Our CD Cover - Full Post →


OK so the CD journey is well and truly underway and at some point I will do some posts about all the work that has got us this far.

While I get on with the next stage (making the recording sound a s good as I can (not much work needed incidentally)) we need to be creating the CD cover and inlay.

Janice has kindly agreed to put some ideas together for us but we need the ideas to start with!

I’ve had 2 ideas so far.

First, I thought we could simply have a cover that is “our blue” with white writing saying “Makin’ Muzic'” across the front. The inside and back cover could also be blue with white writing. Plain, simple, branded.

Second idea is to try and combine a photo of our 2 main concert venues – St Augustine’s and the Wootten Bassett Methodist Chapel. These will also be the main venues from the recordings since I hope to include some recordings from last year’s summer concert along with the ones we took at St Augustine’s.

In the last week or so David has come up with another idea which is currently my favourite. Being an artist, David has done some paintings in and around Swindon including some pictures (believe it or not!) of the Tri Centre complex (the buildings in which we rehearse). Now I think it would be fantastic to use pictures by one of our members of our rehearsal venue on our very own CD. To give you an idea a sample photo of one of his tri centre pictures is here….

Tri CentresTri Centres #2

So what do we think? Do you have other ideas? Do you like any of these ideas? Do you not care? Whatever your thoughts please share them here.


Our Summer Event - Full Post →


Well here we are in February and so we need to start thinking about our big summer event. I thought it would be really nice this year to do something different but I’m not quite sure what!

The focus should be that we get to give a performance of everything that we have been working on this year. So, with that in mind, here are my thought starters….

Read more…

Wootton Bassett Arts Festival - Full Post →

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Well, on Thursday 20th June, Makin’ Muzic set off to take part in the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival. We took part in their class C8 “Community Choir with a secular program”.

Having arrived early we were able to listen to some solo and duet classes and hear the rather blunt comments made by the adjudicator. By this point we were all starting to feel a little more nervous than before we arrived! For those of us who remembered the Swindon Music Festival we were dreading a repeat performance of the adjudication – not an experience I really want again.

When it was our turn however we got up and did our very best right from walking onto the stage through to bowing at the end. I walked on last and was delighted at just how amazing we look all done out in our black clothes and blue flowers. I was also rather shocked to see just how big the choir has got – 25 people is quite a lot!

We sang our 3 numbers superbly. Everything went according to plan and I could see the effort that was being put in by every single member. Oh and boy was it good to hear us sing with a real grand piano!

Having listened to the other 3 choirs in the class (one of which had already won another class – gulp) we sat waiting for the comments.

Her comments to the first choir were as cutting as to the solo and duet classes. Oh no we thought, here we got.

The adjudicator came to us and made some very positive comments. She liked our tone and the choice of repertoire. She complimented us on our unaccompanied singing. She praised us for singing without folders and for listening to each other and watching the MD. Of the third piece (Singin’ in the Rain) she did comment that we could have looked a bit happier – we need to lose the look of concentration in the hard bits). And that was pretty much it. It appeared that she loved us!

She was reasonably kind to the other 2 choirs in the class but we were starting to think it just might be us who got the top mark – and indeed it was. We were awarded an 87 Distinction.

We are of course thrilled to have won but we did also really enjoy the evening. Watch out for another post soon on what I as MD feel I learnt by taking part.

Here are scans of the certificate and the adjudicators notes..

WBAF Comments Sheet

WBAF Certificate

and a cheesy photo of me with the cup…



A Decision - Full Post →

So, as those of you who were at last week’s rehearsal will have heard me say (well if you weren’t talking to each other at the time you will….) I have decided that we will continue with our plan for a summer concert.  My thinking behind this is:-

  • Many of you expressed a desire to do the summer concert and some were really quite dismayed at the idea of doing away with it
  • I love the summer concert and I’m in charge(!)

However don’t think that the discussion below has somehow been a waste of time. Far from it. It has highlighted some really important things that I hope I have reflected in my plans:-

  • There is a real desire to invest time in the preparation of the festival pieces so that we turn up with every “I” crossed and every “t” dotted
  • More of you than I realised want to sing without music
  • Some of you LOVE weddings (perhaps a little more than is healthy..)
  • Singing songs our audience have heard before is good – people like to hear what they know especially when we do it well

So there we are. We will have a summer concert, decision made.  Watch this space for details of some extra rehearsals for those who are interested.

Rehearsal Plan - Full Post →

Here is my latest rehearsal plan.  You’ll see the proposed concert program in here too with 2 of the old repertoire added along with one sing along (to show the good stuff we do for charity!)

Rehearsal Plan v2

It just don’t fit - Full Post →


Oh dear.  I’ve just sat down to do my rehearsal plan for the summer concert and there just aren’t enough weeks to do everything we wanted to. In fact, there aren’t enough weeks for us to put together a full choir program. We are, to use a technical term, a bit stuffed.

Here is what I had hoped we would do

Let it Snow (ha ha aren’t we funny
Singin’ in the Rain
Stormy Weather
Here Comes the Sun
California Dreaming
Fields of Gold
Irish Blessing
Something Inside so Strong

plus probably American Trilogy to celebrate our success at the festival (come one, let’s think positive).

So, we can cut things, we can drop some harmonies to simplify some pieces and we can book in extra rehearsals.

But, can you think of a more creative way to deal with this problem? Ideas on a postcard (or just reply to this post)…….



Festival Repertoire - Full Post →

Well, thanks all for the suggestions for songs to take to the festival. There were loads of great ideas especially for some things that are a bit different.

Given the amount of rehearsal time we have, I have decided that our third festival piece will have to be one of our planned concert pieces. In order to provide a good contrast with the other 2, I have decided we will take Stormy Weather. So the full set will be

American Trilogy
Stormy Weather~
Singin’ in the Rain

Now, this is quite a “brave” decision because Stormy Weather is not easy, unaccompanied and we haven’t really started it yet! It is going to take some effort to pull this off but I’m sure we can do it.

So, 9 rehearsals until the festival, 12 until our concert. Let’s go….