Fascinating Rhythm Insights 12: Love to Sing – showcasing our members who joined after attending a Love to Sing Workshop

Fascinating Rhythm Insights 12: Love to Sing – showcasing our members who joined after attending a Love to Sing Workshop

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 (Bass)

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 (Lead)

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.

Fionna commented,

“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 (Bass)

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 (Bass)

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.

She said,

“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 (Baritone)

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

Christmas Glitz comes to Weston super Mare

Christmas Glitz comes to Weston super Mare

Christmas Glitz comes to Weston super Mare

On Saturday, December 10th 2022, Fascinating Rhythm hosted a very successful Christmas Concert in aid of local charity Ups and Downs SouthWest at The Blakehay Theatre in Weston-super-Mare. 

Fascinating Rhythm performed a range of songs from their diverse repertoire to a very appreciative audience, from jazz classics, show tunes and pop songs, to Christmas carols (yes – with bells!) and many festive favourites. The choir was supported on stage by the small in-house group RhythmMix and home-grown quartets Ebb Tide and Specs Appeal, who all performed a show section and Christmas section.  

“What an incredible evening! This was our first full concert since before the pandemic, so it was such a joy to work on and perform the majority of our repertoire. We particularly enjoyed blowing the dust off our Christmas songs, and to be back under the spotlights and sing at the beautiful Blakehay Theatre was pure magic. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in making this such a special evening for an amazing cause, particularly the lovely ladies of Fascinating Rhythm who gave so much of themselves to put on this epic concert.”

Fascinating Rhythm’s musical director, Jo Thorn.

Audience members enjoyed the variety of songs and acts, many being in a theatre for the first time since 2019.

“Watching the Christmas concert performed by Fascinating Rhythm was such a joy. The musical genius behind every song showed in every chorus member, and the beautiful voices collated together to create an incredible sound. I would definitely recommend going to watch this chorus; they were vibrant, fun, mesmerising and just brilliant. The barbershop quartets also brought a little something new to the show. I’ve never seen or heard such a beautiful set. I will be watching them again, that’s for sure.” 

Shania Davies, a musical theatre graduate.

Several members of River City Chorus from Exeter came up to Weston Super Mare for the concert and reported;

“Fascinating Rhythm sang a wonderful, varied programme from old ballads to modern upbeat numbers, as well as a selection of carols and modern Christmas songs. 

Wonderful harmony singing put us in the mood for Christmas and inspired us to continue our ambition to be the best we can be.

Many thanks to Jo Thorn, the Music Director and the wonderful chorus.”

Fascinating Rhythm members voted Ups and Downs Southwest as their chosen charity for 2022 at their annual general meeting. Throughout the year, the chorus has participated in a number of fundraising activities to support Ups and Downs Southwest, which relies solely on charitable donations. During the show, three young people, who the charity has supported, joined the choir on the stage for a Makaton-signed performance of ‘This is Me’ from the musical, The Greatest Showman. The young people learned the signed choreography when they collaborated with Fascinating Rhythm in 2019 to produce a music video to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome. The concert alone raised £1346.

“We feel so lucky to have had the support of Fascinating Rhythm this year. They have gone the extra mile to raise funds for Ups and Downs Southwest and our profile through their website and social media channels. With no statutory funding, we are solely reliant on public donations and grants, and every little bit really makes a difference to our families, children, and young people. The money raised by Fascinating Rhythm through the year will go directly towards our children and young people’s events, allowing us to create more opportunities to build up their skills, knowledge, and social networks”. 

The charity’s PR representative, Michelle Bull.

You can support Ups and Downs Southwest by donating via their website or participating in one of their fundraising initiatives.

There is nothing the members of Fascinating Rhythm love more than entertaining audiences and displaying our unique sound and beautiful harmonies. We look forward to sharing our enthusiasm for singing with aspiring singers at our Love to Sing workshop on January 28th 2023, and then taking to the stage again on February 18th alongside Go Vocal. Hope to see you there! 

