Thursday, 27 July 2017


Third in Dyce's early experiences with New Mill Male Voice choir


Monday, 24 July 2017

Check out this guy - Thomas Quasthoff

Telegraph review - "I never thought someone like me could be successful"

Lieder came first and then jazz singer

Georgia on My Mind - utube

and tutor - utube

and unsurprisingly with great photographs - My Way

Thursday, 20 July 2017

What swinglo is trying to achieve

In addition to a personal view from the back row of the baritones, hopefully we are aiming for:

  1. Increase in awareness of the choir, its values and objectives
  2. Spread the news about the benefits of singing
  3. Support the choir's recruitment effort
  4. Support the official website
  5. Give information about concerts and events

Dyce's First Rehearsal

Second in an audio diary from 1994 when I first joined the choir.

First rehearsal   utube

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Silent Night

soul music


Clic on these links for more on Silent Night. Soul music is a radio 4 podcast that explores pieces of music that stir the emotions.

Swing Low Sweet Chariot 2

soul music



Any of you oldies got an opinion on being Forever Young was a great way to link music, senior singer/songwriters and trying to stay fit into our sixties, seventies and older - Exercise and ageing.

There are millions and millions of words written on this, so I'm not going to make a significant contribution. Great then that I can quote an authority on the subject, Matt Roberts, writing in The Times, February 18th, 2017, entitled 'How to exercise after 40'. Can I make a short list?
    (1) We need to lift weights because it is quite normal to lose muscle as we age, hence the percent of body fat increases. This keeps up our strength. A bonus is the improvement in bone strength (ladies note).
    (2) Get the pulse, breathing and sweating going twice a week to maintain stamina through healthy heart and lungs. The extra here is mental wellbeing.
    (3) Pilates. The core, especially abdominals and hips. According to my coach, Ann Little, pilates is the way to tone muscle from the inside out. The spine is a particular beneficiary.
    (4) Stretching. Trying to keep suppleness going.
    (5) There are other recommendations such as interval training, yoga, lunges and squats, but I have no personal experience of their benefits.

  There has to be a number of questions here. How safe is this? Can I start for the first time in my sixties? I have diabetes, angina, parkinsonism and so on; is this for me? Exactly how heavy, how fast, how long, and how often? I've read it somewhere that a good stiff 20 minute walk, five times a week would do it (and golf doesn't count).
  Well, Matt has some great news. Two or more days off a week and take care over 30 minutes per session. It is sensible/essential to get the okay from your doctor if you worry about your health. She is more likely than not to say "go for it", starting slow with help maybe from your local gym's professional trainer. This raises the question of cost - maybe a good investment when your risk of heart and stroke disease falls and you feel better about yourself. Do I follow this advice - yes - I am one of the lucky ones who enjoys exercise for its own sake. See video on Facebook (for some reason it will not load on blogger).
  The web is not consistent and some of it is contradictory, so no change there then. The best NHS site for guidelines could be this.

  Motivation - getting going and then keeping going. Are there any Tricks about setting goals and freshening them up regularly. Weight loss, a specific challenge (e.g. charity fund-raiser), joining a group and so on. Give yourself a break if you don't meet your targets. There are still people who are very athletic and competitive over 70 - let them.

We have a men's section in the ladies dominated pilates class down in Holmfirth. It's a liberation movement. There's arthritis, angina, diabetes, and grumpiness. Then there's coffee in Scufflers.

So we've got coffee and exercise. Where are the senior singer/songwriters?

Here's one - Knofler

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

For those who missed the piano-playing window cleaner first time round

We have our Scarborough windows done intermittently when we visit. The cleaner owns several keyboards, one of which he keeps in the back of the van just in case someone is interested. Please clic on the links.

piano in the back of the van

piano on the bonnet

And in case you are interested Male voices in the Holme Valley

This post is specifically for email.

Can male voice choirs survive?

Can the male voice choir survive? - read this telegraph article - it stresses the physical and mental health benefits of singing and social interaction, especially when choir members are working toward a common objective, such as a distinctive sound.

