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