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and other forthcoming events, follow our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Junior FR co-star with The Femmes

Junior FR co-star with The Femmes

Junior FR co-star with The Femmes

Junior FR were delighted to perform at a glittering Christmas Concert alongside professional vocal trio The Femmes in Olveston on 3rd December.

The sell-out audience were delighted in the first half by The Femmes performing songs from the 40s to the 80s, including tributes to Dame Vera Lynn and the Andrew’s Sisters as well as songs from well-known musicals and Disney themes. 

Junior Fr followed in style with a gorgeous arrangement of the Lion King theme, I’m a Believer by the Monkees and a wonderfully visual performance of Count on Me with the girls performing Makaton signing. The second half was a musically-filled Christmas stocking of beautiful arrangements of Christmas songs and carols, with witty introductions from The Femmes and even some much-enjoyed audience choreography and participation!

Jo, Seanna, and Meg (The Femmes) met during their performing arts training in Guildford and were drawn together by their love of close-harmony singing. The Femmes were formed in 2014, and their very first performance was in St. Mary’s Church Olveston that year. They are now spread across the UK and travel widely to rehearse and perform, but they were delighted to come back to Jo’s home ground for this event. Jo (Sawyer), the daughter of Fascinating Rhythm’s long-standing Tenor, Jane Sawyer, gained her early musical experiences through Marlwood school, the Olveston Parish Players, North Avon Youth Theatre Company and, of course, hearing her mum practice and perform with Fascinating Rhythm!

“Sharing the stage with Junior FR was absolutely wonderful. The three of us all grew up taking part in choirs and performances, being part of harmony group singing, and now we’re doing it professionally, so to share the stage with the next generation felt like we’d come full circle. The girls took everything in their stride in a very professional way, and we really enjoyed their harmonies – such a lovely moment.”

Jo commented

“It was a complete joy to sing alongside The Femmes this evening, and I am sure all the girls have been completely inspired by hearing and seeing them perform. I am so proud of how the girls held their own and received a tremendous audience response to all their songs.”

Junior FR musical director Wendy.

“Amazed and delighted with a wide variety of well-performed songs from Junior FR” and that it was “A lovely performance from a large group of well-trained young people, who shared their love of singing with the audience”.  

Audience members.

A fabulous evening that sent everyone home uplifted and full of Christmas spirit (and not just thanks to the mulled wine!)

The next big event on Junior FR’s calendar is the Thornbury Eisteddfod, where they hope to enter several choir classes and encourage individuals to prepare both solos and duets to give the girls more performance opportunities which are so important to the development of their skills and self-esteem.

To keep up to date with our ‘big sister’ chorus, Fascinating Rhythm, and our forthcoming events, follow our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Fascinating Rhythm joins local choirs for Big Bristol Barbershop Bonanza.

Fascinating Rhythm joins local choirs for Big Bristol Barbershop Bonanza.

Fascinating Rhythm joins local choirs for Big Bristol Barbershop Bonanza.

Fascinating Rhythm performed in an incredible evening of barbershop and a cappella singing on Saturday, 19 November 2022. They sang with singers from six other Bristol-based choruses at a concert held at the St Michaels Centre in Stoke Gifford

The Big Bristol Barbershop Bonanza was a celebration of the joy of singing, bringing together several of the region’s LABBS and BABS-affiliated choruses. Seven choruses in total provided a real showcase for the singing talent in the Bristol Area:  Avon HarmonyBlack Sheep HarmonyBristol A CappellaBristol FashionThe Great Western Chorus and The Bristol Mix.

Fascinating Rhythm performed three of the chorus members’ favourite numbers from their repertoire: the Doobie Brothers’ hit song ‘Listen To The Music’, Billy Joel’s ‘And So It Goes’ and pop song ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta.

The evening culminated in all the choruses coming together to form a mass choir of over 170 singers to sing Toto’s ‘Africa’. A resounding end to the event, which received a standing ovation from the very appreciative audience.

