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!