Seasonal Songs at the Intu Trafford Centre : help us with your Christmas Shopping!

Merry-Christmas-Animated-christmas-9299691-547-530

Make sure that you look out for us on Thursday 13th December at the Trafford Centre.

We will be there with our collection buckets singing seasonal songs upstairs on regent Crescent outside Debenhams to help you enjoy your Christmas Shopping.

Speaking of shopping…If you shop online, please would you do so via this Easy Fundraising link :

https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/ecclescommunitychoir/

It won’t cost you anything and you won’t be subjected  to any adverts. The company you buy from will make a donation to the choir.  Over 3000 of the big retailers have signed up to this scheme. They want to donate to good causes and you can tell them who you want them to donate to. Isn’t it brilliant? Of course there are lots of other Easy Fundraising good causes you can choose here if you prefer, but I hope you will choose the choir. It will help to keep our subscriptions low and could help hundreds of people in the wider community to access our wholesome entertainment by helping to cover our performance costs.

On my PC, I have bookmarked the link on my web browser, so I can just click on it anytime I want to shop online and I have downloaded the app onto my phone. -easy-peasy! Even a small online purchase earns pennies for the choir! Yay! And pennies make pounds!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas is Coming!

 

We are delighted that we have been invited to perform at the MediaCityUK first official Christmas Light Switch On!

Join us on Thursday the 22nd November on Media City Plaza from 5pm for a festive evening of entertainment, great food, and Christmas drinks. The event will be hosted by the BBC Breakfast‘s legendary Mike Bushell. We will be performing first, in a stellar line up of local community groups, including Salford Steel and Reflections dance troop. There will be Christmas Market stalls at the Lowry too.

Organised in partnership with Wild in Art, The Christmas Light Switch On will also launch ‘Walking with The Snowman’, a wintry walk around MediaCityUK to mark the 40th anniversary of Raymond Briggs’ heart-warming tale, ‘The Snowman’. The Snowman sculptures will be waiting to be discovered on this family-friendly trail.

Another Date for your Diary

Our Christmas concert is at 7.30 pm on Friday 7th December 2018 at Eccles Town Hall  (ECHO). we keep the ticket price as low as we can,  so as many people as possible can come along . Adults pay £5 on the door; children accompanied by an adult get in free. The musical programme will have something for everyone, including lots of songs to get you in the mood for Christmas! There will be a raffle and a yummy cake stall, and ECHO will provide a fully licensed bar, along with refreshments at the interval. Please join us.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

By the Community, For the Community …and an International one at that!

 

Bruge cathedral

Our final performance of the 2017-18 summer term was for the Being There community support group in Eccles. To do all we can for our local community, we aim to provide local concerts at the lowest possible ticket cost. Sometimes the choir bears the cost of concerts given to particular community groups; where the benefit of free entertainment is paramount; and of course we really enjoy performing!

Clearly, community engagement is central to what we do. Members of the community come together in our choir to sing for pleasure and friendship.   Thanks to the very hard work of our Musical Director, Angela and Accompanist John, the ‘sum of the parts’ exceeds the talent of the individuals and we make a truly uplifting sound. Whilst singing practice and concert performance are proven to be beneficial to one’s well-being in many ways, friendship is our ethos. Through friendship, all sorts of other activities come into the reach of our members. For example, we can make group bookings for the theatre, and organise a variety of social activities amongst ourselves; most recently a summer treasure hunt and garden party.

In addition to enabling individual friendships, the Choir itself extends the hand of friendship to the wider community.  Obviously, most of such efforts are dedicated to the local community, with concerts in Eccles and other parts of Salford.  However we venture further afield to support good causes and to help raise funds for them – for example, the Mill fundraising concert at St Michael’s Bramhall seems to have become an annual event.

Membership of the choir also enables once-in a lifetime experiences which would very probably never otherwise become available to most of us. One of these in the recent past was performing at the Carnegie Hall in New York. As for this year – earlier in the year, we participated in a competition at the Chester music festival, where we were awarded a very respectable second place! The trip was rounded off with afternoon tea and performing in an evening concert in Wales – we certainly make the most of a day out!