“This was such an incredible evening which has been a long time in the planning. Bringing all the Bristol choruses under one roof to simply enjoy each other’s singing is a priceless gift. We continue to support and celebrate each other, and this was so evident in the finale, 170 singers on stage under one roof delivering a raising rendition of Africa. We are immensely lucky to have so many talented singers and directors in Bristol – harmony at its finest.”

Fascinating Rhythm’s Musical Director Jo Thorn.

Fascinating Rhythm was delighted to be part of this memorable event. If you want to hear more about the event, check out the Harmony UK Podcast.

Fascinating Rhythm has two further public sing-outs planned later this year:

           Christmas Tree FestivalSt Mary’s Church Yate (3 December 2022)

           Christmas Concert in support of Ups and Downs SouthwestBlakehay Theatre Weston-super-Mare (10 December 2022) tickets are still available here.

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and other forthcoming events, follow our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Fascinating Rhythm Chorus thrilled to attend LABBS Convention 2022

Fascinating Rhythm Chorus thrilled to attend LABBS Convention 2022

Fascinating Rhythm Chorus thrilled to attend LABBS Convention 2022

Fascinating Rhythm enjoyed a jubilant weekend at the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) annual convention at the Bournemouth International Centre from 28-30 October 2022.

Fascinating Rhythm sang a package of two contrasting songs, originally from Broadway musicals, re-arranged in the traditional barbershop style. They opened their set with the heartfelt ballad ‘All The Things You Are‘ written by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern for Very Warm For May, skillfully arranged by Liz Garnett, and the humorous Cole Porter number ‘Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)‘ from Paris

Listen here

Fascinating Rhythm chorus members were excited to be able to compete in this heavily contested competition after we had weathered the storm of Covid-19 and the long three-year wait. The choir felt this was a year to set a new benchmark, particularly as they have enhanced their singing skills through working with the Barbershop coaching legend Rob Mance.  

Fascinating Rhythm maintained its position within the top ten of national LABBS choruses, finishing in 8th place. The three-year break in the LABBS conventions meant that all choruses could compete, which resulted in intense competition to a very high standard.  

“what an absolute thrill to be back on the convention stage. Those 10 minutes go so quickly, but they form part of an incredible learning journey, laughing and hard work in the preceding months. It was such a joy to catch up with all our sister choruses, watch their incredible performances and rejoice that despite the trials and tribulations that the pandemic placed on us all, we have all come back with a stronger song in our hearts”.

Jo Thorn, Fascinating Rhythm’s Musical Director

Fascinating Rhythm competed alongside local choir Bristol Fashion and was honoured to witness the comedy highlight “The Ballard of Barry and Freda (Let’s Do It)” from Black Sheep Harmony.

Fascinating Rhythm was pleased to have five new members join us for their first convention experience, and they said, “it was a great experience, and they felt very well looked after”.

Fascinating Rhythm ladies who are also members of The Bristol Mix (a regional mixed-voice chorus) had another opportunity to cross the convention stage when they sang in the Sunday morning show. They performed “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “What Kind Of Fool Am I?”, “You’re From Heaven And You’re Mine” under the direction of Craig Kehoe and Linda Corcoran.

Fascinating Rhythm congratulates all the choruses who competed, especially those who won trophies at this year’s convention, particularly the gold-medal winners, The White Rosettes and In-house quartet.

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and our forthcoming events, including two concerts later this year, follow our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

The Piper – Junior FR

The Piper – Junior FR

The Piper – Junior FR

The Pied Piper Musical by Margaret Carpenter

What do volunteers, rats, maypoles and talented young singers all have in common?
Junior FR, of course!

Junior FR held a very special ‘Red Carpet’ event on the 13th of May this year to launch the premiere of their musical production, The Piper. This adaptation of the Pied Piper story by Out of the Ark can be enjoyed on YouTube via the link at the bottom of the article.


Junior FR’s version of The Piper was the culmination of a year and a half’s work for the team, all undertaken under the difficult circumstances we all found ourselves in at the beginning of last year, but which gave rise to new opportunities that the girls and the staff volunteers took gladly and soon mastered! 


