Woven Chords is a mixed choir from Stamford who sing unaccompanied harmony songs from across the globe. Celebrating the richness and variety of the human voice, Woven Chords’ acappella singing gives expression to sumptuous harmonies from many different cultural traditions.
We are a very friendly and informal choir, open to anyone over 16 years of age, men and women. We do not hold auditions and no previous experience or the need to read music is necessary as all songs are taught by ear. If you can speak - then you can sing! The emphasis is on having fun singing together.
The choir meets each Thursday at the Stamford Arts Centre. At the end of each term a concert is performed to provide the choir with an opportunity to share the songs and the enjoyment!
Our next event is the Easter Concert on 13th April 2014.
See Future Concerts and Events page for details.
Community Choirs Festival, 29th March 2014
On Saturday, 29th March, sixty-five representatives from Woven Chords and Global Harmony joined forces and travelled to Stratford upon Avon to take part in the annual Community Choirs Festival.... a celebration of a cappella singing. Over 500 enthusiastic singers from all over the country came together to share their enthusiasm for and joy of singing, to socialise and perform. Choirs of all types and sizes from far and wide....Yorkshire, Hampshire, Wales, London and many locations in-between gathered with great excitement and anticipation of what the day had in store.
The event was lead by four well known and experienced choir leaders each taking charge of a group of singers teaching the various harmonies until the four parts came together in a crescendo of wonderful singing. Two songs in the morning session and two songs in the afternoon were taught from scratch and the result was absolutely astounding even to the veteran singers in the hall.
At lunchtime choirs were invited to busk and in glorious sunshine Liz took the opportunity to lead us in a couple of our favourite African songs in front of a very appreciative audience.
The day culminated in a concert of songs from all the choirs who had participated in the day. It was truly incredible to share in every choir’s story....groups like Gridtones who had come together in the work place (National Grid Birmingham) inspired by Gareth Malone, others who had begun in ‘singing for the terrified’ groups and had grown in confidence to join this event and perform for the first time and those from small communities who meet for the friendship and pleasure of making music together.
At the end of the day a few members of Woven Chords who were able to stay over and enjoy an early evening supper together spontaneously ‘flash mobbed’ a version of Tulli Tulli to the bemusement of some customers but then at the request of another we rounded off the evening with a rendition of Fa’afetai.....a happy end to a thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying day! Can’t wait for the next one!
Brenda Smith, a tenor with Woven Chords.
A busy January for Woven Chords - 3 events in as many weeks!
Zulu Day, Stamford Arts Centre 26th Jan 2014
Wow! What a fantastic event. It was a privilege to perform in front of a full house at Stamford Arts Centre on Sunday 26th January. We all thoroughly enjoyed singing our repertoire of South African songs as a precursor to the storytelling and documentary about the making of the film Zulu.
Richard Seal and his African drum enhanced our performance and added to the authenticity of our sound. It was thrilling to be so close to our audience and able to see the expressions on their faces, as they could see ours. The theatre has great acoustics and it was a pleasure to hear each part of the choir clearly. We also had some great dynamics in the songs and I think our rendition of Noyana was the sweetest and most moving performance to date.
So from a choir member's perspective, it was an uplifting experience. It is also good to know that the audience enjoyed our music as well. The feedback at the interval was overwhelming and much appreciated. Thanks to Stamford Arts centre for hosting this informative event and also for showing the classic film Zulu later that afternoon. A good show all round.
Margaret Marsh (Alto)
The Chairman's Charity Gala Concert, Grantham 17th Jan 2014
‘The most direct route to happiness is in service to others’
One wet, windy evening approximately half the choir trekked over to Grantham Guildhall to take part in the Chairman’s Charity Gala Concert. We formed part of a mixed programme of entertainers fund raising for Cancer research. I will never forget the hilarity of the stagehands watching a group of old dears (so they thought) as we boogied on down to the rapping act that preceded us !
We may have only had three songs to sing but we gave it our all and were much appreciated. The thought that we contributed, if only in small part, to a cause that surely touches every one of us brings joy to the heart!
