At times of conflict and uncertainty in the wider world, what better way to challenge yourself in the New Year, than by resolving to create more harmony closer to home. How? By rediscovering your love of singing…
If you’ve ever sung in a choir, you’ll already know that singing is a great way to activate those happy hormones and create a sense of unity with others, while expressing yourself through the power of music. But did you also know that singing has many physical and mental health benefits - from improving memory and lung function, to reducing stress and pain levels?
The Surrey Hills Chamber Choir, based in Guildford, is living proof of the positive impact that joining a choir can have. It gives its singers the opportunities not just to sing in many harmonious arrangements (and different styles and languages), but also to engage directly with audience to communicate all the emotions of a song.
This exciting approach has earned the choir a string of accolades and awards at competitions in Cheltenham, Cardiff, Manchester and Choir of the Year, and has given its singers the chance to perform at incredible choral festivals such as the Llangollen International Eisteddfod and at European festivals in Vienna and Barcelona. They’ve even been known to give a flash-mob performance in the restaurant afterwards, while celebrating their success on stage!
Of course, such results don’t come without challenges. Getting the perfect blend of voices is always front of mind for Music Director, Debbie Walton. And the choir is currently looking for more bass, tenor and alto voices to balance out those beautiful top notes. Repertoire is varied and standards are high, often singing in eight part harmony, so the ability to hold a part is key. And the musical style could be anything from medieval or classical to contemporary, whether gospel, folk or a jazz standard. But this variety and challenge is all part of what delights and invigorates the singers.
As Bass voice, Graham Webb, put it, “Surrey Hills Chamber Choir is more than just 'a bit of singing'. It’s a musical family where everybody knows and trusts everybody else, where great fun and great pride are taken in performing and travelling together, where high standards are achieved through commitment and hard work.” Alto, Christine Parrott, agrees, “We are friends as well as a choir and enjoy each other’s company as much as the music.”
The choir rehearses weekly together on Wednesday evenings in central Guildford, where it also performs two concerts every year. Its events programme is agreed collectively by its singers, with non-singing family members welcome to join trips away.
OPEN REHEARSAL FOR ALTOS, TENORS AND BASSES
JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF SINGING. ALL WELCOME!
7.30pm, 10th January 2024*
Guildford URC, 83 Portsmouth Rd, Guildford GU2 4BS
Contact email@example.com Visit www.singsurreyhills.com
(Or to come along to any Wednesday rehearsal, please contact Debbie)