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It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Part 1

We take a look back on some of our singers favourite Christmas memories and we find out what Christmas songs they love the most!

Pippa  – Alto

My favourite Christmas memory is having my younger cousin over for Boxing Day dinner. He was a very picky eater as a child, so we ended up having a very luxurious meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips. It has now become a tradition in our family to focus on the quantity, rather than the quality of the food during Christmas – as long as there is much of it, it can go onto the Christmas table. 

Pippa’s top three Christmas songs:

Manuel – Tenor

Manuel reading at his Grandma’s surprise birthday

One of my fave Christmas memories took place two years ago. Close to Christmas my grandma turned 80 and my family (typical huge Spanish family) organized a surprise birthday celebration for her. All my aunts and uncles plus all her grandchildren were there. We organised a mass in her honour (she has always been a devout Catholic) and one of my uncles took her to the church without any prior notice. When she got there all of us were already waiting for her, and then I read one of the passages for the celebration (she was in absolute shock to see me, because she thought I was in London and that I was not going to return in at least another week). Afterwards we went to our family cottage and spent the day all together. We ended up singing around a bonfire at night (there are some good singers in my family!) It was definitely one to remember 

Manuelle’s top three Christmas songs:

  • So we have this family Christmas “tradition” to end up singing after dinner. One song they always ask me to sing is “Volver” (not a Christmas one, but my family loves flamenco)
  • Louise Maquelle – “Noche de Paz” is def one of my fave Spanish carols of all time! 
  • Mariah Carey  – “All I Want for Christmas”

Don’t forget to grab your tickets here for ‘Sleighing It!’ on Saturday 15 December at Cadogan Hall.

Sleighbells ring. Are you listening?

You still haven’t got your tickets to our concert yet? Well check out our quick Q&A to find out why this is a show not to be missed!

1. Cadogan Hall is a spectacular venue for a Christmas concert. How many Pink Singers will be taking to the stage?

There are over 80 Pink Singers, plus 45 from Burntwood School, our orchestra, and all the backstage staff. The venue itself provides a beautiful acoustic stage for the choir, which is enhanced by entertaining visual treats and our world-famous choreography.

2. How long does it take the Pink Singers to prepare for a concert like this? Is there a lot of rehearsal time?

We started work in September, so there are a lot of words and music to learn in just three months, and then on top of that there are the dance routines! We meet in London every week for four hours of intense, but immensely uplifting rehearsal.

3. Is this the kind of Christmas concert where the audience will be singing along?

Oh yes. Many of the songs will be familiar from the titles, but we think our arrangements – many of which are created by Pink Singers members themselves – will be a beautiful surprise. The harmonies we can produce transform some of the traditional Christmas jingles into spectacular numbers.

4. Are there any ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to deciding the program for this Christmas concert? Are there any songs that have to be included or any that absolutely can’t be included?

Our two main aims are to create a ’tinsel-tastic, jingle-belling, Christmas-cracking’ show, while at the same time having the most fun in rehearsing every number to perfection. Our musical choices will have to fulfil those two aims.

5. Will there be a rendition of Mariah’s classic?

That’s for our audience to find out … but needless to say we have plenty of Mariah fans in the choir!

6. Do you have to be a great singer to be part of Pink Singers? If someone was interested in joining, how would they go about it? Should it be on their list of New Year’s resolutions?

We have some really great singers in the choir, but anyone who can sing in tune and pass our simple audition will find that – no matter what their musical experience – the friendly nature of the choir means that you will soon pick up the tools and techniques you need. Put our web site on your New Year’s resolution list, and you could join us for our next fantastic concert.

Grab your tickets here for ‘Sleighing It!’ on Saturday 15 December at Cadogan Hall.

A festive note from one choir to another

In the run up to our winter concert ‘Sleighing It!’, Debbie  Lammin (Choir Director for Chamber Choir of Burntwood School) writes a message to the Pinkies.

Greetings from the Chamber Choir of Burntwood School!  We are very much looking forward to joining all of you Pinkies for the Christmas extravaganza at Cadogan Hall!

As Gareth, Pink Singers Events Manager, noted when he sent us your invitation, our two choirs are very close in their aims. We are also very close in age –  just three years younger than you. The choir was born in 1986 when Mayfield and Garratt Green Schools amalgamated to become Burntwood, and we started with about a dozen girls singing in unison. Now you need quite a big chamber to fit us all inside, and the singing has grown in stature too – over the years we’ve sung at every major concert hall in London, recorded with the RPO at Abbey Road and Pinewood Studios, represented England at the Llangollen International Eistedfodd, sung for HM the Queen three times and danced in the aisles of St Martin in the Fields with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to mention just a few of the highlights.