Wassail, Stamford Community Orchard 11th Jan 2014
"The banging & slamming & booming & crashing were something beyond belief" is how Mark Twain described Wagner's opera 'Lohengrin', but, in a definitely positive sense, it is an appropriate description of the enthusiastic Wassailing at the young but thriving community orchard where we've had the privilege of singing for the 3rd year running as part of this ancient English tradition.
Members of the public joined the SCOG & Woven Chords in several impromptu renderings
of the Wassail Song followed by a cacophony of pot & pan clanging & banging which surely
drove away all evil spirits from the orchard!
The roots of the largest apple tree were dowsed in local cider & toast placed in the branches,
then we sang 6 or 7 songs; the crowd joining in with Inanay Gapuwana & O please give us apples.
Having thus done our best to encourage the trees to produce "hatfuls & capfuls of apples" in the coming year, we took our lanterns, torches & our clattering pans & as dusk fell we warmed ourselves by the bonfire with mulled cider, commenting on how well the fruit trees were looking - obviously down to our successful Wassailing! In my opinion, this kind of event particularly evokes the ethos of Woven Chords; inclusive singing bringing people together & a repertoire of songs from all around the world which are mostly to do with the changing seasons, high days & holy days of nature's year &, running in parallel, the watersheds, rituals & rites of passage of human lives.
To sing is to be human & encompasses all our joys & sorrows together with Mother Nature's profound impact on all of us. Whether we are giving birth, playing, growing & sharing food, working, falling in love, worshipping, suffering illness, dying or mourning, mankind sings about it! The wheel of life & the cycle of nature are entwined melodies in the music of all human societies, universally uniting us all. Our concerts are fun to prepare for, usually help a charity & are wonderful opportunities to share our voices with others & give of our best, but to sing at a wedding or a funeral or in an old peoples' home at Christmas or for the Olympic Torch or to "Come A-Wassailing" are occasions when, for me, our songs truly resonate.
Sarah Hunt (Tops since 2010)
Global Harmony and Woven Chords go back to school!
Woven Chords and Global Harmony singers inspire children to sing!
About 30 members from the two choirs spent a wonderful day on Friday 7 February with the children of Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Leicester for their curriculum day. The children’s objectives were - ‘to be able to sing in unison’ (for the whole school) and ‘to be able to sing in two parts’ (for Years 5 to 7). The choirs’ objectives were - to pass on the love of singing, and, to make it through the day!
During the morning assembly in front of the whole school of 400 children and staff the two choirs sang three songs which were met with enthusiastic approval from the packed hall. Choir members were then assigned to a particular class or age group and spent most of the morning teaching the children a song which would then be performed in front of the rest of the school during the afternoon assembly. This was no mean feat since the school is made up of pupils from all over the world and where over 20 different languages are spoken.
The children were brilliant and were heard singing - and dancing - to their songs during the morning and lunch breaks! The young ones enjoyed learning the actions to their songs, while the Yr 2 and 3 children managed to do some wonderful two part rounds like Belle mama. Not satisfied with singing in two parts, the Yrs 4,5 and 6 children learned to sing Tulituli, Lizela and Noyana in up to four parts - all of which could be heard! The final assembly concert was a triumph for all the pupils and earned them a special badge for having achieved their objectives. The choir members said farewell with a final rendition of ‘Ooh a lay lay’, brilliantly accompanied by the children.
It was worth getting up while it was still dark just to see all the happy faces at the end of the day! And we got a box of chocolates each too!
Hazel Collier (A tenor in Global Harmony)
Our Day at the Sacred Heart Academy in Leicester
After volunteering to spend the day at a school in Leicester I’m sure that most of us did not know what to expect. Probably not to be catching a coach at 6:45 on a wet Friday morning in February. Still, we were all in good spirits as we set off to pick up our friends from Global Harmony in Melton. We had had our warm up session on the coach -all in good voice - and arrived at the academy in time for tea and biscuits in the staff room. After being given our name and bar code security passes we were welcomed by the staff and a given quick run through the day’s agenda. Then it was time to join their assembly, we sat as a choir while the children filed in to the hall, they greeted the headmaster, teachers and visitors - obviously taught how to be polite and welcoming to staff and guests.
