On November 16th we had a great Jazz workshop with this well known local singer, who taught us some jazz standards as well as popular songs in jazz arrangements, such as Sway...
For our summer term 2019, we sang fabulous folk songs with Chan Reid. She taught us seven songs from Ireland and Scotland, which we learned entirely by ear. Chan worked us hard, but her enthusiasm for this music, which she began learning practically in the cradle, was infectious, and we had a great time. The season concluded with a performance for family and friends at the Angling Club. We had a collection for our chosen charity this year, which raised more than £200 for Hastings Street Pastors.
You can hear us singing The Parting Glass in the YouTube video below. There are more photos lower down.
(These black and white pictures by Danny Mooney)
The evening before the performance we enjoyed an iddylic reahearsal at the bandstand in Alexandra Park...
We celebrated the tenth anniversary of our choir on Sunday April 14th, with a fabulous concert at the Azur in St Leonards. Debbie led us through a selection of the numbers from some of the best-known musicals from Broadway and the West End. When the concert was over, the four founder members cut a cake to celebrate a decade of joyful singing! We raised more than £700 for our chosen charity, XTrax.
Jazz with Liane
On March 16th the amazing Liane Carroll led the choir in a wonderful Jazz workshop. She warmed us up with some practice scat singing, then taught us the Chet Baker song Do It The Hard Way. After lunch we learned Tom Waits' Take Me Home You SIlly Boy and she finished with a jazz take on the classic 1973 Stevie Wonder number You Are The Sunshine Of My Life.
Our annual Christmas concert on December 14th filled pews at All Saint's Church in Hastings Old Town. We treated the crowd to gospel versions of carols and favourite Christmas songs. We were helped along enthusiastically by local steel band Pan Up, who also performed some numbers without the choir.
Many thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to the collection: we raised more than £800 for our selected charity Xtrax.
You can see a video of highlights of the concert by clicking the picture.
On Saturday November 3rd we had a Gospel Workshop with guest MD Daniel Thomas (see above.)
Formerly the director of the London Community Gospel choir, Daniel is an
accomplished singer, songwriter and teacher, and has worked as voice
coach for Girls Aloud, and on the BBC programme ‘Can’t Sing Singers’. Daniel ran a brilliant and enjoyable session, helping us polish our repertoire for our Gospel Christmas concert on December 14th in All Saint's Church in Hastings Old Town.
On Saturday October 13th at St Michael's Hospice's annual fundraiser, the Big Sing, we all had a great time. Fortunately the audience appeared to enjoy it as well, and we raised nearly £170 for this very worthwhile charity. There's still time to sponsor us by clicking here to go to our fund-raising web page.
Rogues and Shanties
This summer the choir enjoyed a season of maritime-themed songs. Led by MD Debbie Warren, we performed our songs of the sea and pirate ditties at three events in the Old Town: on the Stade stage at the Midsummer Fish Fest and Pirate Day; and in Butler's Gap during Old Town Carnival Week. It was a brilliant season of fun and swashbuckling, with unforgettable choruses that we all found ourselves humming the whole hot summer.
At the end of June Sound Waves members enjoyed a one-day gospel workshop led by Daniel Thomas. Formerly director of the world famous London Community Gospel Choir, Daniel has a prominent place in the Gospel music scene in the UK.
Daniel taught the choir half a dozen gospel songs, and we all had a brilliant time, filling the summer air with clapping, stomping and singing, and almost drowning out the roar of the football fans watching the Cup in the pub up the road!
Singing in the Street
This spring we had a fabulous series of sessions with the Amazing Jenny Miller. Entitled Singing in the Streets, Jenny’s programme focused on musical themes that became so popular that they were on everybody’s lips. Minstrels and balladists toured courts and towns singing them. Some began as opera choruses that transcended their origins to achieve popular fame. Others were folk songs that flew round the world — endlessly changing and evolving as they travelled.
Jenny taught us a really engaging clutch of tunes, and then helped us develop an improvised vocal texture piece based on the street names of Hastings.
Jenny used the final three weeks of her time with us to give us a thrilling chance to be part of her Barefoot Opera Company’s A Town, a new music project that tells the story of our lives on the South Coast here and now
Christmas Concert at All Saints' Church
We had a sparkling festive evening on Friday December 15th, when the magnificent All Saints' Church echoed with sounds of our annual Christmas concert. Based on a 12 Days of Christmas theme, the evening combined popular and less-well-known Christmas songs with spoken-word pieces both religious and secular, and performances by the Two Towers Handbells.
The collecting baskets were overflowing afterwards and we raised £760 for our very worthwhile charity, Dragonflies.
You can watch a short video of highlights of the evening by clicking here.