Burntwood Chamber Choir at the British Museum for World Peace Day 2018

We’ve had a busy term so far, singing at the British Museum on World Peace Day and then performing Lucy Pankhurst’s new Suffragette Anthem at the Women of the Year lunch (we sing wearing the colours of the women’s suffrage movement!), but the nature of school choirs means that we have a constantly rolling membership and as we were last at Cadogan Hall in 2013,  this will be a new and exciting experience for almost all of the choir – definitely another highlight in the making.

Burntwood ChamberChoir with Helen Pankhurst

Our performance style is very different from yours, so hopefully we can celebrate the differences and enjoy coming together for the festive finale – none of the girls are old enough to remember the original Stevie Wonder, but I’m afraid I am!

Until December……….

Debbie Lammin

Choir Director, Burntwood School

Debbie Lammin at the British Museum on World Peace Day Sept 2018

Don’t forget tickets for our next concert Sleighing It! on 15 December 2018 are on sale now – Grab them here!

Snow Huskies

Soprano Sunny explains why the Pinkies are getting all Husky on us

Quiz question – name two links between The Pink Singers and this fluffy ole pooch.

Fluffy Husky

Ok, perhaps that was a little too much license to let imaginations run wild…

The first link is with Husky Studios – our new rehearsal venue! Alas, like a ballooning waistline, the Pinkies have expanded so much that we didn’t fit into The Place, our rehearsal venue of many years, any more. The Place had become like a favourite pair of jeans: convenient, well-loved, familiar, prone to beer stains (well, actually the favourite neighbouring public house Mabel’s Tavern), and stretched to capacity with our attempts to stay. It became evident that these jeans couldn’t have an ever-expanding elasticated waistband though, we had to admit to ourselves that we just didn’t fit anymore. Also, it turns out that it’s quite tricky to sing properly while sitting on the floor for 4 hours, so we’ve had to embrace scary change and migrate “sarf of the river”.

So, on to Husky Studios! I’m not sure that the name “Husky” epitomises the clear, crisp sound that we Pinkies aim for, but hey ho, off we go. We are having exciting adventures finding all the greasy-spoon caffs and vegan bistros nearby for the all-important break time nourishment, and have heartily embraced the task of finding a suitable watering hole for post-rehearsal de-huskifying.

You’ll appreciate hearing the hubbub of joy that emanated from the chorus as we found that we are allowed to wear shoes in rehearsal! Some of us are a little crestfallen that we can’t swipe a fellow soprano’s superiorly trendy trainers after rehearsal any more though. You win some, you lose some…

The other Husky pooch link is this:

1. Huskies pull sleds in the snow (apart from for Scott of the Antarctic who famously chose Dobbin Ponies instead, which was a mistake)

2. Another name for a sled is a sleigh

3. Father Christmas rides a sleigh at Christmas

4. The Pinkies are ripping through rehearsals for our Christmas concert “Sleighing It”! Wooo hoooo! One has to admit, it has been a weeny bit odd singing Jingle Bells in September, but we’ve got a lot of 8 part harmony to perfect, so we can’t dawdle. Dashing through the snow, and all…

Here are some reasons you might want to buy a ticket:

You love Christmas
Wahaaay – all the tunes to love!

You hate Christmas
We’ve specially selected a Grinchy song for you. Plus, nobody will be murdering Once in Royal David’s City in an high-pitched awkward way

You like singing
We shall be singing

You are less fussed about the singing
We are back in our favourite venue, the Cadogan Hall, where the bar is lovely and comfy and the posh Christmas shops are a mere stones throw away. Or you can just stick your headphones in and watch our amazing signers, who are top class entertainment all by themselves!

You like dancing
There will be swaying as we are Sleighing. And maybe even a hip dip.

You are less fussed about the dancing
There is bound to be one person who rocks an unconventional move out of time with the others, to provide a frisson of giggleworthiness. Plus we’ll be singing some beautious classical numbers without any step-tapping.

Hogan Lovells

In September 2018, the Pinkies were approached by Hogan Lovells who are a global legal practice to perform at their Citizenship Review event called ‘The World We Want’.  Hogan Lovells have a strong commitment to LGBT+ rights and the wider community and their event demonstrated the incredible work they’ve been doing to break down barriers and highlighted the work of their charity partners in areas of social concern.

We joined a host of other performers in exploring the theme of identity and through actor portrayals of suffragettes/suffragists, mothers whose daughters were taken to Magdalene laundries and asylum seekers on the Texas/Mexico border. 

We closed the event on a high celebrating the change we can be in the world by singing This is Me.

Timeline datestamp: 26 September 2018