|Spirits were high at last week's rehearsals as River City looked back on the first 6 months of 2022. Three ladies, all with beautiful voices, have joined the chorus, we are benefitting from the coaching we are recieving from Jo Thorn and one of our key members, Charlotte, was recently married. Lots to celebrate as we look forward to the national convention at the end of October in Bournemouth.|
|Gemma has successfully passed her voice test and can be seen being presented with her certificate by Cathy, our lead section lead. Welcome Gemma. What a beautiful voice; we are so pleased you have decided to join us.|
|With almost perfect weather, and an end to all Covid restrictions for their celebration, our fabulous lead singer, Charlotte married her long term partner, Carl on Saturday. The festivities included the traditional cutting of the cake which they seem to have mastered in style! We send our love and best wishes for them in their future married life.|
|Members of River City Chorus celebrated the Queen's jubilee with tea parties, singouts, tea dances, decorations and trips around the country. Here we are singing on the Quayside in Exeter on a blustery Sunday. Go to Jubilee Photos to see other photos taken on the day.|
|Maggie, Colette and Sandra, three of the members from River City Chorus, arriving in Coventry for the Music Education Day organised by the Ladies Association of Barbershop Singers (LABBS). Being members of LABBS, River City is able to attend various education and coaching events through the year. This was one of the first to be held since the pandemic. Great learning and a good time was had by all.|
|It feels as if things are getting back to normal for River City Chorus. We are delighted to be meeting new people who are coming along to sing with us and see if they would like to join our friendly chorus. On Monday our chair, Helen, presented our newest member, Karen, with her certificate. Welcome Karen, you have such a lovely voice, we are so happy to have you as part of River City.
|It was National Barbershop Quartet Day on Monday 11th April and 4 members of River City Chorus from Exeter were out in force to record a song and celebrate the day. Here’s Helen Joy, Di Bibey, Maggie Heal and Judith Taylor after their recording of San Francisco Bay Blues.|
|We recently entered three classes in the Devon Performing Arts Festival and came away winning all three classes and earning two distinctions and an honours.The judge complimented us on the range of songs and the high standard of singing using words including captivating, terrific, expressive and confident. Oh Happy Days!|
This was the first time we had been able to compete for over two years due to the pandemic. Our hard work during lockdown, which included weekly “zoom” rehearsals and, when allowed, weekly open-air practices in all weathers, paid off. The chorus was led by Cathy Hamzelou who stood in at the last minute due to sickness of Maggie Heal, the musical director.
The Devon Performing Arts Festival is held every year and provides an opportunity to perform before an audience and a highly skilled and experienced adjudicator. This year’s 3-day event heard singers of all ages from soloists to choirs, singing a wide variety of songs including folk, songs from the shows, choral works, opera and popular music.
|The wonderful Jo Thorn was back coaching us recently. What a great evening it was; we were truly inspired and so excited to hear how we could improve the quality of our singing. There was a real buzz about the place.|
The coaching was focussing on vowel sounds and, for many of us with our Devon accents, this really helped us to understand how we could pronounciate vowels to sound like one voice.
Jo's skill, energy and encouragement made this a fascinating evening. We are so lucky to have her.
|Guest director Jo Thorn is joining us for a series of rehearsals. She brings her expertise in directing to help the both our Musical Director and Assistant Musical Director improve their conducting, and to teach the chorus new techniques.|
Jo's energy and knowledge has been well received by the Chorus who are already showing improvements brought on by her tuition. We are delighted she is able to continue to work with River City to improve our sound ahead of the upcoming Exeter Music Festival, and also as we look ahead to this year's LABBS convention in Bournemouth in October.
Jo is the MD for Fascinating Rhythm, based in Bristol. She has been coaching and singing for over 40 years and brings a vast wealth of knowledge and passion to everything she does.
|After an eternity of lockdown and zoom rehearsals, followed by a few lovely late summer evenings outdoors, we are back rehearsing indoors again! It's great to be back at our usual venue at Whipton Community Hall. We still have plenty of safety measures in place to keep us covid safe, but can finally rehearse all together as a chorus.|
We are also delighted to have welcomed some new people for trial sessions, two of whom have already become permanent chorus members. It is always lovely to have new faces, and we welcome anyone to come along to a rehearsal if they think they might be interested in joining us.
|The LABBS South West convention is almost upon us. It will be held in Saltash, on Saturday 30th October. We will gather with other South West based LABBS choruses for a fun day of singing, learning and sharing.|
Helen has produced a fabulous 5 minute video covering the last year in River City Chorus to be shown on the day. It will be interesting to see what other groups have done through lockdown too.
Final preparations for song choices and travel arrangements are happening now, so watch this space.