…and Good will to All Men!

Choir membership certainly enhances our experiences in the Festive Season. Our first Christmassy concert (actually in November) for the Being There group in Eccles put us all in merry mood and the fun continued right through to our last performance on 13th December  (a few photos are provided below). Next, we had a lovely time entertaining the Friends of Roe Green in a very traditional English setting; they kindly entertained us in return, with mince pies and tea and a chance to socialise.

We were delighted that we had a ‘full house’ audience at our grand Christmas Concert at Eccles Town Hall (ECHO, https://ecclestownhall.org/  ). It’s so lovely to have a large, appreciative audience; the applause is always a real thrill. It was the first concert for two of our newer members. They were ever so slightly terrified before we started, but they absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the next one!

We rounded off our Christmas performances at the Trafford Centre https://intu.co.uk/traffordcentre  , collecting over £400 (donations to The Christie and Care UK). Thanks to the extremely helpful staff at the Trafford Centre, it was a stress-free experience and we thoroughly enjoyed injecting some Christmas spirit amongst the shoppers. We were very lucky to have friends of the Choir helping with the collection. Our star bucket shaker had to be Alan, who came as Father Christmas riding a reindeer!

Being part of Eccles Community Choir really helps to make Christmas a Blast- we have such happy times together. Nobody could possibly work harder than Music Director Angela and Accompanist John in making sure that what we do is always to a very high standard but also fun with wonderful friends. Singing together for pleasure and friendship is always great, but doing it at Christmas time is truly special. Merry Christmas everyone! If you fancy joining a Choir, you can always come along in the New Year and give us a try.

Where did Summer Go? New Choir year starts

In addition to typical Choir activities, being part of Eccles Community Choir gives many opportunities to socialize and have fun with a lovely mixture of people in our own special way. We like to keep in touch, and we use emails, Facebook and Whatsapp within the Choir membership. Our social events always include something that would not otherwise be experienced at an individual level.

Choir year runs from September to July, with a ‘break’ in August. However! Over the years, we have had many wonderful opportunities to participate several summer trips abroad which have all involved singing (Germany, Belgium and the Menin Gate, Carnegie Hall USA) and a number of UK based trips. We now have a Trips Fund because these activities are so much a part of the Eccles Community Choir experience. In 2018-19, there was a marvellous trip to a Northern Ireland Music Festival competition – there’s always a new experience on the horizon for the Choir!

Not everyone in the Choir is able to go on the big trips. We have a number of people who are carers, others with health issues, who can find it difficult to get out and about. So, we also try to organise activities that will meet the needs of everyone in Choir. With no big summer trip planned this year, we searched for an outing which would enable as many people as possible to attend. In August, we met up for a group trip to Leighton Hall, the ancestral estate of the Gillow family,  world-renowned furniture makers, who joined forces with a Liverpool firm, resulting in the noted Waring & Gillow manufacturers.

The whole event was really well organised and well-managed. We felt so welcome; Gillow family member, Mrs Reynolds herself greeted us and took time to speak with us.  Our tour guide was so patient and a veritable ‘mine’ of interesting information. There was a highly educational and entertaining birds of prey demonstration and a delicious high tea was served with friendly professionalism; all our various dietary requirements were well catered for.

Harris hawk – yes we got that close !

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. I’m sure we will all be recommending Leighton Hall to our friends and to other singers. We have a good number of keen gardeners in the Choir; the beautiful gardens and breath-taking surroundings were also much appreciated.

Delightful High Tea

Of course, the most magical part of our visit was, for us, the opportunity ( with special permission) to sing in the music salon – it was obvious that John loved playing the Steinway grand piano!

So lucky we could perform in this wonderful space

Here is a link to a video taken by a friend of the Choir when we sang ‘I’ve Never Been in Love Before’  from Guys and Dolls – sound quality of the recording somewhat limited, but you can see how much we enjoyed ourselves!

Singing I’ve never Been in Love Before

We are back at Branwood School for our first practice session of the year (& AGM) on Tuesday 10th September. If you fancy the idea of singing together for pleasure and friendship and you are considering joining a Choir, you could not do better than joining this one!  Now’s your chance! Come along and give us a try, see what you think. If you would prefer to watch us perform (and maybe sing along?) please check out the Practice Dates & Concerts Dates page of this website –  we love large audiences!

Friday 19th July 2019 : May it Be… that we can Boost your well-being!

Some people love fantasy-world stories; The Lord of the Rings, being probably the best known, has always had a strong presence in the both the literary world and, more recently at the cinema.  These stories draw parallels between lives inhabited in an imaginary environment and those of the very real world we live in.

In our lives, we all experience gifts, joys, pleasures, challenges, struggles, desires and hopes; and for most of us, an inexorable anticipation exists of the ‘happy ending’ to our own individual stories. Of course, there are many who find no attraction in fantasy-world fiction, so it’s quite possible you have never read Tolkien’s books or watched the movies. Quite a number of the Choir were in that boat when we started to learn a medley of music taken from the Lord of The rings film score.  Still, the music is beautiful even if you don’t know the story.

One piece has stuck with us from that medley, perhaps because its sentiments are relevant to everyone. ‘May it Be’ is a kind of ‘Blessing Song’; poignant and uplifting – see if you agree by listening to the song in our video below.

Singing together for friendship and pleasure really helps our individual and collective well-being in Eccles Community Choir. The result of the work we put in is a ‘blessing’ we can offer to others, that is, a concert to share with the whole community. We want to give your well-being a boost; we sing a wide repertoire of music, to suit the whole family, in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. In turn, a large, appreciative audience gives us a real boost too! Come along next Friday if you can ( 7.30, Eccles Town Hall M30 0LH, https://ecclestownhall.org, admission £5) it will definitely do us all good!