Heyford Singers – July & August 2020

HeyfordSingersJuly2020

Quiz question
When did the song above hit the No 1 spot in the music charts?

I think most people reading this article would agree that if a lockdown had to be imposed, there is no better place to experience it than by living in Nether Heyford. The ready access to beautiful open countryside which surrounds the village, the large village green and open spaces within the area, have enabled folk to enjoy exercise and being outdoors whilst appreciating nature in all its glory as the seasons have changed. Praise too to the local shops which, in times of queues and shortages, have kept the local community continually supplied with food and other goods, whilst the take-aways and book swaps offered by the pubs have provided relief and pleasure.

As the lockdown measures gradually ease it has been a delight to see small groups of pre-school children walking around the village, and the quieter, but still noticeable sounds of children back at Bliss School. The Pizza Van is ‘back in town’, hungry customers patiently waiting for their orders whilst they sit and play on the green, and there is now a steady march of twos or fours towards the tennis courts and playing fields.

In the days and weeks to come we will hopefully see more signs of this cautious awakening, the church and chapel offering the opportunity for quiet reflection and prayer, if not yet large group gatherings or celebratory events, additional sporting activities at the playing fields, and maybe pints enjoyed in pub gardens!

Our little village hall, both a visual and metaphorical hub for the local community still remains closed… except for the wonderful work of volunteers who gather there weekly to sort and distribute food boxes to older and less mobile people in the village. They have, and still continue to do, a sterling job – thank you to each and every one!

I do miss the ‘business’ of the village hall, the full car park evidence that inside people were socialising, exercising, honing their skills and learning – W I meetings, bowling, yoga, Pilates, and taekwondo, gardening and flower arranging, sewing and patchwork, singing, films, quizzes and parties. Our local meeting place is very much the centre of village life and all that we enjoy. Sadly it has been unable to bask in our appreciation of its value, now and in years past, as the 60th anniversary celebrations also fell victim to the Covid 19 lockdown. But I have no doubt that Alwyne (Chairman) and all members of the village hall committee and friends are working hard to ensure that as soon as it is safe and wise to do so, we may again enjoy all the benefits the village hall offers.

Quiz question answer. This was the No 1 hit, and best-selling single, when the village hall was opened on 8th May 1960 by Lord Spencer, and maybe danced to at celebrations that evening or weekend. It remained at the No 1 spot for 7 weeks!

Appropriately now I give you our village hall Chairman’s choice of music should she be cast far away on a desert island, where there is no village hall, no nasty virus, but also no community to be part of!

Thank you Alwyne

I wish everyone a safe and sunny summer, which I hope will slowly and carefully return us to our busy vibrant community!

Desert Island Discs – your choices – Alwyne Wilson:

I usually prefer classical music, especially baroque, but at the moment whilst I’m wading through an extremely tedious and time-consuming list of admin tasks for my family, I feel I need some diverting company – hence this list of vocalists:

Mamma Mia! Of course.
Aled Jones – I’ve been a fan since his choirboy days.
Barbara Dickson – always wished I could sing like her.
Katherine Jenkins – ditto –
Hayley Westenra – ditto – (In my dreams I can sing both soprano and alto)
Alfie Boe – some friends of mine met him many years ago and became friends. I feel therefore I have an affinity with him.
Neil Diamond – Fantastic! Makes an old lady very happy.

Jill Langrish

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – Desert Island Discs – June 2020

Desert Island Discs – your choices

Below is another selection of favourite music chosen by one of our readers. We
thoroughly enjoyed reading and listening to this choice, so thank you Mick.

Jill Langrish

Mick Watts’ Desert Island Discs – May 2020

I never realised quite how difficult it would be to choose just 8 pieces of music – almost every piece brings back memories of certain times and places. I have chosen 8 classical pieces and 8 more popular compositions and as the choices are so tenuous have placed them in alphabetical order. If pushed for just eight I would choose those with the *.

*Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor
Abba – I have a Dream
*Carly Simon – No Secrets
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major
*Dire Straits – So Far Away
Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
*Joaquin Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez
Dire Straits – Money for Nothing
*Ludovico Einaudi – Divenire
Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
*Steeleye Span – Thomas the Rhymer
Fairport Convention – Sir Patrick Spens
*The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
Ludovico Einaudi – Andare
*Wagner – Overture to Tanhäuser
Ludovico Einaudi – Oltremare

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 in C Minor is arguably the best piano composition of all time. Such virtuosity required to play. First heard it live at the Birmingham Symphony Hall, conducted and played by Vladimir Ashkenazy. A bit disappointing really as he was seemingly not able to give his full attention to either the orchestra or the piano and his antics rather distracted from the overall performance. But then, quite recently, I heard both piano concertos 3 and 4 played by Krystian Zimerman with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein, which were absolutely sublime and would be an extremely hard act to follow. Those are the recordings I have chosen.