Our Musical Director Debbie Warren conducts the choir at the performance
Final rehearsal in the church
The handbell ringers rehearsing
Warming up for the Christmas season, we visited the RSPCA's animal rescue centre at Mallydams Wood, Fairlight, on December 8th as part of their Winter Wood celebrations and open day. Our MD Debbie Warren accompanied the choir on the piano accordion as we sang a medley of carols and Christmas favourites. It was a cold night, and we sang round a blazing log fire, so we had toasty noses and frosty bums!
Great sound, super atmosphere and lovely to see lots of Sound Waves members in the audience supporting us at our Old Town Carnival gig on August 3rd at Butler's Gap! George Street was filled with joyous singing from choir and audience alike and we brought a bit of sunshine to carnival week! Thanks to our two little helpers Jasmine and Oliver for collecting donations for OHPS - their tins were certainly quite heavy by the end!
All in all a really fun event and great to be singing out in our wonderful home town!
Here are a few more pictures...
Marcio da Silva
In July we had a series of four sessions with Marcio da Silva. He is making 'sound waves' in the world of orchestral and choral music as a conductor, musical director and teacher.
Part of the rationale of having a resident MD was to build a repertoire of songs for the choir to sing anytime, anywhere to as high a standard as possible. To give us some additional support in achieving peak choir performance , and to help everyone to improve their individual singing technique, Marcio took us through several wonderful pieces of music. One which we have sung before and most people love - The Song of the Hebrew Slaves, Nabucco, by Verdi.
Marcio took us through the music in a relaxed, fun way using the pieces to help us understand scores better but also to help us achieve a polished sound and improve individual confidence in singing all sorts of music.
Jazz with Liane
We all had a brilliant evening at the Hastings and St Leonards Angling Association on Thursday 25th May, with the fabulous Liane Carroll,
who led the choir in four wonderful jazz numbers that she had been
teaching us through May. Liane's unique vocal style and brilliant
improvisation on the keyboard helped smooth over any shortcomings in the
This was followed by an open-mic
session in which individuals from the choir sang solo or in duet. It
showcased what amazing vocal talents some of us keep hidden away in the
To wind up a fabulous, friendly gig, Liane performed the title track and another number from her album Seaside, which won the "Best New CD" prize at the British Jazz Awards.
The evening was such a success that we'll be looking at whether we can repeat the format at some point in the future, perhaps with Liane again. Soundwaves members will have a chance to rate this event, along with other recent sessions, in a survey that will be emailed to you shortly.
Thanks to Danny Mooney for the concert pictures.
OLDER SOUNDWAVES SESSIONS
On Sunday April 30th Soundwaves took to the stage at the White Rock theatre with a programme of music from the 50s and 60s. Entitled "Good Vibrations", the performance included numbers by the Beach Boys, the Chordettes, Bob Marley, the Everly Brothers, the Mamas and the Papas and, the Beatles.The choir was joined by special guests Hastings Old Town Ukelele Group, who entertained the audience in the interval, and on stage afterwards.
Led by MD Debbie Warren in the Sussex Room, the event played to a capacity crowd, which included the deputy mayor. A collection afterwards raised £515 for local charity Counselling Plus. You can watch a short video by clicking here.
Beatles Day 18
The Annual Beatles Day event at the White Rock Theatre isn't a headline concert for the choir, but it's always a welcome opportunity to perform in front of an audience and soak up some applause. This year – the 18th Hastings Beatles Day – was no exception. We did just three songs this year, instead of the usual four, and by spreading our rehearsal efforts less thinly, we were able to put on a slightly more polished show than usual. The practice really shows up on the video, with crisp hamonies and confident lyrics.
Well done to all those who took part, and very many thanks to those who contributed to the organising charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.
Our Facebook page continues to attract visitors
and reaches quite a large audience. We would like to thank Margaret Trowell for taking over the admin of the page from Cheryl Chitty.
The FB page gives us another way of
spreading our information to a wider audience. If you have friends or family
who wish to know what is going on then please let them know about this
page. Also, if you have photos of the choir together with when and where
they were taken then could you pass them on to a member of the committee
please. It will be an ideal place to share our photos. Please feel free
to add comments or questions on the page.
The name of
the page is Sound Waves Community Choir, Hastings
Here is the link
to time members complain that they have not received a particular
message. Our mail messages are sent out in bulk and sometimes are held up
by different email servers. If this has happened to you then try the
following steps to ensure you receive your emails promptly.
1. Put firstname.lastname@example.org in
your contacts list.
that emails from us are not going into your spam folder.
If you aren't sure if you have
registered for an event then try these steps.
1. Log out and log in again
2. Go to the event -
if you see the 'Register' button
then you aren't registered.
If you can see the music then you