As I'm starting to get back into the groove of choir prep, I'm feeling reflective & really am grateful to be able to hold space for an amazing group of women! It's always good to hear what our members think too (as the choir is about them after all), so I'd like to post a heart-felt & lovely testimonial from one of our singers: (thank you Tam) x
My Cornwall Choir Collective Journey
Hi, my name is Tam and I am a member of the Truro and Newquay groups, but I like to make it along to Liskeard whenever I can.
I have been with Cornwall Choir Collective since Day One. I knew Jo from Rock Choir which I was a member of for a couple of years (until other commitments took over) and was delighted to find out that she was setting up her own group. I have always enjoyed singing - although not very well and mainly confined to the shower - but I had a positive experience singing with Jo before, so this new choir sounded perfect.
We started ‘meeting’ online (Zoom sessions) in September 2020 when Covid lockdown restrictions were still in place and choirs were not allowed to meet in person. I must admit I wasn’t sure at the time how this would work but I loved it from the very start.
I was going through a very difficult time in my personal life at that point, and feeling quite lonely, so seeing people at the other end of my laptop screen was a true lifesaver. It kept me connected with people and was something to look forward to every week. It was a lot of fun and we also had the opportunity to record some songs for a couple of online choir concerts.
It was so exciting when the time came that we could finally meet in person in the Summer of 2021. Luckily the weather was kind so we could still be safe and sing outside. It was lovely to meet the people we had started getting to know online. We had not heard each other’s voices before (being on zoom and having to turn laptop microphones off), so to finally sing together was amazing!
‘Proper’, inside choir sessions started in September 2021. We welcomed lots of new members and enjoyed learning new songs together. Since then, our choir numbers have grown, we have an increasing repertoire of songs and have performed at many events, such as the Christmas market at Truro Cathedral, the Queens Jubilee celebrations at Heartlands, at a care home in Liskeard and gigs in and around our local areas.
It is hard to put into words just how much being a member of Cornwall Choir Collective means to me, but it means SO much!
I love singing of course, I have grown in confidence over the last few years and my voice has improved and got stronger with Jo’s support and guidance. I have even got to the point where I have been able to sing a solo part in one of our songs, only a few lines, but is something I have always wanted to do but I never thought I would be able to, so I feel rather proud of myself for achieving this.
I think all the choir members would agree that we are more than just a choir, we are a family. Lifelong friendships have been made and continue to do so. We come together each week to sing, and we are there for each other through the good and difficult times with plenty of love and support. We laugh together (a lot) and cry together. It really is a very safe and special place to be. I remember Jo saying once when we were doing some grounding and breathing exercises as we do before we start singing, to close our eyes and imagine being in our happy place. I remember thinking to myself, ‘yes and I’m already here for real’.
Cornwall Choir Collective and the lovely ladies have pulled me through the last few years, and I am forever grateful. It's helped me so much with my well being and provided me with some positive escapism from daily life every week.
And of course, our lovely Jo, our wonderful choir leader, without whom we would not be part of such an amazing community. We all love her to bits! Her kindness, patience and passion for the choir is inspiring. She believes in each and every one of us and gives us the confidence to find and embrace our own unique singing voices in such a relaxing environment. We have so much fun together. You can’t help but leave at the end of the session without a smile on your face!
So, for anyone looking to join a choir and thinking about trying out Cornwall Choir Collective, I’d say do it! Come along and join us! You will be guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome and I am sure you won’t be disappointed. It’s certainly changed and enriched my life for the better.
My sincerest thanks to Jo and all the members of Cornwall Choir Collective!
So it appears I've still not got into the habit of blogging, almost a year on from my last post, but I promise there is lots going on in our choir world!
Each group is growing steadily and I am so proud of the community we are building.
It was lovely to end the spring term with a get together in Truro, where we sang through our set list, ate lots of cake & pasties, had a good catch up and ended with a relaxing sound bath (that other thing I do with gongs & stuff...)
I'm currently busy preparing for the term ahead, with songs to include Let it Be, Here Comes the Sun (here's hoping!!!) and Lean on Me - so quite traditional choir pieces this time - which I think will work really well, and I can't wait to get going with them. We're hoping to be involved in a few events too, so look out for us...! I'll put details up when confirmed.
I'm looking forward to getting into more of a routine with my sea swims and enjoying more fresh air! I must admit, I've really struggled this winter with a general lack of energy and have been more run down than usual - but it seems I'm not alone in this -so I hope that it will start to feel brighter for everyone soon! Spending time with lovely people each week & singing together certainly helps :)
Hope to see you soon - with added sunshine!
Love Jo x
Well hello there! It's been a while, hasn't it? Clearly I haven't quite got the hang of this Blog idea, but never mind...
I've been busy arranging & recording today for the term ahead, whilst also reflecting on our journey so far. I can hardly believe that we've completed a whole year of face-to-face singing, and it's been amazing! Our end of term workshops were a really positive addition to the Christmas & Easter seasons, giving all three groups the chance to sing together and have time to simply chat. We had an impromptu sing outside Truro Cathedral at the end of our Christmas session, which was very special - atmospheric, quiet & un-showy! There was no sign of the Easter bunny in Charlestown for the April workshop; however, pasties were plentiful, and a relaxing sound bath afterwards was appreciated!
We had our very first public performance during the Jubilee weekend, where we collaborated with Cornwall Junior Choir at Heartlands. A lively & lovely experience for singers & audience alike!
Over the summer we have had a bit of a break, but have still met up for outside singing and coffee, which has been a lovely way to stay connected and enjoy singing amongst nature.