In August, the Choir visited Salford’s Twin Town, Lünen as part of a European tour. We are very grateful to Salford Council’s Town Twinning Committee for the £500 grant awarded to support this visit. Thanks also to the new Salford Town Twinning Association for publicising our visit. The choir sang at a church service at Martin Luther Kirche in Brambauer before performing our main concert to a packed church of St Georg, which earned two standing ovations. With the fitting title of ‘Pot Pourri’, the programme ranged from Purcell, Handel and Mendelssohn, through Beethoven and Grieg to Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Loesser and Howard Shore. The lovely people of Lünen have invited us back to perform again  in 2020. The tour also included performances at Bruges Cathedral (pictured above) and the very moving experience of  singing at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate where over 800 people were gathered (see video below). It is such a joy to be a part of Eccles Community Choir and such a privilege to represent Eccles and Salford in our performances.

Maybe you would like to join us? There is no audition, why not come along on a Tuesday evening and give us a try? The first session of the 2018-2019 choir year is Tues 11th September at Branwood School, 7.15pm start. You won’t find a friendlier community choir than ours!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mum’s the word….

ECC front

On Friday 9th March, we had the privilege of performing once more at St Michael’s Bramhall. The evening’s events raised over £400.00 in support of a very worthy cause – the Mill Youth Centre.

19366527_10211547835404589_4824440739992711544_n(1)

 

At  this concert marking the beginning of the Mothering Sunday weekend, we had a very welcome guest, poet Florence Remmer  (pictured, left), who is the mother of one of the members of our choir.  Florence recited one of her excellent poems, about the ‘choir’ of the dawn chorus heralding Spring.  It was also Florence’s birthday and she was quite delighted when we sang an impromptu ‘Happy Birthday’. We also had  Angela’s wonderfully well-behaved four month old grandson in the audience. We were all provided with shining examples of the important bond between a mother and her offspring; so evident it was almost tangible. Everyone knows the importance of good and loving family relationships and appreciate the joys children can bring; although not everyone is lucky enough to experience such beneficial relationships in their own immediate family.

Our Choir operates very much like a family, with like-mindedness, Ecc from rtand cooperation in making music together. Also, we have the culture of a happy family with genuine care and support for each other. Being part of a choir is not just about the singing; it offers important psycho-social support to each one of us; especially for the older members of the choir.

There is evidence which confirms how valuable such a family culture amongst friends may be, especially in our later years. The findings of two studies (one examined 270,000 people in nearly 100 countries and the other looked at 7,500  older Americans) were reported  in a recent edition of the scholarly journal, ‘Personal Relationships’. Author William Chopik was somewhat surprised to discover that both family and friend relationships were associated with better health and happiness overall. But at advanced ages, the link remained only for people who reported strong friendships. It is now clear that friends become increasingly important to health and happiness as people age.  Chopik found that having supportive friendships in old age is very crucial; they provide a stronger predictor of well-being than having strong family connections.

Added to the health and well being benefits of our musical activities, the family atmosphere of a choir clearly means so much to individual well-being. We are so lucky to have our choir!

At St Michael’s, we received excellent feedback from an appreciative audience. Hopefully our concerts have a positive impact on the well-being of those who attend our concerts.  Please do come along and enjoy our wide and varied repertoire at our forthcoming events:

Wednesday 18th April Evening Concert, St Peter & St Paul’s , Park Road Salford, with  the Czech Youth Choir
Friday 27th April 7.30pm Spring Concert, ECHO
Saturday 12th May 7.30pm Concert St James’ Church, Hope

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The More the Merrier at Christmas… please make sure you find time to come to our concert!

We have been working very hard preparing for all our seasonal performances. We sang at Failsworth Town Hall last week and will be performing for the Friends of Roe Green on Wednesday 6th December. Please do join us and  let everyone know about our concert at Eccles Town Hall (ECHO) on Friday 8th December, starting at 7.30pm. There will be a very varied seasonal programme, a raffle, a cake stall and an intermission with refreshments provided by ECHO.  Adults and accompanied children most welcome – the more the Merrier.