The days objectives were explained "I can use my voice expressively, I can sing in unison and two parts". Liz explained how we sang in harmony , we then sang three songs -and received an amazing response from the children, some appeared to be surprised, some were moving to the music and some were trying to sing along- and what an applause- if only our usual audiences were so responsive!
Then it was off to work. The choir had been divided in to small groups and allocated a class and songs to teach. I was with Ann and Sue, we were singing with "Hazel" class, Mrs Berol - the teacher and Ms Mehan who looked after the two special needs children. We were introduced and as a warm up and get to know you song we asked the class "have you bought your singing voice" we had some great responses to have you bought your happy, sad , bouncy, squeaky, voices and then the children sang the response "yes we have" not altogether in tune but there were joining in. We then moved on to "Bella Mama" (low part) which was our concert song we had lots of excellent guidance from Mrs Berol who showed on the classroom screen views of the islands where the song came from. We found that by using our hands to indicate when notes were moving up and down the children were learning the tune. Liz popped in and was asked some great questions like "was is it called when you wave your hands in front of the choir" and "how did you get the job"! By break time the class were singing and moving to Bella Mama in two groups.
After tea and biscuits- and comparing notes we ran through Bella Mama once more and then moved on to "Ooh a lay lay" this one the children really enjoyed and we were soon paddling and singing together. The choir was then treated to lunch, fish and chips with healthy veg followed by a pudding. - excellent food which the children told us they do enjoy.
After lunch we joined Rosemary and Rita with "Maple" class who had learnt the high part of Bell Mama the two classes sang together as a rehearsal for the concert. They did surprisingly well -the signs were good! The whole school then re-assembled in the hall for the concert - they were excited and quite noisy at times but I think seeing the choir respond to the "hands up I want quiet" signal from the head may have helped.
Each class then gave a performance along with their choir leaders, starting with the Foundation class (3-4 year olds) up to year 6 ( 10-11) and what performances we were treated to ! They all did amazingly well managing to sing in two, three and four part harmony, plus singing and moving to songs such as "Tuli Tuli " and "Lizela". I believe the Head master and staff were surprised at just how well the children were performing and how much they had learnt in just a few hours. After each song the children were given badges for achieving the day’s objectives. Then a surprise for the choir- as thanks for spending the day with the children we were each personally handed a gift bag which contained a box of chocolates and a hand written thank you note - how thoughtful!
So to our final song as the choir children and staff sang "Ooh a lay lay" and how we sang! Again the response was amazing - the whole school singing together - what an experience - what an achievement. Sadly it was time to leave, the children waving and shouting our names as we left the Hall, lots of thanks from the staff, talk of another visit, a staff members wedding! - wow!
Altogether an amazing and very satisfying experience, a sense of achievement and feeling we had really connected with the children. They on their part were all well behaved, courteous and vey welcoming - our thanks must go to them and to the staff for letting us share their day.
Barrie Brown (a tenor in Woven Chords).
Woven Chords Christmas Concert at Barn Hill Church December 7th 2013
A rousing concert helped Barn Hill Church to raise money for their chosen charities Phakamisa, the Ever Green Care Trust and Youth Outreach Work.
The church looked beautiful decorated with night lights and greenery and the choir’s gorgeous harmonies filled the lofty space delighting the audience for yet another year at Christmas time.
The world music programme included two very moving tributes from South Africa to Nelson Mandela, the whole audience standing for a stirring rendition of N’kosi sikelel ’i Afrika.
Woven Chords has sung at Barn Hill Church for so many Christmases now that it must be regarded as a Stamford festive season tradition. As the audience and singers alike didn’t hide their obvious enjoyment on the night last week – it is most likely that the tradition will continue!
Thank you to all who supported the choir and church by being there.
Be sure to check out the Workshops link for details of the next workshop.
January 9th – April 10th 2014. (12 weeks)
Half term (no sessions) February 20th and 27th
Thursday's at 7:30 - 9:30pm