See also reasons for singing previously on this blog

This book came out in 2012 and has a chapter on UK male voice choirs, by Peter Davies. Here are some summaries from a survey of over 450 choirs.

(1) Four part harmony, usually not close, two and a half octaves centring on G below middle C. Piano or organ accompaniment and no choreography.

(2) 60% of choirs have a membership exceeding 40. Majority have an age range 56-85.

(3) Recruitment following natural events is biggest concern.

(4) Financed through membership and concert fees. Few have sponsorships or grants. Average fee for concerts £150. 3% charge over £400.

(5) Conservative music choices. Slow repertoire turnover, largely due to inability to read music. Welsh hymns, spirituals, post-war pop songs and songs from the shows.

(6) 25% have entered a contest within the last 12 months. Two thirds positive, one third neutral or negative. Main problem is grumpiness at not winning. Simply taking part or getting constructive suggestions for improvement are not valued.

(7) 50% perform once a month. Average audience 140.

Overall impression is gradual decline, despite recognised benefits. Some choirs amalgamate. 
Choral work is not particularly attractive to younger generations given everything on offer, and so natural events are not corrected for.
School choirs associated with arts, music centres and mentoring male voice choirs are on the increase.
More opportunities to train as singing and choral coaches are also increasing.

And the point? Singing in a male voice choir is great and a under threat, but given careful marketing (stressing the benefits) and resources, it can survive and thrive.

John Clay organises a Ceilidh at New Mill Club

Saturday July 8th
7.30 ish
New Mill Club
Price - not a lot, to be announced
Tickets available from John - give him a ring on 686642

Starring a visit from the famous yellow 'Fish and Chip' bus.
If you have never fallen over whilst stripping the willow, you haven't lived.
Buy now and avoid disappointment.

Laurel and Hardy tribute, but Clive strangely resembles a happy caller in ceilidh band.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Another good concert, but just look at those cream teas at 11 o'clock in the morning

St Andrew's Church, Scarborough.
Another first class choir performance and the Manhattan girls were good too.

The following morning, look who I discovered at the Clock Cafe? 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Male voices in the Holme Valley

Try out this new venture - an audio file about stuff of local musical interest. The first attempt finished before the audio was complete. This is version 2.

It is not the final quality we would like, but you have to start somewhere. Hopefully we can improve and do some more.

'Since the nineteenth century West Yorkshire has been full of music. Huddersfield particularly so. The Choral Society, formed in 1836, is often used, deservedly, as the example of the town's musical excellence. In addition ...'

Click on the link to hear the article in full - Male voices in the Holme Valley

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Three choirs at Wakefield Cathedral

Whether they sang alone or together, the three choirs gave their all.

The well-organised and supportive helpers, the venue and our professionals let the singers blossom in one of the best concerts I've sung in.

A privilege.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Don't miss it - this Saturday - 3 choirs for the price of one

Joint items - How Great Thou Art and Tell Me it's not True (theme from Blood Brothers) 

Easy parking

Great venue

Have you got your ticket?

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Video from a bit of a do

Take your life in your hands and click on the following link. Compiled by older brother Steve. We love it.

70s d0

Monday, 3 April 2017

Another triumph at The Town Hall

Alan went well, Emma serene,
Choir superb, cat with the cream.
Oh Joy, how they loved us,
From Dixie to Carrickfergus.
That audience so sweet,
Their enjoyment complete.
Jeff introduced us all - legato,
For Trilogy he joined the tenors, in't front row.
Evans 'the opera' as they say in Wales,
Big red dragon size, he tops the scales.
He's funny too, despite his rear view.
Wynne a word not often heard down the WRU.
'I don't sell insurance,' he cried.
I think he could if he tried.

Alan went well, Emma serene.
The superb choir went to the rugby club.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Not just the bloke from the 'Go-Compare' advert

Don’t delay, take action, buy tickets from any Tourist Information outlet, The Town Hall or 
online (just click here).