On the other page so to speak is the contemporary concert pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi. I have several of his CD’s and had tried, with limited success, to replicate some of his compositions on our piano. My excuse is that he must have a very large finger span. Anyway, I went to the Birmingham Town Hall to see his concert with my elder daughter and having fought our way through a jam packed Christmas market only just made it in time. It was as expected a brilliant performance and it was just as if his hands were hovering over the keyboard yet this magnificent sound was produced. I would need to play 8 hours a day for 10 years of lockdown to come close.

What can I say? Virtuoso guitar performances by Mark Knoppler. Just magical. We used to put the Brothers in Arms audio cassette on when we travelled down to Devon when the girls were quite young. They always said “can we have the Whoo Hoo song” (The Walk of Life) and they laughed and giggled for ages. It certainly delayed the cries of “are we nearly there yet”. With so many people in enforced isolation the song I have chosen could be rather apt but the Brothers in Arms track would be just great as a finale.

The sheer volume generated by The Who is almost enough to blow your brains out. A classic.

And the Overture to Tanhäuser by Wagner always makes my neck hairs stand up.

Last year we went to The Stables at Wavendon near Milton Keynes to see the 50th Anniversary tour of the reformed Steeleye Span, wondering if they may have lost a bit of magic. We need not have worried as they were great. Jessie May Smart, the classically trained violinist in their latest line up brought a new dimension to the band and harmonised well with Maddy Prior. Again a difficult choice of their repertoire – The Wife of Ushers Well and 700 Elves just losing out.

Carly Simon is in another class act – she had such a vocal range. A recent TV programme entitled ‘No Secrets’ was indeed apt and showed that she certainly led a full, uninhibited life as many of her songs portray. Her voice is still fantastic.

Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez is for me one of the most relaxing guitar pieces ever. You can close your eyes and be transported.

Mick Watts

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – June 2020

HeyfordSingersJune2020

Quiz question (for we are all into quizzes now)
Where and when was the song above played, sung along to, and greatly enjoyed?

It has been a truly beautiful spring and early summer. And despite other restrictions we may have, there is no doubt that nature in her true glory, has softened the anxieties of the past few weeks. Sitting watching the sun set in the early evening, we are often serenaded by a blackbird who routinely perches on a tree in our garden. How privileged to have this free daily concert!

If the flowers and trees have provided the rich tapestry of spring and early summer, it is the birds that provide the musical accompaniment. From very early in the morning these feathered choristers can be heard, outside our bedroom windows, cajoling us into action. Like eternal optimists their songs have the ability to brighten each day. The robin’s song is beautiful and joyful, as if sung with all his heart and soul, and unlike other birds can be heard all year round. The full-throated melody of the blackbird is one of our best loved songs; as soon as green shoots appear he bursts into song from dawn until dusk. A tribute to the fact that size is not everything, the tiny wren has a lively and full-throated warbling song, whilst that of the great tit resembles a squeaky wheel! The much loved visitor to our gardens, the blue tit, has a loud and high pitched song which ends with a long rapid trill. Were you fortunate to hear a cuckoo this year? For me the best of all is the rich, high pitched song of the skylark as he soars upwards in a blue summer sky before plunging downwards …. and the melody stops, as if on cue! I have yet to hear a skylark this year, but as the lockdown eases and we venture further, both in distance and into longer summer days, I hope to enjoy what the poet George Meredith described as “ a silver chain of sound”.

If I have to wait a little longer for that real skylark song then there will always be the beautiful “The Lark Ascending” by Vaughan Williams, to listen to again … and again, and now rightfully acknowledged as one of the nation’s favourite pieces of music.

If I want another music genre to celebrate the joy of our feathered friends, there is the wonderful compilation between Yehudi Menuhin (violin) and Stephan Grappelli (violin and piano) entitled “Strictly for the Birds” – “ A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”, “Lullaby of Birdland” and “Bye, Bye Blackbird” amongst the many great tracks.

So back to the song quoted at the top of this article and the quiz question.

