Performances and classes

It will not surprise any of you that our forthcoming performances have been cancelled/postponed during the Coronavirus outbreak.

This includes:

April 22 – White Doves concert Ammerdown Centre. CANCELLED

April 24 – Care Homes Choir at Blenheim House CANCELLED

May 2 – White Doves at Iford Manor CANCELLED

May 9 – Sing Alive at Urchfornt Scarecrow Festival CANCELLED

May 17 – Sing for Water Cardiff. POSTPONED

May 24 – Sing Alive Garden Party at Blenheim House CANCELLED

June 6 – White Doves at The Hall choir festival, Bradford on Avon POSTPONED

Currently classes are suspended until after Easter. I am fully expecting to need to suspend the following half term too.  Devizes Town Hall have informed my their venues will be closed for the whole of May. I am awaiting confirmation from our Bradford on Avon venue.

During this time I will be posting two singalong videos a week on our YouTube channel. This is a resource open to all with an internet connection. The Facebook LIVE sessions twice weekly on Facebook will continue for those who want to take part.  The songs will be the same as those on YouTube so the only element missing will be the ‘live’ bit.





Sing Alive singalongs

Whilst we are unable to meet in person I will be posting videos on our YouTube channel available for anyone with an internet connection to watch.

These will be very simple songs that anyone should be able to join in with.  Over time I will record slightly more complicated ones as well, for those of you who like a challenge.

I will post up two songs a week. The first song is up there now. It is the Aboriginal gathering song Abeeyo.

Here is the link to the song.

Please subscribe to the channel and share with your friends and we can create an online singing community through these difficult times. I will be making these videos available on the front page of our website so that you do not need to be a member of the choir to sing along.

Singalong with Sian – starts Monday March 16

While we are not gathering together as a choir I am planning to gather us together to sing remotely. I am using Facebook LIVE and, in the near future, our own website.
If you are not on Facebook and wish to join our closed group page (not our public-facing ‘fan’ page) the link is: 
You need to click on the ‘request to join’ button ahead of time so that you are part of the group.
I will be broadcasting a series of singalongs from the group page starting on Monday 16th March.
Log into this group at 11am as I go through Bridge Over Troubled Water LIVE.
Monday – Sopranos, Tuesday – Altos, Wednesday – Tenors, Thursday – Basses and Friday we will all sing it together.
I appreciate not everyone is on Facebook or wishes to join Facebook so I am working on recording videos and posting them on our website. This will not be in real time yet, I am looking into YouTube live streaming and other web-based possibilities. Any IT savvy folks amongst you that can offer suggestions please do.
My good wishes and hopes for good health to you all in the meantime and if this works I plan to do a song a week.
Best wishes

Sing Alive Covid 19 Update

With the news today that the UK is entering the ‘delay’ phase of dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic I have decided to postpone all choir rehearsals and gatherings for the time being. This means there will be NO Devizes choir this evening.
Singing is an activity that, by it’s nature, spreads droplets into the air. We are in close proximity to each other in enclosed spaces which are not well ventilated and many in the choir are 65+ with underlying health conditions.
You will also be aware that the World Health Organisation (WHO) having studied how the infection has spread in other countries advises that the risk of infection appears to be high at small gatherings in indoor venues. 

Dr David Nabarro, one of the WHO’s six special envoys on coronavirus, said today; “There is a particular risk for gatherings in locations with poor ventilation. We are operating on the basic assumption that the home is a primary place where transmission has been occurring, but something else we are also really picking up on is that in places where ventilation is poor, or if there is ventilation but a lack of proper filtration and where people are closer than 2 metres,  then that can also be seriously bad.  He continued “That appears to be the next commonest place where infections are taking place and that is why restaurants, pubs and churches – churches in particular because of physical closeness – are of interest.”

This combination of factors makes me very concerned that we could contribute unnecessarily to community transmission of this disease amongst those most vulnerable to serious illness, particularly as the virus is most contagious when people are not exhibiting symptoms.
I have not heard from the organisers of Sing for Water Cardiff. As soon as I do I will let you all know.
Rob and I have heard from most of the care homes we play in who have cancelled all entertainment because they are in lockdown to avoid Covid19 transmission.
I am awaiting notification from Blenheim House where the care homes choir are due to sing on April 24th and we are due to hold a gathering in May – again, I will keep you all informed as and when I get the information.
Meanwhile stay well and I shall keep in touch via the website and social media.
If there is any material change/resumption of rehearsals I will email you all.

Spring Term 2020

I hope you have all managed to stay warm and dry over the past week. Spring is doing its best to emerge with a few brave daffodils heralding the promise of warmer days to come.

We will gather together for singing warmth on February 25th/27th. More lovely new songs to sing, some for the big Sing For Water event on Sunday May 17th and some just for the joy of singing.

Sound files and words are on the harmony parts and words page.

This half term is £46 (£87 for couples/family discount). Please make cheques payable to E S Penlington (the bank accepts no variations)  If you pay by bank transfer sort code is 30 90 54 account number is 29319160.  Thanks to those who have already paid.  Fees are due in or before the first week of term.


