ELS Jan - Jun 2009

Images past and present of ELS in the community. From working in schools to working with the elderly. From practice to performance. You'll find it all here.





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23rd June 2009 - As promised, you can now listen to the first ever recording of Alvechurch Community Choir. Our grateful thanks to Simon for putting together both the videos for us. Splendid job!



16th June 2009 - Yesterday and today saw the whole show back on the road again, with a visit to Batchley First School and Alvechurch Middle School. Did we have fun????????????? Sure we did!


Yesterday also saw our first attempt to record Alvechurch Community Choir in full swing. After a lengthy battle with the Zoom H2, Blue finally won the day and managed to capture a really nice track. Watch this space for a YouTube clip which will be up and running shortly.


And now a short video of our children singing with the now famous duo "Mr G and BB". The images were taken in March 2009 on one of Lillian Boutté's earlier visits.




Just in case you feel like singing along... here are the words:


Out on the street, there is sunshine

When two friends meet, there is sunshine

When life is sweet, there is sunshine

sunshine in my heart


Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine in my heart

Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine in my heart


4th June 2009 - Is it really June already? We are happy to report our planned 'on tour' workshops with Lillian have been rescheduled and will now take place in October. We have also booked a celebratory event in Alvechurch. The venue will allow us to take approximately 60 children from each of our partner schools!


ACC had its first public meeting on 1st June. The agenda included news of forthcoming bookings!!! Wow... aren't we doing well? Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the lively discussion.


In time ACC will break off from ELS and 'stand alone' as a community project within itself. Part of the meeting agenda included how that might be achieved. In preparation for the break, a choir website and logo are to be designed and, a new treasurer and administrator are to be appointed.


Anyone wishing to receive regular choir updates by email should write  to blue@lets-sing.co.uk  with the words 'Add me to ACC' in the subject line. It is equally simple to remove your name by sending a mail which says 'Remove me from ACC'.


17th May 2009 - Our first tour date went ahead without Lillian at the helm. Due to a very last minute hiccup (literally the night before the 'off') she was unable to join us for our scheduled visit to Astwood Bank First School on Wednesday 13th May. Undaunted by the mishap, Mike and the rest of the band kicked off the tour with their usual enthusiasm and everyone agreed what an amazing time it was!


A reminder for all you budding singers: ACC meet again on May 18th. If you would like a list of all the forthcoming dates, you can download and print off our .pdf file for future reference. Everyone is welcome, so come along and have some fun!


7th May 2009 - Things are moving on apace! The music workshop calendar has been finalized for the Spring / Summer term and plans are underway for the Autumn / Winter term. Thinking of which: we are looking for a big enough venue to hold groups of children from six partner schools, members of Alvechurch Community Choir and other guests for a huge celebratory singing event in the Autumn. Any ideas would be greatly welcomed. For more information speak with Blue, or email her at info@lets-sing.co.uk


In the meantime... back to the present: Lillian Boutté and her band will be joining us next week for three consecutive days. Each day promises to be filled with music, fun and laughter. We will see if we can persuade Mr G to record some for us.


Each of the planned days will be hosted by a different local school, which means: we (Pitcheroak, Lillian and the band) are officially 'on tour' for this next leg of workshops. Yaaayyyyyyyyyy!! We'll be putting up some new photos soon, so keep this page bookmarked and keep your eyes peeled.


2nd April 2009 - Our promotional DVD has been pressed and printed. If you would like a copy for yourself, send a request via our contacts page or speak with Blue on choir night. The DVDs are £2 each, which covers the cost of production. However, if you would like to use it to help us do some fundraising, then it is free of charge. Don't forget we are happy to help you launch a fundraising activity - or to come along and offer some support. We would also be happy to deliver a talk to any group or organisation who would like to know more about our work in schools.


On a slightly different note: There was an interesting article published in the SAGA Magazine (March 2009 edition) entitled 'With a Song in our Hearts'. Professor Stephen Clift, co-director of the Sidney De Haan Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University, is quoted as saying singing is "... a very uplifting activity and generates a great deal of pleasure. It's like having a little injection of happiness." And we couldn't agree more! If you want to find out for yourself, come along to the next choir practice... oh, and don't forget to bring your mug!


If you live further afield and are eager to join in the fun, check out these links:











And finally... The Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health has a special interest in documenting the positive effects of music on older people, find out more here:





24th March 2009 - Our first ACC choir meeting was nothing short of amazing! Around 65 people came along to the 'party' and the roof was well and truly raised.


Katie Harris led the singing with Dave Perryman on guitar. Hannah Genders manned the projector and Blue messed around in the background. (I heard she was ballet dancing at one stage... hmmm, an interesting concept, but I don't believe it!)


15th March 2009 - Didn't you do well? We were all incredibly impressed at the turn out for our launch workshops. Forty-three of you came along in the morning and in excess of that in the afternoon.


And wwwwwwow! You sounded terrific! Well done!


We had some special appearances: Denise Gordon came from Northampton to sing with Lillian and assist with 'tuning in' the choir. Here's a clip of the proceedings:



Jessica Hines showed up to help out with percussion and admirably managed to sort out the honourable Mr Barnaby Hines as he wrestled with a variety of instruments. Finally, to finish the day off nicely, an unnamed local superstar gave us a wonderful rendition of 'When the Saints Come Marching in'.


For those of you who were not able to attend, come along and join us at our first practice session:


Date: Monday, March 23rd 2009

Time: 7:30pm

Venue: Alvechurch School

Cost: £2 per person


You can be guaranteed a warm welcome and, before you know it, you will be singing like a lark too!


11th March 2009 - March is rocking!! We have so many plans and so much to do. But first things first: an update on ACC (Alvechurch Community Choir). The big launch is Saturday, 14th March, with two workshops followed by an evening performance. Timings are as follows:


Morning workshop: 10:00am - 12:00 midday

Afternoon workshop: 2:00pm - 4pm

Evening performance: 7:30pm


All with Lillian Boutté at the helm.


Venue: Alvechurch Baptist Church Hall.

Cost per person per workshop: £2 (yesssss.... just £2!!)

Evening performance: FREE


You don't need to be able to sing - we'll show you how! And if you can't make the workshops, then come along to the performance, you absolutely will not be sorry. See you there!


February 2009 - A very interesting programme was broadcast on Radio 4 at 7:45am on Wednesday 4th February. An interview with Howard Goodall focussed on a report issued by Ofsted which detailed their evaluation of music in schools. We thought you might like to hear what he had to say:



Download the full transcript in .pdf format


January 2009 - Some hot news on the Alvechurch Community Choir! Lillian Boutté has agreed to launch this part of our project with a full day of workshops. More details will be emerging, so keep watching this space.


The choir will be open to adults and children (aged 11 and over) who live in the local area and Mike Genders & Kate Harris will be the Musical Directors.


We thoroughly enjoyed watching this clip of Sir Ken Robinson on YouTube. He explores the question: "Do Schools Kill Creativity?" We hope you enjoy it too.



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