Answer During the 1980s and 90s at Bliss School a little teddy bear, called William Bliss, travelled the world in the company of a pilot friend of headteacher Alan Watson. Every time William arrived in a new destination he sent the school a postcard to be read and shared by everyone, and this was heralded by playing and singing the song above. Happy memories, but also happy thoughts that soon we may all enjoy places and people who are further afield. Until then keep safe, keep well and keep smiling.

Jill Langrish

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – Desert Island Discs – May 2020

Desert Island Discs – your choices

In response to my request to readers last month I have had a few replies. I am going to begin with the one from Keith Rands-Allen, and for this reason… as many of you may know Keith experienced a horrific road accident two summers ago. It has been a long and, at times difficult journey, back to full health and mobility. But his determination and resilience to “return to normal”, together with the support of Julie, his friends and family, is surely something that we all aspire to in these difficult times.

Jill Langrish

Keith Rands-Allen’s Desert Island Discs – 29th March 2020

I’ve always been a great lover of Jazz music since my early teens. When my friends were listening to Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley I was listening to Acker Bilk and Chris Barber, and the love of Jazz has stayed with me to this day. If you come to our house you will invariably find Alexa playing the American radio station Jazz24.

So these are the musicians and their recordings that have accompanied my life:

Singin’ the Blues by Frankie Trumbauer and his Orchestra with Bix Beiderbecke on
cornet. (1927): Bix was one of the finest and most influential trumpet players of his age and a great influence on many Jazz trumpeters who followed him. Like many Jazz musicians he died tragically early in 1931 aged 28. His playing in Singin’ the Blues stands head and shoulders above the other musicians and his tone (“like shooting silver bullets at a bell”) melodic phrasing and rhythmic invention are exquisite.

Tiger Rag by Chris Barber (1953): This was the record that turned me on to Jazz. It was in a record collection in a house that I holidayed in around 1956 and I couldn’t stop playing it. The banjo player is Lonnie Donegan who later became very popular in the Skiffle craze.

Two Sleepy People by Fats Waller: Fats was a great favourite of my Dad. Fats was
a fine pianist, composer (Honeysuckle Rose) and singer with a wicked sense of
humour.

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong: Louis possessed two amazing
instruments – his trumpet and his voice, and this is a wonderful recording of his voice in later life after he’d been forced to give up blowing. His timing and phrasing are perfect. It’s also a favourite of Julie’s.

Jungle Town by Ken Colyer: Ken was an irascible British trumpet player and band
leader who insisted on sticking to the original purity of New Orleans Jazz. Having been partly responsible for the Trad Jazz boom of the sixties he came to despise its commercial excesses and went his own sweet way playing to small audiences in small Jazz Clubs. This recording has Ken playing (in a school hall in Edmonton) a fine trumpet line, but I think is notable for the last few choruses which demonstrate ensemble Jazz playing at its glorious raggy best!

Fine and Mellow by Billie Holiday: This was recorded for television and is available as a video on YouTube. It’s notable not only for Billie in relaxed voice but also for the galaxy of Jazz stars that accompany her including (In order of solos) Ben Webster (tenor sax), Lester Young (tenor sax), Vic Dickinson (trombone), Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax), Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), and Roy Eldridge (trumpet). Billie and Lester hadn’t worked together for some time and the expression on Billie’s face when Lester plays his wonderfully cool solo speaks volumes.

Bill by Cleo Laine: This comes from the musical Showboat which Julie and I saw (to mixed reviews! ) in the West End. I can’t listen to this with a dry eye. It’s a sloppy sentimental tune but Cleo’s interpretation is wonderful. The lyrics were originally written by P G Wodehouse.

Concerto for 2 Violins by Bach: This is just liquid beauty. They say that if Bach had been alive today he’d have been a Jazzer, which is why I think he is probably my favourite classical composer.

Then there’s all the stuff that I’d try to grab as the ship was sinking and smuggle ashore: Vissi D’arte by Maria Callas, Potato Head Blues by Louis Armstrong, how could I leave out Barbra Streisand, or something by Duke Ellington or Count Basie? And then there’s Art Tatum and Miles Davis, and I can’t leave out something by that fine guitar player Gary Potter. It’s so cruel having to choose! Oh God, I’ve just played Nimrod again – how can I leave that out?

Well, there we have it. I’ve put a date on it because if I had to choose again
tomorrow I would no doubt change something.

