 2014

Here's some information from Shirley B about this event, at which we are all invited to sing. Please note some of the provisional details previously issued have been changed.

Sainsbury’s, Chichester

We have been invited by Chichester Hospital Radio to take part in their festive outside broadcast. The event will be broadcast to the patients, staff & visitors of St Richard’s Hospital as well as raising much needed funds to keep them on air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

They would like us to sing some of our seasonal and South Downs songs (as performed at WDOAM Christmas Market) for between 20 and 30 minutes.

John Lewis at Home, Chichester

Just over the road from Sainsbury’s we continue our support of Chichester Hospital Radio (but not part of their outside broadcast) singing and collecting for another 30 minutes, this time at the invitation of John Lewis.

Please note that both venues, although outside, are under cover.

This is a great event for all of you who have Christmas shopping to complete with free parking, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis, BHS at Home, Pets at Home, Halfords, HomeSense & Home Base plus others close by!

Please contact to put your name down for the day or for further information.

WDOAM Christmas Market – 16 November 2014

Well, what a festive hoot!

Everyone looked brilliant in holly festooned hats and general Christmassy sparkle, and we managed to sail with great energy and delight through our whole set, even the ones we'd only managed to practice once... harmonies too!

There was a sense of robust joy and confidence in our singing and it sounded really lovely.

Thanks to all of you who were there and gave it your all, we were a veritable seraphic throng!


Thanks to Peter B for providing the photos.

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Poignant Opportunity – 14th November 2014

We sang at the Look and Sea Heritage Centre in Littlehampton for the re-dedication of a WW1 Memorial Plaque which commemorates the employees of John Eede Butt & Sons (Littlehampton and Shoreham timber yards) who died in that conflict.

John C, who organised our attendance at this event, passes on his thanks to all the Singers who took part for its success. Here are extracts from an email received by John from Valerie after the event:
Dear John

I just do not know where to start to say thank you for all you did to make the event today such a wonderful success. Your singers were just fantastic and it was so moving, and so appropriate to hear those particular songs today.


Please pass our thanks to all the group. Our Chairman has specially asked if I could pass on his thanks as well,  as he was incredibly impressed and very moved by the songs performed by your group.

Can I also say a personal thank you to you for all your help in finally getting the memorial plaque "back home". It was so nice to meet you and to put a face to the name. Hope we may be able to work together in the future.

Very best regards

Emily has also made a lovely comment on the event (originally made here):
This was an intimate and lovely event, the songs were really well received and people found them very moving, thanks partly to the sensitive order they were in, from songs expressing rousing hope and camaraderie to ones reflecting the realities of the loss of so many men. Thanks to David who introduced each one so eloquently, and who also raised the mood in the end with an inspired round of Jolly Good Song, much to the quiet relief of some of our audience I think who were transported from 1918 back to their cake and tea! We sang as one body without a conductor at the front, moving together through the more subtle nuances of the songs well, easily and sensitively. Many of the audience said how much they loved the singing, one lady who had spent her life in theatre said she had heard many choirs in her time and hadn't been so moved in ages! Wonderful singing all, a pleasure indeed to be singing with you. Emily

Thanks to Peter B for providing the photos.

Update 27th November 2014: There's an article about the ceremony on the Littlehampton Gazette website.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Singing Our Carols

This rather long post gives notes for the performance of some of our carols at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum on 16th November 2014. Included are a song list, updates to some of the lyrics, the harmony parts to Sweet Chiming Bells, practice recordings for The Moon Shone Bright and The Holly and the Ivy, and an extra note about The Falmer Carol.

Friday, 7 November 2014

New Carols

Following on from practising two new carols, The Falmer Carol and Sweet Chiming Bells, at the Beechwood a few days ago, here are recordings to help with learning the notes. The recordings are computer generated and consequently not very exciting to listen to, but they do have the notes exactly as on the printed sheets that have been handed out. They will play directly from the web page if you have an up-to-date browser. With an older browser you can download the mp3 files to play.

The Falmer Carol:
You can download the mp3 file from OneDrive or Dropbox.

Sweet Chiming Bells:
You can download the mp3 file from OneDrive or Dropbox.

Get the scores:

Keith D

Behold – I bring you glad tidings of exceedingly great joy!

Apologies: this is a bit late but, yes, it's that time of the year, folks! Yes, the Brighton Pub Carols are with us once again. Rehearsals have started but it's not too late to join in! If you would like to become part of the Napier Quire for the festive season, you'll need to attend as many of the rehearsals and pub sessions as you can. The role of the quire is to lead the rest of the pub in song – there are some well-known carols, but we will also be singing several less familiar ones – or different tunes/versions. Words will be provided. This is the most fun you will ever have singing carols and is coupled with a wonderful sense of cameraderie – perfect seasonal behaviour!

