Welcome to the new Sing Alive year

A huge welcome to all choir members. As I write, the sun is drying the washing (and the hens) on a radiant Bank Holiday after a very damp August. Rob and I are preparing to travel to play at a folk festival in Germany (via Amsterdam) after a very busy working summer.

Thank you for your generosity at the end of term. I treated myself to some beauty salon pampering courtesy of the Bradford on Avon singers and have my eyes on a Pear and a Greengage to add to the Devizes singers orchard (as I have taken to calling the bottom of the garden). I still have enough vouchers to get some flowers (edible and otherwise) for the bees. Your gifts really are a blessing thank you.

I wanted to reflect on some choir highlights of 2016/2017

  • Marking the turning of the year in our Singing the Seasons workshops in the beautiful Saxon Church and St Mary Tory.
  • Spine-tingling Taize at St Mary Tory, a glittering tree at the refurbished Holy Trinity Church in BoA and one of our best Christmas concerts in Bradford on Avon.
  • A great day out at the Calne Spring Sing.
  • Fun, green beer and great singing at the Urchfont Scarecrow Festival.
  • A glorious HOT HOT day in Cardiff raising £968 for Sing for Water (the event total was £16,500)
  • Raising almost £500 for the Soundwell Music Therapy Trust through sales our our CD and tea and coffee donations form Devizes.
  • and last, but not least, a grand summer finale at the Larmer Tree Gardens.

Amidst the joy and laughter we had some sadness. 2016/2017 saw the passing of two singers. John Glasbrook from Bradford on Avon and Grahame Shaw from Devizes. Thanks to all for your support in singing their farewells.


So now is the start of our tenth year. After some consultation and much counting on fingers, we will mark our tenth anniversary in 2018 (as we were founded in September/November 2008)

I have chosen lots of great new songs to sing including a roaring Sea Shanty, a playful wedding song from Bulgaria and we’ll be revisiting more old favourites, including Lowlands.

Following the success of our Singing the Seasons workshops we will again mark the turning of the year with gorgeous songs in St Mary Tory and the Saxon Church. Another date for your winter diary is our Christmas concert. This year we are in Devizes on Sunday December 10th. Rehearsal at 5pm. Concert at 7.30 – 8.30pm in the Georgian splendor of the Assembly Rooms of the Town Hall.

I’m looking forward to sharing another splendid singing year with you all. We have several new members starting this year and I know you will welcome them warmly.


Term dates and fees are as follows:

  • Autumn/Winter Term 2017
    12/14th September to 5/7th December (12 weeks)
    NO SESSION 24/26th October
  • Spring Term 2018
    2nd/4th January to 27/29th March (12 weeks)
    NO SESSION on 13/15th February
  • Summer Term 2018
    17/19th April to 10/12th July (12 weeks)
    NO SESSION on 29th/31st May

Memberships fees are paid at the first session of term. Please arrive a little early to help us manage this. Cheques are payable to E S Penlington or online to account number 29319160 sort code 30 90 54.

  • By a happy coincidence all three terms this year are 12 weeks long so each full term is £88 (£167 for couples/additional family member)
  • You may pay by the half term if you wish. Each half term is £44 (£84 or couples/additional family member)

If you are wishing to introduce someone to the choir it is ‘try for a fiver’. It is helpful if people can come at the beginning of a new term, especially if they are a complete beginner. If you are bringing someone to the Devizes group we are now full for higher female voices.

I will be making song sheets and harmony parts available after the start of term. I will have all the words we need for the first session of term written on the flip chart with some hard copies for those who need one.