Monday, 10 February 2014

Concerts are booked!!!

So, all our Spring 2014 concerts are booked and the posters have been done! We start with a concert on Sunday 30th March at Shirehampton Baptist Church which brilliantly coincides with being at the end of a weekend celebrating the opening of their newly refurbished building! Then we travel to Easton on Wed 2nd April and will perform at the House of Praise Church, 2 Tudor Rd, BS5 6BW at 7.30pm and from there we go to Thornbury on Friday 4th April. We'll sing at Thornbury Baptist Church, Gillingstool at 7.30pm.

It's all very exciting and the songs we have chosen are going to be brilliant...not that I'm biased of course!!!

See you there!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sing to Live...the series!

So, I've been a bit slow getting the blog updated I'm afraid, have been pretty busy running three choirs!!!

But, it is now the end of week two rehearsals, I've just come home after the Easton one, had my lunch and feel it's time to reflect!

All three choirs have done a great job these past two weeks, positively eating up the songs. We've actually finished teaching the parts for three songs already...ok they may need a bit more practice and tweaking but the foundations are there! Heather did a sterling job teaching in week one at Thornbury with a decidedly dodgy throat, the Shire gang shivered their way through two rehearsals without heating and Em featured in a new series on You Tube all about people in the choir called 'Sing to Live'! If you haven't seen it yet, click here . Em's hubbie Var has been doing the filming and he's just filmed the second instalment which will be live tomorrow...who will it be about though? You'll have to wait and see!

Em taking the Easton GGCC gang through their warm ups

Em teaching the Thornbury GGCC crew how not to dance!!!

So, next week the Thornbury and Shire choirs have their socials...a cuppa and cake after rehearsal. Not great for Em's waistline as she will be going to both!!! Not sure what we will do for Easton, maybe a spot of lunch together one week after rehearsal.

Well that's it for now...take care!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Amazing Concerts!

So, I am sitting in my office, trying to stay warm, reflecting on what has been an amazing term for GGCC. So many things to be thankful for. Not least the three brilliant performances the choir gave for our end of term concerts!

First up was St Peters in Lawrence Weston on 28th November. The first concert is always the hardest and also happened to be the only one we did acapella. But cheering us on big style from the back was the lovely Geraldine (for those of you who don't know, she started GGCC and left Bristol earlier this year!) who travelled all the way from London just to see us. The church was shall I say 'on the cool side' but the choir's energetic singing soon warmed the place and the audience which was shall I say 'on the small side' gave us a big hand and really joined in well when they had the opportunity. We had lovely refreshments…in abundance, thanks to the Shirehampton GGCC choir. Heather and Emma felt really proud of the choir and all those who sang in small groups, they did a top job.

Next, was House of Praise Church in Easton on Sunday 1st December. Right from the warm ups at the start, we could tell the choir had picked up more confidence as a result of Thursday's concert. We knew it was going to be a good night and we were right!!!

In position just before the start

The church was shall I say 'on the warm side' so we were all soon guzzling our water! We were accompanied by our amazing band, Winston on keys,  John (JT) on bass,  Larry on lead guitar and Richard on drums. The Flash Mob start to the concert was brilliant, the audience joined in with lots of energy and the choir looked like they were having so much fun. From that point on we had a great time, all those weeks of rehearsals really paid off and I think it's safe to say we left on a high.

Emma introducing the choir

Then there was just our Thornbury concert left. That was on Wednesday 4th December at Thornbury Baptist Church. The church was packed out was which really encouraging, especially as this was the first time GGCC had performed there. Again we were accompanied by our wonderful band, so grateful to them they complimented the choir perfectly. You could sense that the choir really knew what they were doing in this concert as they had already pulled off two great performances. We were able to have some fun and smiles were in abundance. Heather and Emma both had a blast leading the choirs and by the end of the evening had a real sense of achievement, both for the choir and for themselves personally.

Ending the concert with 'He reigns' aka 'Sing praises'!!!

Thank you to everyone in GGCC for all your hard work, you are amazing! We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you when rehearsals start on 15, 16 & 17th Jan 2014!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Last Rehearsal…Big Success!!!

Last night saw all three GGCC choirs come together for our last rehearsal at Thornbury Baptist Church. We were joined by our band who will be accompanying us at Easton and Thornbury concerts. Right from the start there was a sense of excitement in the air and once we got singing it was amazing!