The Pub Sessions are:
Tuesday 16th December at The Hartington, Whippingham Road. Start 8.00pm
Saturday 20th December at the Sir Charles Napier, Southover Street. Start 7.30pm
Tuesday 23rd December at the Park Crescent, Park Crescent. Start 8.00pm

Practices will again be on Tuesday evenings at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, off St James's Street. 8.00pm – 10.00pm. Doors open from 7.30pm.

Dates: 4th, 11th, 25th November, 2nd, 9th December. There will be no practice on 18th November.

The facebook page is here – carols (words and some music) will be provided – bring what you have from previous years if you attended as 'audience'.

In the pubs we cheerful neighbours
Talk about our Christmas spree
Pause to spare a thought for all those
Not so fortunate as we
So the turkey and the pudding
Comes upon the tables then
And the alehouse door is opened
Let the poor folk enter in.

Merry Christmas!

Adrian F

Local Group Report – Lewes Tuesday 21st October 2014

Lewes Group report + the forthcoming Brighton Pub Carols

Nine singers met at the Royal Oak at Lewes on 21st October, including returning singer Judy from Hove who attended the original workshops, then had a break before being so impressed when she bumped into us performing at the Brighton University event that she decided to come along and sing with us again. We also welcomed Pat who has just moved from Worthing to Hove and has sung in folk clubs around Arundel, Shoreham and Lewes over more years than she wants me to mention here…

Congratulations to Mac & Margaret who got married on 4th October just round the corner from the Royal Oak at the White Hart Hotel. Also a plug for Mac who is performing as part of acoustic voice & guitar duo "Andy Mac" at the Cellarfolk Club at the Round Georges pub, Sutherland Road, Brighton on 11th November at 8:30ish with a set of sea songs (arrive early to get a seat). Cat & I will definitely be there, everyone else welcome to come along.

Despite the almost balmy evening we launched with great gusto into the carols for the Christmas Fair at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum on 16th November including the folkie version of The Holly and The Ivy and some excellent (though we do say it ourselves) 3 part harmonies to the Falmer Carol and Sweet Bells.

Next month we will be in the small upstairs room at the John Harvey Tavern, Cliffe High St, Lewes BN7 2AN on 18th November as the Royal Oak has a darts match.

Some of our number will once more be joining the Napier Quire in their Brighton Pub Carols sessions. This group lead hearty renditions of Sussex and other carols in pubs in Brighton. The Pub Sessions are:
Tuesday 16th December at The Hartington, Whippingham Road. Start 8.00pm
Saturday 20th December at the Sir Charles Napier, Southover Street. Start 7.30pm
Tuesday 23rd December at the Park Crescent, Park Crescent. Start 8.00pm.

Practices are on Tuesday evenings at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Dorset Gardens, off St James's Street. 8.00pm – 10.00pm. Doors open from 7.30pm. Practice Dates: 4th, 11th, 25th November, 2nd, 9th December. (There will be no practice on 18th November.) Anyone is welcome to all or part of these sessions where words and music are available. See their Facebook page or email me for more information.

The Lewes Group will then be back at the Royal Oak on 16th December for a seasonal get together and with no specific gig immediately on the horizon it can be a free and easy evening to sing anything we fancy on the night.

Look forward to seeing you at a session soon.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Beechwood Hall Meetings in November

UPDATE:  BEECHWOOD HALL Monthly Meeting 5th November / Practice Session 12th November, WDOAM CHRISTMAS MARKET 16th November.

Dear Singers,

Doh! A penny should have dropped a long time ago that the 5th of November was Guy Fawkes Day, but as I live in Littlehampton, and we had the best major celebration in the area last weekend (Ya Boo biggest attendance yet, cars parked in our road a kilometre from the Green), it didn't register!

Quite understandably some singers wish to participate in their local festivities instead of coming to the Beechwood session. You will recall that that was the final date to pick up Singers' free passes for participation at the Christmas Market.

It has therefore been decided to extend the availability of any remaining passes (when they're gone they're gone!) to the Festive Song Practice Session on the 12th as well. The last day for requesting a pass by email to be sent by steam mail, is still the 5th.

If you can make both sessions, all the better, as in addition 16 singers are also supporting  the re-dedication of the WW1 Memorial plaque at the 'Look & See', Littlehampton on the 14th.

Like a bad penny I will be present at both the 5th and 12th to hand out passes.

Look forward to seeing you there.

John C