“I honestly think Project Piper saved Junior FR from going under during the second lockdown.  We’d had six months on Facebook Live and three months in a hall in two separate groups standing 2 metres apart, and then we had to go back onto Zoom. Introducing The Piper allowed us to bring the girls together again with some acting, silly accents and learning new songs. We had a lot of fun”.

Junior FR’s Musical Director, Wendy.

Junior FR has constantly challenged itself and has staged two previous productions with re-arranged bespoke music, full costume and make-up, and Piper was to be no exception to this.  The extra challenge this time was that in January 2021, they were forced to start teaching on Zoom! MD Wendy Howse and Chloe Roberts worked out the technology to allow break-out rooms so that the team could still teach each part separately, and the girls were absolutely fantastic in adapting to this way of learning. 


Junior FR volunteer Kitty Davies had, once again, composed additional harmony lines and melodies to make the music more exciting and to match, or challenge, the capabilities of this very special group of girls. Teach tracks were also produced to help the girls practice at home. 

It became clear, however, by the summer term that the pandemic was not going to allow a live performance of the show, so the team adapted once again and came up with an ambitious alternative of filming it (outdoors, of course, so Covid restrictions weren’t compromised).  Kitty took on the direction of a rigorous 5-week shooting schedule with two locations (including a maypole!), and the whole team coordinated costumes, face painting (rats, of course!) and choreography. 

“The whole project was an absolute labour of love. A lot of fun and laughs were had at a time when we all needed them, and it just goes to show what can be achieved when we all work together”.

Kitty

The next big challenge was sound recording, but help was found for this in the very capable hands of the outstanding Pete Nugent, who arranged a professional recording day with multiple microphones, a mixing desk and huge amounts of experience.  This busy but very exciting day resulted in two recordings of each of the 12 songs, recorded individually on each microphone, leading to well over 700 tracks that needed mixing and producing.  Kitty took on all the audio and video post-production, up-skilling first on Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro to make the absolute most of this beautiful experience.  The film was finally finished on April 22 and includes a wonderfully rich musical soundtrack, exciting visuals, and real-life (human) and animated rats! 

“none of this would have been possible without the vision, drive, passion and tenacity of our ‘one and only’ Kitty Davies.”  

Wendy insisted

The audience at the premiere in Iron Acton enjoyed photos on the red carpet, popcorn and fizz before watching the film on the big screen and sound system kindly provided by the Iron Acton Community Cinema.  The audience was absolutely delighted by the show and reported that it was a fantastic souvenir of a very special time.

The Junior FR team are incredibly proud of all the girls and of what has been produced and would like to thank all the parents for ferrying their children to the various locations, providing costumes and for their ongoing love and support of Junior FR.


The 40-minute show is available to view on YouTube:

LABBS Convention here we come

LABBS Convention here we come

LABBS Convention here we come

Fascinating Rhythm held an all-day rehearsal, followed by a dress rehearsal performance, on Saturday, 9 October, in preparation for the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) annual convention.

Fascinating Rhythm members have been working hard throughout the year to develop and polish their convention package, which consists of two contrasting songs in the traditional barbershop style, that they will take to the competition stage at the Bournemouth International Centre on 29 October 2022.

Fascinating Rhythm performed a selection of numbers from their repertoire alongside the two convention songs. The chorus members’ favourite ballad ‘And So It Goes’ by Billy Joel, was featured alongside the pop song ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta, ‘Listen To The Music’ by the Doobie Brothers and the Nina Simone classic ‘Feeling Good’.

After two years of being unable to hold an in-person event due to the covid-19 pandemic, this year’s LABBS Convention has ‘jubilation’ as its theme.

“Jubilations, this year’s convention theme, is just perfect. A huge celebration of being back together with all our sister choruses, the jubilation that we survived as a group through the pandemic, and a personal thank you from me to my singers for working incredibly hard as we made our way back to vocal health and magical music making, pure dedication and passion. Absolutely, Jubilations!”

