'The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between.' Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
It’s been a long time since we all met up to sing together, and we’ve really, really missed SingWest - the weekly act of just being together, the beautiful music and the lovely, lovely pub.
But with the worst of the pandemic behind us, the vaccine roll-out successfully underway and the R number at a manageable level, we are starting to think about how we might reignite SingWest and carefully and responsibly start the choir again. We totally can’t wait and hope to see as many members as possible.
A few house-keeping points for this tentative but optimistic new era:
1. At this stage we will just start back at St Peter’s Church for Hammersmith group, but anyone from either of our other choirs are obviously extremely welcome to join, as well as any other friends or relatives you think may enjoy it.
2. Just to be cautious, we are initially planning a shortened term of four Monday evenings: 21st June, 28th June, 5th July and 12th July. These sessions would all be 90 minutes long and start at 7.30pm. We won't do a concert this summer, we'll just focus on gently getting our groove back.
3. Please use the shop section below to pay for the sessions - these will be charged at £10 each and we would ask for a block payment of £40 for the month please.
4. There may be some Covid-secure measures in place at the church, but we will explain those on the day.
5. Charlotte is going to participate but is busy with her very cool new venture (see here) so Daf and Cian are organising things right now (eek).
Our choir is open, inclusive and relaxed. None of us are especially talented vocalists, some of us are genuinely awful. Everyone is totally welcome. There is no pressure, you will never be required to sing a solo, it's easy to hide at the back and laugh, and we promise you will never feel self-conscious or embarrassed.
In a hectic and fast moving world, very few things are better for boosting happiness and well-being than singing in a group. According to research singing strengthens the immune system, enhances posture, helps with sleep, acts as a natural anti-depressant, lowers stress levels, improves blood circulation (which in turn helps mental alertness, concentration, and memory), widens your circle of friends and boosts confidence and self-belief.
We've all found the life-affirming and restorative power of music is an amazing antidote to the strain and routine of everyday life and we think everyone should experience it.
If you're - inexplicably - still feeling unconvinced, then hit the button below for a chat with one of our founders.
SingWest is the creation of three friends who love music, people and sloping off to the pub.
Charlie Orr is a former advertising executive and garden designer. After her third child, Charlie wanted to rekindle a love of music and singing, and, having tried local choirs, she decided to start SingWest for people who wanted a more informal, fun format.
Dafydd Evans is a singer songwriter from Wales, who trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and The Academy of Contemporary Music achieving a First Class BMus (Hons) degree in vocal performance. He is a former member of Only Men Aloud, which won BBC 1’s 'Last Choir Standing' contest. Their debut album sold over 250,000 copies in the UK and their second album won Best Classical Album at the Classical Brit Awards.
Cian Brennan-Gavin is a classically trained Bass/baritone singer from Ireland, and a graduate of both The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Guildford School of Acting. He was also a member of Only Men Aloud, and over his career Cían has performed alongside luminaries such as Juan Diego Florez, Katherine Jenkins, Josh Groban, Brian May, Russell Watson and Shirley Bassey.
Both Daf and Cian have appeared on TV numerous times, performed in lots of swanky places and toured extensively throughout the UK and the US. Poor Charlie has done none of those things, tragically.
Ordinarily, yes. One is based in Hammersmith (here) and they rehearse on Mondays. at 7.30pm . One is in Queen's Park (here) and they rehearse on Tuesdays at 7.30pm. One is in Barnes (here) and they rehearse on Wednesdays, also at 7.30pm. Due to Covid, we are just starting back with Hammersmith for now and will recommence the other choirs in due course.
What kind of music do you sing?
A pretty accessible mix of contemporary, classical, folk, carols and so on.
But I can’t read music. Or even sing especially well if I'm honest.
That doesn’t matter - very few of us can read music. It’s not about a perfect musical performance. It’s about an uplifting, life-affirming moment in an otherwise slightly humdrum week.
Hmmm. You’re right that my existence has become a little predictablemaybe. What are the other people there like?
Really nice. Not too earnest. Almost normal you could say.
7.30pm, like we said. Jeez.
Is there a charge?
Your first week will be free to see if you enjoy it, after that it will cost a tenner a session.