Sing for Water Cardiff – payment deadline February

Just heard from the Sing for Water Cardiff organisers. The date for registration (and payment of £10 participation fee per singer) will be the first week of February. I will therefore be starting the list at choir on the 21st/23rd January and will need to take payment the following week (28th/30th Jan)
Places are first come, first served and we do not wish to miss out.
Cash at choir or bank transfer to the usual account will be fine. If you are not at choir this term but wish to take part please let me know by email

Sing for Water is Sunday 17th May

Charities 2019/20 – Update

We have chosen to continue supporting Devizes OpenDoors who support homeless and vulnerable adults towards safe and settled homes in the town and the Bradford on Avon group voted to for Wiltshire Mind who offer support and counselling at six centres across the county.

To date we have raised £429.84 for Devizes OpenDoors who sent us this thank you message:

“This is a wonderful total! We are incredibly grateful to you and the Sing Alive choir for raising so much money and donating it to support the homeless and vulnerable who come to our sessions.”

We have raised £318.62 for Wiltshire Mind who sent us this note:

“Thank you so much for your fundraising efforts and raising £318.62 for Wiltshire Mind, it is an amazing amount. Wiltshire Mind is a totally self-funded charity and such kind donations such as yours enable us to continue to provide our much needed services throughout Wiltshire.”



Winter Term 2019

We start singing together again on November 5th/7th. Our main focus will be learning four more songs for our Christmas concert which, this year, is on the evening of Sunday 8th December in the Assembly Rooms of Devizes Town Hall.

The new songs and songsheets are on the harmony and words page in the members area.

Also to look forward to is our end of term sing at the Bradford on Avon Christmas Tree Festival at 12.15pm on Tuesday 3rd December.

Before that, in November, there are two workshops you may wish to take part in.  On November 15th I am running a workshop in West Lavington, hosted by Wiltshire WI. A joyful day of singing to banish any winter blues. Tickets £15. I will bring full details to choir.

If you havn’t already booked to be a part of ChoirLab19 on November 17th at Bath University then there are still a few tickets left. An energetic day singing with a variety of choir leaders (including yours truly) full details on our events page.

On a practical note, please be aware that this is a five-week half term so the fees are £38 (£72 for couples/family). Cheques payable to E S Penlington or online to account number 29319160 sort code 30 90 54.

Last day of term is the 3rd/5th December followed by our concert on the 8th.

Harvest Festival – Thank You

A very nice note this morning from Urchfont. Thanks to all for giving up your Sunday evening to take part.

Good Morning Sian,
I just wanted to thank you and your choir for taking part in our service.
As usual, you were all brilliant. You make such a difference to our service.
So many people have commented this morning , while I was walking the dog around the village, how very much they had enjoyed last evening, and how wonderful to hear such amazing singing.


Sing Alive Autumn/Winter 2019

Welcome to a new singing year with Sing Alive.

We gather back together on Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th September with lots of new songs and singing to look forward to, including performance opportunities to celebrate the seasons at harvest and Christmas.

I will be recording the songs for the new term in September and they will be on the website with the new songsheets for those who like them, after the start of term.

The term dates and fees for the 2019/2020 year are set out in the next post on choir news. For the immediate term the fees for the year are £84 for the term (£159 for couples/family members) The first half is £46 (£87 for couples) the second half is £38 (£72 for couples). Fees are due in the first week of term.

Please make cheques payable to E S Penlington. For those who pay by bank transfer the account number is 29319160 the sort code is 30 90 54. Many thanks in advance.

Forthcoming performances and events

We have been invited to sing at the Urchfont Harvest Festival on Sunday 29th September. It starts at 6pm and we will sing two songs, one to start and one to end the service.

There are other events to look forward to, including BBC Music Day on Thursday 26th September at the Corn Exchange in Devizes. Alzheimer’s Support will host an event, bringing together singers and musicians with people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s to make music together as part of the nationwide celebrations. The event is supported by BBC Radio Wiltshire who will be broadcasting live. The event runs 5pm to 7.30pm, ending with a mass sing on Abba’s Thank You For The Music.

I have applied to be a part of the event. We will sing a couple of songs and then share music-making with others at the event. I am awaiting exact timings from the organisers. Our Devizes session that evening will start a bit later to give us time to get our breath back.

Our Christmas concert this year is in Devizes on Sunday 8th December in the Assembly Rooms of the Town Hall. Set up will be at 5.30pm with a rehearsal at 6pm and the concert starting at 7.30pm.

Looking much further ahead, the next Sing For Water event in Cardiff is happening in the summer of 2020. The date for your diary is Sunday May 17th. Exact details to be confirmed nearer the time. We can book a coach if there are enough singers who wish to travel.

Care Homes Choir

The Care Homes Choir is in demand this Autumn. I will email singers more details but we have bookings for the following dates:

Friday October 4th – Westbury Court, Station Road, Westbury 2.15pm

Friday October 18th – Blenheim House, Shernold, Melksham 2.30pm

Friday 25th October – Avon Court, St Francis Avenue, Chippenham 2.15pm

Thursday 19th December – Ivybank House, Entry Hill, Bath, 2.30pm


Thanks to all of you who have booked to be a part of Choirlab19 on Sunday 17th November at The Edge, University of Bath. I am one of ten workshop leaders running sessions from a range of singing traditions. You can choose 4 one hour workshops and be entertained by guest choirs throughout the day. The early bird price of £32/£35 for the day expires on October 1st. Visit for more.

10th Birthday Concert – Pictures

Absolutely lovely pictures taken by John Cordon (hubby of BoA tenor Su Cordon) – here are just a selection. Video recordings were also made, so clips should be available soon.