Autumn term begins on Tuesday 13th September, and we would love to see some more people! If you want to take time for you (especially as the nights start to draw in & life can be challenging) then please come along and just give it a go :) Love & sunshine, Jo x
PS The sea swimming is going really well! Absolutely loving it, all year round!
I'm writing this on a dark & wintery Sunday night, post roast (so it's not all bad!)
Well, I've headed to the beach as much as possible in the last couple of weeks, despite the mizzle, although have not had a swim recently :( Grateful to Fizzy (the dog) for getting me out during these darker, wetter days, as I'd happily cosy up on the sofa or sit at the desk/piano all day otherwise...
Having just sent an email out to members with an exciting announcement about actually meeting up to rehearse, there has since been news of another lockdown - meaning the first of these sessions will not be happening; however, I am hopeful that we still might be allowed to meet on 19th December. Keeping everything crossed for this, as it would be so wonderful to sing some Christmas carols together!
On Friday night I did something way out of my comfort zone by attending a beat-boxing session on Zoom! This was hosted by the mind-blowingly talented (award-winning, no less) SK Shlomo (who has collaborated with Ed Sheeran & Bjork, plus many others, along with performing at Glastonbury every year since 2005) so it was a real privilege to participate - and fun too! Sam (my youngest) also attended, demonstrating skills far superior to mine of course. I'm not sure I'll be introducing beat-boxing to my choir sessions any time soon, although I would like to improve on my technique. Watch this space!!!
It's been a fairly quiet week of rehearsals (with a few people having half term plans), although just as up-lifting as always. Saturday's session ended with a somewhat spontaneous dancing-around-the-kitchen-moment to Bananarama's Love in the First Degree. I highly recommend this sort of behaviour, whether alone, with others or as part of a Zoom meeting!
I've decided to run some Facebook 'Lockdown Live' sessions for the next few weeks, giving the chance for anyone & everyone to learn a song with me in 3-part harmony. These will be on Wednesdays at 10am, along with my Collective Zoomers - so please tell your friends & family so that we can make connections and experience the truly powerful benefits of song!
Thanks for reading. Stay safe & dance in the rain xxx
Started the day in the best way possible with a morning swim (& blue skies/sunshine), and have now joined an Open Water swimming group, which I hope will help motivate me during the winter months...
It's been a busy day in the 'studio' (kitchen) recording the vocals for The Water is Wide & I Got Rhythm, as well as arranging some Christmas music! I know this year will be very different from the traditional concerts etc, but I still intend to immerse myself in the festive spirit (it's not that far off now you know) ;)
Fish & chips for tea, too, so all in all a good day!
Hope you are managing to download the resources & sing along at home.
Have a lovely weekend :)
It's been a pretty sunny day here so far, but the rain & wind is coming, so I took the opportunity to have another morning swim. It's the first time I've been in the water in October, and I'm going to try to brave it through the colder months. (I'll get back to you on that!)... Anyway, I'm very grateful & will never grow tired of being able to breathe in the ocean air whilst listening to the waves (usually with Fizzy by my side).
The Choir Collective is now in full swing, and it's been great to connect with everyone in the last few weeks. Even though we're not able to hear one another it is still a really positive space, full of joy & care :)
I've made some changes to my original song choices, opting for easy (but effective) to learn up-beat tunes, such as Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love & Fleetwood Mac's Little Lies - the overall intention is that everyone can just have a really good sing!
A few more sessions of similar songs, then we'll be moving on to the festive ones, eek!
This weekend I'll be back with Cornwall Junior Choir, for our first face-to-face rehearsal since March, so I'm beyond excited about that - and I can't wait until we can actually combine forces...
So lots to look forward to, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy singing along with the resources - and if you think you might like to join us then please message me & I'll sort out a free taster for you.
Batten down the hatches!
Love Jo x
With just one week to go until our very first session I thought I'd let you know the songs I've been working on.
I like to keep things varied, so have chosen some upbeat & energising songs along with more reflective & emotive ones, ranging from traditional folk style & 1920s jazz, to retro 70s & contemporary popular.
We'll start with Fall on Me (Great Big World, Andrea Bocelli) & Best Day of my Life (American Author).
To follow will be The Water is Wide, Blue Skies and I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton style), then I suspect we will be into FESTIVE territory, so more on that nearer the time...
Please try to keep an open-mind & know that I don't intend for things to be set in stone, so it'll be go with the flow!
I'll put some resources up on the members page soon, but I can also 'share screen' in Zoom, so you don't need to worry about downloading anything just yet.
Roll on next week, but for now enjoy the sunshine!
To all who have supported my choir leader journey over the years (perhaps without even realising...), please know that I am so grateful!
Crowdfunder. - with your help I reached my target to fund this very website & gorgeous professional branding!
Ann S, Heather, Marilyn & Nicola
Saltash beauts & Liskeard lovelies:
Chris, Denise, Emma, Fran, Linda W, Peggy, Roz, Sue, Tina & Val
Truro gang & Snozzle mates:
Barbara F, Carol M, David, Diane M, Fiona, Ginny, Helen, Izzy, Julie P, Kathy J, Katie, Kim, Lou T, Lynne, Nicky, Ruth, Stella, Tam & Wendy M
Mum & Dad, Laura & Julie M
Cornwall Junior Choir buddies
Anthea, Julia & Sarah M
Nat West - 'Back Her Business' :)
Shiny Lady Lee - for proof-reading, ongoing feedback & helping to find the words!
THANK YOU!!! Hope to see you soon xxx