Harmony 303 choir

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Upcoming Events:

Event:Singing at Stourhead
Location:
Date:September 23rd, 2017
Description:


Event:Come for Coffee
Location:Martock Parish Hall
Date:November 24th, 2017
Description:


Event:Christmas Market
Location:Dillington
Date:December 2nd, 2017
Description:


Event:End of term sharing
Location:Norton Hall
Date:December 12th, 2017
Description:

Singing at Dillington by Candlelight

We will be singing in front of the entrance at Dillington House as part of their Christmas Market.

Saturday 2 nd at 5 pm.

Singing at the Come4Coffee Morning

The choir has been invited to sing at the coffee morning at Martock Parish Hall on Friday 24 th November  at 11.am .

Singing at Martock Church

The choir has been invited to sing at the Martock Church Harvest Craft Exbition.

On Sunday 8th October at 2.30 pm.

Celebrations

 

CELEBRATIONS

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Harmony 303 have had cause for celebration on two occasions recently, both of which we rose to with our signature enthusiasm and enjoyment.

 

The first was a celebration of ourselves: the Harmony 303 choir has been singing for five years- a landmark indeed. Ros Beattie’s inspiration, that Martock & Ash should have a community choir, was realised in May 2011, when some forty or so interested people turned up at Ash Village Hall for the very first session, under the leadership of Caroline Rigby. Ros has since said that she really had not expected such a response. But that was just the beginning; today, five years down the line, we are a massive choir of 70 plus singers – with a waiting list. Perhaps the biggest change over these five years has been in the bass (male) section, which has grown from a fairly tentative handful to a hearty section of some 15 or more singers, who really make their presence felt.

 

And it is not just about the singing; there is a very happy camaraderie amongst Harmony 303 members – we talk, we laugh, we enjoy. Which is just what happened on our actual ‘Birthday’ which we celebrated with fizz, natch, and utterly delicious cake, courtesy of Penny, our own amazing in-house professional cake-maker.  And the press came too, to help mark the occasion, teetering on step ladders in order to capture us tout ensemble on camera.

 

Apart from our weekly gathering – now in Norton Village Hall since we rapidly outgrew Ash – we have sung in National Trust houses, in Prague, in Martock precinct, in Bristol with a thousand other singers at the ‘Sing for Water’ event, and at a member’s funeral in Martock church. We have been saddened by the loss of two other members, and we’ve done a lot of fund-raising for WaterAid. These five years have flown by; singing is a joy to all of us, and we look forward joyfully to our next anniversary.

 

The second celebration that we have just enjoyed was that of the wedding of one of our members, who invited Harmony 303 to sing at the occasion. Some forty of us shared the privilege of being part of Steph’s wedding to Rob in the lovely gardens of Tintinhull House.  We were scheduled to sing after the ceremony, which took place in the summerhouse, so we heard vows being exchanged in this delightful setting before assembling under a gazebo in the adjacent garden, poised ready to sing some of Steph’s very favourite songs from our repertoire as she and Rob – now man & wife – walked from the summerhouse. It is no exaggeration to say that Steph looked radiant- a vision in a long red gown and gorgeous creamy-white picture hat. Having this information- the colour scheme- in advance, the choir had endeavoured to reflect the theme, and it is wholly fair to say that we had all made a jolly good effort. Many shades of red and varieties of cream, yet all melded happily to present a united – even perhaps quite fetching-front.

And we so loved singing; most of Steph’s favourites were favourites for all of us, and we sang with gusto, opening with the rousing ‘Bamba lela’. Caroline, animated and encouraging as ever, led us from one song to the next, and we finished our first set with  ‘Beyond the Sea’  Then a short break, during which we enjoyed fizz & canapés and a bit of mingling, then back to the second half, starting with the gospel-style’ Woke up this morning’ and finishing with the very apt ‘Love can Build a Bridge’  Quite emotional actually……It was all so very enjoyable from start to finish.

Harmony 303 are, I feel, rather good at celebration.

 

JSB

June 2016

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Sing for water 2016

 

SING FOR WATER- BATH 2016

 

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Harmony 303 took part in – and enjoyed –  ‘Sing for Water’ in Bristol in 2013, so the opportunity to sing again at Bath was welcomed by some 40 or more members, most of whom had had the Bristol experience. Bath was different in many ways-the weather, the venue, the organisation et al- but it too proved to be a memorable day.

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The weather was remarkable: it veered from sunshine and blue skies to inky clouds, deluge and sudden cold and mighty winds – oh so much different from the scorching heat of Bristol. And the most notable veering happened in the time it took for the first half of the choir to leave the  (metaphorical) stage, and the second half – which included Harmony 303 – to take it. It was extraordinary timing on the part of the weather gods, who threw everything at us mid-first line of our first song, and had us breaking rank to scrabble for waterproofs and umbrellas from the bags at our feet. I was bemused by the umbrellas insofar as they completely obscured sight of our conductor for anyone standing behind one, but up they went nonetheless. Whatever happened to suffering for one’s art?  But as is ever the way with people who get together to sing, good humour prevailed relentlessly, and the rain and associated inconveniences really didn’t matter.

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The venue was amazing- the backdrop being the Royal Crescent, which was so much more attractive than the stone amphitheatre of the docks at Bristol. However, acoustically it was not comparable: our voices flew away with the wind, and with no hard surfaces from which to bounce back, the sound we produced belied the fact that we were a nearly-1000 strong choir. We- the Harmony choir- had an advantage in being able to listen to the other half of the singers before we performed, so we were aware that we needed to make as much noise as was possible.  And I think we did; it wasn’t a competition in any sense, but getting up second to sing the same songs ( except one) made it feel a bit like one- no bad thing in terms of trying really hard!

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The best bit was when we all joined together again, the sun came out, the audience -stoically remaining through the rain- applauded, and songs that we loved singing came out just right. The prevailing theme of the songs was water- some of which have since become part of Harmony’s repertoire,”Boat on a River’, ‘Beyond the Sea’- as well as some with no watery connection, like ” I Won’t Back Down’, which we just liked. It sounded amazing with so many singers at Bath.

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Our conductors- a different one for each song- deserve a mention, because they were splendid, standing on a not very robust looking scaffold platform, gesticulating and yelling, retaining good humour in tricky conditions, encouraging, praising. Other memorable aspects of the day were the wonderful porta-loos (!), a group singing African songs with choreographed movements whilst we had lunch, a poignant poem that was read to us, the camaraderie. ‘Sing for Water’ is about raising money for Water Aid, but it is also an opportunity to share a love of singing with strangers, who somehow are not strangers, but are fellow-singers by the end of the day.

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JSB

October 2016

 

 

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This event  took  place on Sunday July 10th  in the Royal Victoria Park Bath.

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