The book I would take? I’m not a great reader, but The Complete Works of
Shakespeare would be useful – I would keep the sonnets and the rest would come
in handy for lighting fires.

And my luxury? Probably a saxophone (alto or tenor) with a supply of reeds. I could then learn to play the thing properly and play along with my Jazz heroes. Or better still – a fully loaded I-pod complete with a solar battery charger and earphones!

Enough of this torture! It’s time to send the list to Jill.

In the unlikely event that anybody would like some or all of these tracks on a CD I’d be happy to oblige.

Keith Rands-Allen

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – May 2020

HeyfordSingersMay2020

A very Happy Birthday to all who celebrated birthdays during April (or since this current lock-down began). It was probably very different from how you’d expected or planned, without gatherings of friends or family to celebrate your day. Mine began with a 7.00 am telephone chorus of “Happy Birthday” from all my grandchildren, which fortunately I have kept it as an answerphone message for when I want to hear their joyful voices again.

We honoured Isabel Billingham, a very special lady in our community and in Manor Park, for her 90th birthday, with neighbours and friends gathering in the road to sing “Happy Birthday”, accompanied by Keith Rands-Allen on his saxophone. It was a really lovely occasion.

As this most beautiful of springtime unwinds, we are being treated to a daily
symphony of birdsong, from early morning until dusk. We now have the time to stop, to listen and to marvel at the different melodies being performed around us. The silence is also very obvious. Was the world so noisy and full of busy sounds that we have bypassed the magic of silent moments in our lives?

The quieter but distant hum from the motorway, or the less frequent trains hurtling north or south, are a reminder of those who have to travel to work, to keep us safe, healthy, fed and our utilities maintained.

When the telephone rings now it invariably means that a family member or friend
wants to have a chat, no need now for quick texts of emails, but to share and talk about ourselves and our days at home. Similarly I love to hear the 2 metre social distance “Hellos” or conversations as we pass other folk out on their daily exercise routes pass – suffice it to say that we have all made many, many more friends during this period than we would have done driving along in our cars.

I leave the most moving sound of all to last… that of the weekly Thursday night
applause for all those who are supporting us through these strange times, everyone in the hospitals, care homes, shops, schools, all those who deliver and collect for us. That simple act of clapping together, everywhere and by everyone, is truly amazing and heartfelt.

Keep safe, keep well and keep smiling.

Jill Langrish

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – April 2020

HeyfordSingersApril2020

A few weeks ago we went to see a wonderful production of “The King and I’” at the Milton Keynes theatre. The story and its history, the songs and music are familiar to us, but we were intrigued by the scenes that focused on Anna demanding her own house! For those new to the story, it is about an English governess, Anna who is contracted to teach the numerous children of the King of Siam. The promise of having her own house doesn’t happen, so during those long months Anna focuses on teaching only songs, rhymes, stories, historical and geographical information all about houses, and homes, until the king finally relents!

Fast forward a month and it seems uncanny that we are all now looking towards spending considerably more time in our own houses, our own homes, away from other people. A house is bricks and mortar, but a home is what we fill it with, it is what makes it unique, our personal choices, our comforts, our memories, our family links, etc. And in the days ahead we have the opportunity, and time, to perhaps selfishly indulge in all these personal attributes. Radio, television, the phone and the computer connect us with the outside world, and that is very important. But so is giving ourselves time for other things, and I don’t necessarily mean clearing out the loft or a massive spring clean! There are books to be read, hobbies ‘laid aside” when too busy with other tasks, promised letters to distant friends or family, collections of photographs to be organised, and so on.

But let’s consider the music, the songs, even dancing that could entertain us in the weeks ahead. Here are a few idle thoughts, even a few challenges, to keep those little black notes dancing in our heads and in our lives …

  • By all means keep up to date with radio and television news, but it can become all embracing and somewhat depressing, so why not change channel and listen to music for a while. It is medically accepted that listening to music has a very calming effect and can make you feel more relaxed.
  • Step out of your comfort zone for a short while and listen to a different form of music to your usual preference. Folk, jazz, pop, classical, country and western, light opera – give it a try!
  • Sort out those CDs that are acquiring dust on the shelves, play them, turn up the volume, and sing along! It is wonderful how the words of Beatles songs come roaring back, a real feel good factor.
  • Or if you secretly regret never having been given apart in the film of “Mamma
    Mia” (or another musical) now is the opportunity to play the DVD or the CD,
    and sing, sing … and dance along.
  • Is there an instrument lying forlornly unplayed in the house, bypassed for busier pursuits? Get it out, play the ivories or the strings, and make music!
  • If you want something more quiet and contemplative think of that desert island. What eight special pieces of music would you choose to take, and why? I’m sure that most of us, at one time or another, have compiled our own list of favourite music. You could even send them to me – what a lovely idea for the May Prattler!