Here is a taster video of us learning a new piece at a Branwood School Tuesday evening practice. There are no auditions for our community choir; perhaps you would like to join us in the New Year?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here Comes Autumn and the start of a new year for the Choir

Here is a little sample from our Summer Concert at Eccles Town Hall.  William Barnes’s poem My Orcha’d In Lindèn Lea was set to music in 1901 by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).  This beautiful song really brings to mind the end of summer.

Our new Choir year starts today, if you would like to join us, just come along on a Tuesday evening. Or perhaps you would like to come to one of our concerts. You will be most welcome!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Four concerts, a wedding and a funeral

We had a very busy summer term, with some great highs and some very sad lows. It is quite wonderful that being in the choir provides a huge source of friendship and support whatever the circumstances; enriching our lives.

On Saturday 3rd June, with the help of funding from the Big Lottery Fund, we had a splendid Day trip to Chester, followed by afternoon tea and an evening Concert at St Chad’s, Hanmer ( http://parish.churchinwales.org.uk/a110/). Our concert was very well received; the audience found our repertoire to be a refreshing change from the types of concerts which are normally held there. It was a beautiful venue, we were made most welcome and it was a real privilege to sing in such a stunning setting with wonderful acoustics. It was wonderful to join with new friends in the enjoyment of music and song. It was very late when the choir returned to Salford, horrified on returning home to learn about the unfolding tragedy at the Ariande Grande concert.  It brought a stunned silence…people attacked where they had gathered to enjoy music and song…it has only now, as the summer draws to a close, seemed possible to write about it on this blog.

On Saturday 17th June we gave a fundraising Concert at St James’ Church Eccles Old Road. It was delightful to see the ladies on the refreshment & raffle stall at the back of the church dancing to our Abba medley! A very pleasant evening for us all.  In addition, the afternoon ‘Tea Break’ concert at Bramhall Baptist Church on 12th July was good fun. Our hosts went to trouble to make us feel welcome, including some pertinent jokes; it was a light and frothy afternoon, lifting everyone’s spirits.

On 14th July, we raised our voices at our Summer concert at Eccles Town Hall (ECHO, https://ecclestownhall.org/) to raise funds for the upkeep of the choir, with some of the proceeds going into our starter fund for next years’ travels. This venue is important to us because we are Eccles Community Choir and the Hall is the key volunteer-run community space for Eccles. However, we have to pay to perform here, so it is crucial that we get a good sized audience at the Hall to at least cover our costs. Thankfully, the audience seems to grow with each concert – please do come along to our annual Christmas, Spring and Summer Concerts. You will be supporting us and ECHO.

On 5th August, the choir was invited to sing at a wedding at St Peter’s church, Prestbury. As Sarah and Thomas made their vows, the choir celebrated with them. The bride sent us the following message:

“I just want to send you an email to say a massive thank you for all your hard
work with the choir and for singing at our wedding. It was a pleasure to
have you there and you were wonderful!
It was nice to have a lot of smiling faces at me in the choir when I was at
the front feeling very nervous, it relaxed me! Can’t thank you enough.”

On 6th August, a member of the choir, Agnes, sadly passed away. She was 91 years old and she had a happy death. Agnes sang in the choir for seven years, from 2004 to 2011. She never really left the choir though, because she came to many of our concerts and kept in touch with her friends in the choir. Agnes’ Funeral was on 22nd August at St Luke’s RC Church, Salford and twenty-three members of the choir managed to attend. We gave her a marvellous send-off and according to her wishes, we attended the ‘party’ afterwards; over 100 people came to celebrate her life. We received many compliments about our singing at the funeral; Agnes would have been totally overwhelmed and delighted by it all.

So, the summer break was actually quite eventful and we are back at Branwood School on 12th September, ready to start preparations for autumn and winter performances. We are open to new members and there are no auditions; come along and give us a try, or come and listen to us perform – the more, the merrier!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment