Love to Sing – showcasing our members who joined after attending a Love to Sing Workshop
Fascinating Rhythm is very proud to be hosting its annual Love to Sing Workshop again after a 3-year gap. Previously known as ‘Learn to Sing’ Workshops, they have been retitled “LOVE” to Sing. In the course of one day, Fascinating Rhythm takes the participants through a new song literally from ‘page to stage.’
Why is Fascinating Rhythm so passionate about its workshops?
It is an excellent opportunity for this top 10 all-female barbershop chorus to provide women in the local community with the chance to experience the joy of singing in 4-part harmony in a fun and safe environment. FR always hope that the day will potentially result in a few new members, but they also get a real buzz from helping ladies discover their singing voice. Oh, and there’s an opportunity to sell yummy cakes to a captive audience and to make some great friends.
To demonstrate what our Love to Sing workshops offer, 5 of our ladies who became members following a workshop give us their take on their experience.
Anne-marie attended several of these workshops over the years and always enjoyed the day. There was a different song to learn each year, and she has particularly fond memories of singing ‘One Fine Day” and “This is Me”. She always found it to be a great day out. Anne-marie said,
“I enjoyed the excitement of the performance at the end of the day and also listening to Fascinating Rhythm sing.”
Anne-marie had only ever sung in a local choir but found it unorganised and unwelcoming, so much so that she left after a year, and no one even noticed she had gone! She was always impressed with Fascinating Rhythm’s organisation and its relaxed and fun atmosphere. Deciding she needed a new interest in her life outside of work, Anne-marie took the leap to “feel the fear and to do it anyway” and joined the choir in 2020 and hasn’t regretted it since.
Fionna attended four Love to Sing workshops, starting in 2017, before she decided she wanted to join the FR.
She knew of Fascinating Rhythm right back in the days when they rehearsed in Rangeworthy Village Hall.
She had seen them perform and liked their sound and thought it would be a fun thing to try. Fionna remembers all the songs “Sweet Talking Guy”, “Shine”, “This is Me”, and “Make Your Own Kind of Music”. What a memory she has.
Fionna always thought that Fascinating Rhythm was well organised, everyone was friendly, and she enjoyed the variety of activities during the Workshop, culminating in a complete performance of the song in front of a live audience. For someone nervous and lacking confidence in relation to singing, this was a real achievement, and she felt so proud that she had managed to sing on stage and in front of an audience.
“The Love to Sing day provides a real opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and meet with a bunch of like-minded women; it’s challenging but welcoming all in one. I felt very safe.”
It took a few years for Fionna to commit to joining Fascinating Rhythm, but that was mainly because she had young children. She joined in 2020 and said, “It is lovely to sing with the choir and make harmonies, my singing has improved, and I have learned a great deal. I am much less nervous when performing on stage now.”
Kate has been Fionna’s friend for over 30 years, and it was Fionna who introduced her to Fascinating Rhythm. Kate has always enjoyed music and says,
“Much to her husband’s annoyance, and she finds herself harmonising to many songs whilst driving in her car. She’d often thought about joining a choir but never did anything about it. In 2017 Fionna asked Kate if she would attend the Love to Sing Workshop with her. The song to learn that year was “Sweet Talking Guy”. Kate says, “wow, what a wonderful event that was. I’d never experienced anything like it before. I was very apprehensive, not even sure if I could sing. The choir gave us such a warm welcome, and Jo Thorn (the Musical Director) impressed me so much that I even went up to her at lunchtime to tell her so. There must have been 20 or 40 people there that day and to turn us all into performing singers in just one day was a major achievement. I felt so confident and elated, I almost joined there and then, but couldn’t commit at the time.”
Kate attended the Workshop again in 2018 with Fionna and couldn’t hold back from joining. She attended a Fascinating Rhythm rehearsal on 12th April 2018 and said she was pleased she joined.
“Joining the choir has been such an awakening for me, yes, it’s challenging, and yes, you need to commit to learning new songs, but the benefits are tremendous. Singing in harmony is good for the soul, and my confidence has noticeably increased; I’m much less stressed in my life, and I very much look forward to Thursday night rehearsals.”
Emma heard about the Workshop through Fascinating Rhythm’s Assistant Musical Director, Wendy Howse, and through Junior FR. Emma had sung in her choir at school but gave up singing when she started working. She had seen Fascinating Rhythm perform several times and wanted to give it a go. It took several years, though, to pluck up the courage to attend.
It was the Workshop in 2019 that Emma attended that made such an impact on her. They sang “Make Your Own Kind of Music”, and Emma reports that this song still makes her smile when it comes on the radio.
“At the Workshop, everyone was super welcoming; there was a huge amount of cake and a real buzz in the room. The singing felt awesome, especially when the parts came together. I had the bug, signed up there and then and haven’t looked back since. Joining Fascinating Rhythm for me has been life-changing. I find it so joyful, and Thursday nights give me my “me time”.”
About joining Fascinating Rhythm, Emma said, “I love having something that I selfishly do just for me (not work or family – just me!). I have made wonderful friends and really enjoy the eclectic mix of ladies, conversation and giggles. And I just adore the goosebump moments when it all comes together, and we are on form – such a beautiful sound.”
Carole attended the Workshop in 2018 after she’d seen an advert online. She had sung with another barbershop choir and knew about the quality of Fascinating Rhythm’s singing. She finds singing enjoyable and rewarding.
Before joining the choir, Carole played the Ukulele with a local group and dabbled in craft work.
Her first impressions of the Workshop were that it was very organised; she says She enjoyed everything about the Workshop and found the baritone section so friendly and approachable. She said,
“It really was lots of fun, and I came away shattered but with a big smile on my face.”
Carole felt she would improve further from the experience of joining Fascinating Rhythm, and although she was sorry to leave her other singing buddies, she joined Fascinating Rhythm in the Spring of 2018. She keeps in touch with her other choir buddies as the barbershop world is one big family.
To sum up – what have you gained from joining Fascinating Rhythm?
“It’s just the best!!! New friends, a love of learning new songs, singing in harmony is good for the soul.”Anne-marie.
“I have improved in confidence to sing; I am singing to a high standard and have met new friendly people.”Fionna.
“I have confidence, new friends, “me time” and FR got me through the lockdown.”Emma.
“My singing has improved along with my confidence. I love rehearsals on a Thursday. I always leave with a smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart; what else gives you that feeling of fabulous well-being?”Kate.
“I’ve learned so much musically, become less introverted and expanded my circle of friends.”Carole
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, please join us for our next Love to Sing Workshop on 28th January at the Castle School in Thornbury. You can book through our website.
Alternatively, why not come along to one of our Thursday night rehearsals to see if you might like to join us? You can find more details here. We’d love to see you.
If you’re interested in finding out more about barbershop singing, please contact us via our website. You can also follow Fascinating Rhythm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow The Bristol Mix on Facebook.
You might also like to see other articles in the Fascinating Rhythm Insight series:
01 – Why singing is good for you
02 – Making your performance authentic
03 – Performance through vocal expression
04 – Teamwork makes the dream work
05 – Why warm up?
06 – The new members’ guide to joining a choir during a pandemic!
07 – Breathing to Sing
08 – Junior FR: how it started/how it’s going
09 – Singing is a family affair
10 – How we choose convention songs
11 – Mixing it Up