We’ve all probably seen the delightful video of Italians standing on their individual balconies and singing. Then there have been the various, and some quite imaginative ways to sing or dance through the 20 second hand washing time. And no doubt other inventive musical activities will come about in the days ahead. So keep playing, listening, singing, dancing and enjoying music – it is a rich world and it is so good for the soul!

Heyford Singers has understandably postponed all its rehearsals and spring concert in May. The title for the concert was “Let Us Entertain You” and we will again……soon!

Take care, look after yourselves and each other.

Jill Langrish

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – March 2020

NetherHeyford-HeyfordSingers-March2020

This month we follow the journey of a passionate, war torn, emotional story – from book to film, play to musical stage show, radio to TV series, and eventually to Heyford Singers’ spring concert 2020.

‘Les Miserables’ by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It was originally divided into five volumes, each volume then divided into several books, totalling 365 chapters! It is a blazing pageant of life and death at the barricades of the political and social revolution in nineteenth century France. The story follows the life of Jean Valjean, released after serving 19 years in jail for having stolen a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. He later breaks parole, and police inspector, Javert, determines to hunt him down and return him to prison. Factor in beggars, factory workers, “ladies of the night”, a bishop, an innkeeper and his wife, a young child, rebellious students, the police and young lovers, and the ingredients are set for a truly emotional, turbulent, and epic story. Victor Hugo drew his inspiration for the book from what he saw and heard in Paris, recording impressions in his diary. In 1846, he witnessed an altercation between an old woman scavenging through rubbish and a street urchin; he personally gathered information about working-class people’s wages and living standards, about life in a convent, the toil and drudgery of different industries, the battle worn lives of those who had recently fought at Waterloo.

Thirty five years after the book’s initial publication the Lumiere Brothers made a short film of ‘Les Miserables’; the film industry then seized upon this epic story, resulting in over 50 versions having since been made for the screen!

In 1985 The RSC and the theatre impresario, Cameron Macintosh joined forces to produce a musical stage show of ‘Les Miserables’, and the music, songs and dance sequences took the story into a new dimension. Those who have seen the stage show will remember how the music surges through the theatre as chairs, tables, cartwheels and barrels are used to create the changing sets. Rousing songs such as “Red and Black”, “Do You Hear The People Sing” feature beside the tear jerking “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables”. There are many more memorable songs and tunes.

In December 2012, the world’s longest-running musical was brought to the big screen in Tom Hooper’s sweeping and spectacular interpretation of Victor Hugo’s epic tale, although the general consensus was that no amount of cinematic spectacle could replace a live stage performance.

In 2015 the BBC commissioned ‘Les Miserables’ as a radio drama with Joss Ackland and Roger Allam, 25 episodes lasting nearly six hours in total, and during which the many themes were explored in the greatest detail.

At the start of 2019 there was the long awaited BBC serialisation of ‘Les Miserables’, directed by Andrew Davies and starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins. The six hourly episodes enabled a very long and complicated book to unwind slowly so that viewers could appreciate the true scope of the events ……… without being distracted by the songs!

Maybe you have read the book, seen the stage show, listened to the radio series, or watched a film of ‘Les Miserables’? We each have our particular preference for the way that the story is told.

Heyford Singers humble contribution to this inspiring story is to perform a few of the wonderful songs from the musical version during our forthcoming spring concert, entitled “LET US ENTERTAIN YOU” on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May. We do hope that you will be able to join us, and continue along the journey of this most wonderful story …… ‘Les Miserables’

Jill Langrish

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Carols on the Green (December 2019) – Update – February 2020

Carols on the Green – December 2019

When I first envisaged ‘Carols on the Green’ I had a picture of villagers singing as in a Christmas card, with the weather ‘Deep and crisp and even’. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, standing on the green, it was more like ‘Wind and rain and boggy’. The team who came to set up were incredible, completely ignored the weather and got drenched in the process. However, NEVER doubt the power of prayer as by 6.30 it had actually stopped raining and the wind was not as bad – I can’t claim that the green was perfectly dry but we can’t have everything! I would like to say a heartfelt, personal thank you to everyone who turned out to raise their voices to Christmas.