Big thanks to all in GGCC who came, it was a way to travel for lots so we really appreciated the fact that so many made a big effort to come. Also big thanks to all the small groups/duets…well done, we know it's a bit nerve wracking but you all did a great job. Big thanks to Ruth for serving us all lovely cups of tea as we arrived and to our lovely PA guy, Will. Oh and of course not forgetting the band, Winston, John, Larry & Richard…you guys were great!

So, we're now ready for our first concert…on Thursday! 7.30pm @ St Peters, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0NN…see you there!!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Concerts are a-coming!!!

So, next week on Thursday, we have our first GGCC Autumn concert!!! Amazing!!! Here is poster:

We are really looking forward to sharing what we have learned together with our lovely audiences. All concerts are free to get in…and out! So do come along.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

On the road again!!!

So, last Wednesday, 6 Nov 2013, 11 of us travelled by minibus to Calne in Wiltshire again.

Ready and waiting to hit the M4!

This time, we had been invited to go to Holy Trinity C of E Academy (Emma's old Primary school!) and sing in their assembly, take a workshop with their school choir and then perform together what they had learned.

The weather was miserable for our journey but we arrived in plenty of time and were made really welcome by the Head, Steve Heal. We had a quick warm up in the staff room before going into the school assembly. Emma led the choir in that GGCC classic 'Great Is He' and then got the children all singing the two parts of 'Freedom'. They picked it up brilliantly.

Then Emma led a workshop with the school choir.

She taught some fun warm ups and using the song 'Soon and very soon' and some group activities demonstrated some principles of choir singing e.g. blending, diction and the importance of smiling!!! The children in the school choir were such good listeners and learners, we had a lot of fun together. We finished our time there by performing with them to the rest of the school.

It was a great morning, a lot of fun!

 And the GGCC crew who came along were brilliant…thanks for your help!!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dottie writes

Well, it's our half term break next week so while we're waiting for choir to resume, one of our Shirehampton GGCC members Dottie has written a lovely reflection on the journey she's been on with GGCC. So take it away Dottie:

Singing low – thanks to GGCC!
Music has been part of my life since I was very young. I was born in Georgia, USA, so the sounds of both Country and Western and Gospel music are part of my DNA! I moved to the UK aged 7, and found the music in church here really strange and dull - nobody moved or clapped while they were singing! Eventually, I became used to life in the UK, had lots of happy times playing piano and singing in school and at church, and learnt to appreciate all sorts of music – choral singing, opera, musicals especially. 
As a teenager my voice was always low. I sang alto in choirs and in duets at church with my pal Brenda, who had an amazing soprano voice! Motherhood, and a busy professional life, meant that I could only enjoy music as a listener  for many years, other than singing in church as part of the congregation. 
A few years ago I realised I was struggling to sing even in church – there was no way I could hit the high notes anymore, so I had to just mouth those bits! One morning I tried singing an octave lower which felt really comfortable. I realised that I was matching my husband’s voice – only in pitch I hasten to add as he often sings totally out of tune! When I got home I played about on the piano and realised that I was singing tenor notes very easily.
This happened just at the time I was thinking I’d like to join a choir but didn’t feel I could – as only men sing tenor…..or so I thought! Very fortunately I had a friend who sang with the Shirehampton Gospel Generation Community Choir. She encouraged me to give it a go. Her words were – “Dottie, come and try it – they welcome everybody who loves to sing. Come and listen to our next concert and see what you think”.  I went to the concert and less than half-way through it knew that I wanted to be part of making such lovely music.
My first choir practice was interesting! I sat myself with the men –  only to have several ladies advise me that I was sitting in the wrong section. I plucked up courage to say – “Actually, I’m a tenor, so plan to sing with the men”. That felt so good to be able to say! 
It’s great too, to have been accepted by the men as part of them. Not surprising really as the GGCC is so much about acceptance – if you love to sing you are accepted!
I’ve got to know people I would never had met otherwise. We are a real mix of class, culture, personal situations, and ability – but when we sing we are one voice! Singing the uplifting songs we do – born out of adversity as Gospel music is – brings us together in a way which transcends any personal faith, or none, that we might hold as individuals.
Singing, especially with other people, makes us feel good. I’m so happy to have found GGCC where I can sing low, feel comfortable, and have fun while I’m doing it!

Thanks Dottie! If any other GGCC members have stories to share, drop me an email!

Have a good half term!