Jo, Fascinating Rhythm’s Musical Director,

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and our forthcoming events, including two concerts later this year, follow our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Fascinating Rhythm welcomes new member

Fascinating Rhythm welcomes new member

Fascinating Rhythm welcomes new member

Fascinating Rhythm is delighted to welcome another new member! At the beginning of October, Mirrin successfully passed her vocal audition and joined the Lead section.

“I was interested in Fascinating Rhythm, as I had heard through another member that the group is so much more than singing but rather a family, which I couldn’t agree with more. I was in a Show Choir during my three years at university but once the lockdown happened I thought my singing days were over so I’m really glad I have found my voice again after 2 and a half years in such a safe and supportive environment. The feedback and direction you get is also of such a high standard, so I know that I am going to learn so much about my voice and performance. I can’t wait to learn more fun songs!”

Mirrin

Fascinating Rhythm’s Membership Secretary, Kitty, who presented Mirrin with her welcome pack, said

“I really enjoy introducing potential new members to our wonderful hobby and special group of ladies. The pleasure their faces register when we perform a song for them reminds us why we love singing so much. We are delighted that Mirrin has passed her audition and can be fully integrated into the Fascinating Rhythm family. She is super enthusiastic, and I can see she is going to become a hugely valuable and popular member.”

If you are looking for a new hobby, enjoy singing and would like to find out more about barbershop and a cappella music, get in touch via the website and come along to one of Fascinating Rhythm’s rehearsals.

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and our forthcoming events, including two concerts later this year, follow our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Fascinating Rhythm to host Christmas Concert for Ups and Downs Southwest

Fascinating Rhythm to host Christmas Concert for Ups and Downs Southwest

Fascinating Rhythm to host Christmas Concert for Ups and Downs Southwest

Fascinating Rhythm members have supported Ups and Downs Southwest as their chosen charity through a series of events and activities throughout the year. The choir’s fundraising efforts will culminate in a Christmas Concert on December 10 2022. 

The Ups and Downs Southwest team are hoping to welcome local music lovers and supporters of the charity to enjoy a special evening of a cappella harmony and entertainment at the Blakehay Theatre in Weston-super-Mare. 

Fascinating Rhythm will be performing a range of songs from their diverse repertoire and will be joined on stage by their small in-house group RhythmMix and home-grown quartets Ebb Tide, Neptune and Specs Appeal.

Tickets for the concert are available online: Christmas Charity Concert at The Blakehay Theatre event tickets from TicketSource

Charity of the Year 2022

Fascinating Rhythm member, Joan, is a trustee for Ups and Downs Southwest and has been the charity’s Treasurer for the past 18 months. She nominated Ups and Downs at the choir’s Annual General Meeting and is delighted that members selected it as their chosen charity for 2022.

“It’s wonderful what Ups and Downs Southwest do to improve the lives of children with Down syndrome and help their families and work with schools. I’ve been Treasurer and trustee for the charity for nearly two years and have found through fundraising and talking about the charity that people are willing to support its work. I aim to see the charity get onto a strong financial footing because it relies entirely on fundraising and donations. I will enjoy being on stage to sing at this special concert with Fascinating Rhythm and RhythmMix.” 

“I was working in the charity sector and was part-way through my health and social care degree when I saw the opportunity to join Ups and Downs Southwest. I joined their Somerset headquarters in 2016, and since then, the charity has grown so much that we’ve opened a second office in Bristol! I feel incredibly humbled that Fascinating Rhythm’s ladies voted to support Ups and Downs Southwest again this year, as they had already gone out of their way to make the This Is Me film in 2019. The fact that they chose Ups and Downs Southwest is awesome, and their fundraising efforts make me so proud of the chorus. I’m looking forward to us singing This Is Me because of the awareness-raising video we made with Ups and Downs Southwest in 2019 for World Down syndrome Awareness Day. We learned Makaton signing for the video, and I’m keen that we keep this going – we find that signing and singing to a live audience is very powerful and emotive.”