You raised £256.56p towards replacing our Church roof which, considering the conditions, was wonderful. I would also like to thank you all for leaving virtually no litter for me to pick up the next morning.

On behalf of Heyford Singers there are, as always, people who must be acknowledged for their help in the organisation of an evening such as this and I hope you will forgive me if I have missed anyone out!

The Parish Council for permission to use the green and help with insurance arrangements.
Unusual (Rigging) Ltd. for the use of power cables.
PPL PRS for a Charity Music Licence.
The Village Hall Committee for use of the Hall in the case of bad weather.
Alwyne Wilson for her co-ordinating skills.
Tony Clewett for the use of the sound equipment and being so sure it would stop
raining!
Geoff Allen for being an incomparable compere.
Peter Squire and Jeremy Rice for fixing the power cables in the rain without
electrocuting themselves (or anyone else)!
Keith Rands Allen, Jill & Mike Langrish + grandsons, Alwyne W and Tony C for
erecting the gazebo despite the wind and rain.
The Rev. Stephen Burrow for his closing prayer.
And Richard Musson for providing the collecting buckets.

I have been told that carol singing on the green used to happen in the past and I would love to hear from anyone who can tell me when this was. It would be lovely to start a new ‘ Village Tradition’ but equally exciting to carry on an old one – especially as Northampton seems to be creeping ever nearer along the A45.

Thank you all for your support; hope to see you again in December.

Mary Rice

Heyford Lodge 01327 340101

Heyford Singers – February 2020

HeyfordSingersFeb2020

It is a cold, damp and rather dreary day in January, one of those days when time seems to be edging oh so slowly towards spring, although to be fair there are minute signs appearing everyday. One of those days when you look forward to the year ahead, whilst the memories of 2019, including the recent Christmas celebrations, still linger. We know that January is named after Janus, the Roman god of ‘beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.’

If we look back on 2019 for Heyford Singers it was, as in most families or organisations, a mixture of sadness and good times. In September we gained thirteen new singers in the choir, increasing our membership to over 60! They are very welcome indeed and include young mums from the village as well as older experienced singers who have worked with other choirs. The result is a very positive and vibrant atmosphere at rehearsals, even if space and stage management does become an issue!

At the end of the year, as Christmas approached, Heyford Singers were very actively involved with several, local community ventures. We had a second delightful entertainment from our resident pianist, Graham Kinnersly entitled “A Musical Mystery Tour” in which our knowledge of music and songs from the recent and distant past was tested. It was a lovely afternoon and sent us off in a festive mood, not only because we had collectively raised £460.00 towards the Emmanuel Benevolent Fund, which supports the Weston Favell Centre Food Bank. That same evening some of the choir went to sing at the Bliss Charity School Christmas Fayre.

This was an absolute delight, especially when young children joined us to sing some of the carols.

Our annual Christmas concert, Christmas Is … followed in early December and we performed to sell out audiences, who we hope enjoyed the Christmas music and singing as much as we did! Once again we were really pleased to be able to support charitable organisations, sending £175.00 from raffle ticket sales to both the Air Ambulance and Dementia UK.

Carols on the Green was a new venture for the choir (see Mary Rice’s article), and despite awful weather earlier in the day it was a lovely, memorable evening, which we hope you enjoyed as much as we did! We are looking forward to this becoming an annual Christmas event for Nether Heyford.

Several choir members sang at the church’s Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 22nd December, heralding the true beginning of Christmas. I think that those who sing with, and support, Heyford Singers, would say that they have thoroughly enjoying contributing to the “feel good factor’ of our local community, through a variety of music and songs.

We have looked back to 2019 …………… and now to look forward to 2020.

Our Spring concerts are planned for Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May. Rehearsals have begun on Les Miserables, Mama Mia, Fields of Gold, You Raise Me up, and many more – very exciting!

We have also been invited to perform a fund raising concert in Bugbrooke Church in the spring, yet another special contribution towards our village communities.

Then there will be the 2020 Christmas concerts as well, but enough for now as it is time to brave the rain and wind and look around the garden for emerging snowdrops and spring bulbs!

Jill Langrish

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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Heyford Singers – “Lookin’ for Men” February 2020

HeyfordSingersLookingFormen2020

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If you would like to find out more, visit the Heyford Singers page or our website:

www.heyfordsingers.org

 alternatively come along to one of our rehearsals in Nether Heyford Village Hall.

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