Fascinating Rhythm’s Musical Director, Jo, who works as a Director for Ups and Downs Southwest

Fascinating Rhythm’s first public sing-out of 2022, at Keynsham Memorial Park Bandstand, was their first fundraising opportunity for Ups and Downs. Since then, members of the chorus have also organised Music With Mummy Easter parties, a ‘bingo and prosecco’ night, fundraising lunches and a ‘summer supper’ evening in aid of the charity. Thornbury Inner Wheel will also be holding a carol service on December 14 2022, with a retiring collection for Ups and Downs Southwest.

Ups and Downs Southwest

Ups and Downs Southwest aims to support families, professionals and all those involved in the care and education of children and young people (aged 0 to 25 years) with Down Syndrome. The charity currently supports more than 300 families in the Southwest, with a team of professional support workers and team leaders. Some members of the team have a child with Down Syndrome or other disabilities and have personal knowledge and experience of the challenges that may lie ahead as well as knowing how important it is to celebrate the achievements.

Ups and Downs Southwest provides advice and support, time and understanding, face-to-face support, assistance with benefit and education forms, an advocacy service, family days, children and young people activities, advice and support for professionals, training events, and education service.

Ups and Downs Southwest relies solely on public funding and needs to raise £360,000 per year to keep running. Funds raised at the concert will go directly into their frontline services, providing support for families, children and young people in the local area.

Christmas Concert Tickets

Tickets for the Christmas Concert are available online: Christmas Charity Concert at The Blakehay Theatre event tickets from TicketSource

Alternatively, you can support Ups and Downs Southwest by making a donation via their website or taking part in one of their fundraising initiatives.

Fascinating Rhythm previously partnered with Ups and Downs Southwest to produce a video of the song This Is Me from the hit musical film The Greatest Showman for World Down Syndrome Awareness Day in 2019.

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and our forthcoming events, follow our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Together everyone achieves more

Together everyone achieves more

Together everyone achieves more.

Fascinating Rhythm members have enjoyed a two-day rehearsal weekend, reconnecting as a team after the summer holidays and celebrating awards for two chorus members.

The rehearsal weekend began with a fun musical workshop led by Dan McGinn, who taught the chorus to play games with musical sticks called ‘boomwhackers’ as a way to improve team skills and non-verbal communication. The session encouraged everyone to participate and highlighted the strengths of leadership and followership and the importance of individual responsibility within a team.

The chorus then focused on polishing the two songs they will perform as part of the Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) Convention at the end of October before presenting a sneak preview of the convention package to an intimate audience.

Fascinating Rhythm’s ladies now have their sights firmly set on competing at this year’s LABBS Convention, which will be held at the Bournemouth International Centre the last weekend in October. The last time this annual singing competition was held in person was back in 2019 in Llandudno because, due to the covid-19 pandemic, LABBS held virtual online events in 2020 and 2021.

“To be heading back to a LABBS Convention after two years is an absolute thrill, and the chance to see all our sister choruses again is going to be the best feeling. It is true what they say: you don’t know how good you have something until it is taken away! This annual weekend, which brings over a thousand like-minded people together to enjoy the thrill that barbershop brings, has been greatly missed by all at Fascinating Rhythm; it is such an enriching experience and one I hope we never have to miss again.”

Fascinating Rhythm’s Musical Director, Jo

Members’ awards

Two Fascinating Rhythm singers have also been celebrating membership achievements: Jan has been a member of the chorus for ten years and received her 10-year badge, whilst Julie has passed all elements of the assessment process to become a full singing member of the choir.

“It is always a pleasure to present the awards to ladies who have been members of the chorus for many years, and it’s fantastic that we are welcoming new members to join us on the risers. Congratulations to Jan and Julie for their achievements!”

Fascinating Rhythm’s Chair, Iris,

Come and watch us sing!

Fascinating Rhythm will be holding a full dress rehearsal of their Convention package in front of a live audience at Yate Academy on Sunday, 9 October 2022. Tickets for the dress rehearsal are available free of charge, but the audience is limited to 200 seats, so please book your place early!

To keep up to date with Fascinating Rhythm and our forthcoming events, including two concerts later this year, follow our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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