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.

Choral cavorting and carrots!

KirstenOur weekends away have become a real highlight of the Pinkie calendar and this year’s was no exception. Alto Kirsten gives the low down on an epic weekend of singing, stretching, eating, human hungry hippo’ing, cavorting and bonding. Thanks to everyone for mucking in and making it magic…
Well well well. What a weekend that was! We are still recovering from our annual residential, which took place this year in the aptly named Carroty Wood, in deepest darkest Kent.
We arrived on Friday evening and settled into our rooms, slightly unsure at first if we were on a choir jaunt or geography school trip. Things swiftly got underway however with soup (carrot, of course), sparklers and singing around the bonfire. What a wonderful start!
11219388_10206099332937270_2572522669729643055_nBright and early on Saturday morning a breakfast feast greeted us – thanks to our incredible Mama Tanya, who slaved away in the kitchen all weekend to keep us going. We then got to work and were lucky to be led in workshops by accomplished soprano Andrea Brown who, amongst many things, taught us about vowel sounds, honing our oohs and aahs into perfection. I really enjoyed Andrea’s approach and know we will be certainly putting the techniques we learned to use in our upcoming concert!
We also had a chance to brush up on choreography with our wonderful artistic team. I think the basses enjoyed these moves a little too much…?!
Carroty WoodLate afternoon came the highlight of the weekend for me – the masterclass. Two Pinkies bravely put themselves forward to sing under the watchful eye of Andrea, who gave tips and teaching in front of us all. Newbie soprano Clare was first up – what a voice! It was really interesting to hear even more come out of her performance with Andrea’s suggestions; her delivery of the song really changed as her engagement with the words developed. Next up was tenor Simon Harrison, who gave us all a beautiful rendition of West Side Story’s ‘Somewhere’ – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house after that one! Andrea also explained how to deal with last minute nerves and tension, and how to use emotion to make more of your performance.
After enjoying another wonderful feast – thanks again to Tanya, her helpers Teddy and Simon W, and the rest of the intrepid cooking crew – the fun really started. The evening kicked off with the ‘open mic’ performances, opened and compered by the fabulous Simon H, Phil and Michelle. Several excellent performances followed – what a talented bunch!
The party then got underway, with the theme “The Enchanted Wood” – what a sight to behold! We had gnomes on toadstools, red riding hoods, Robin Hoods, plenty of fairies – and of course a couple of carrots too! The revelry continued into the night, with plenty more singing, dancing and merriment.
Carroty Wood
Sunday morning didn’t involve any singing – the team clearly knew better! Instead we had a choice of fun activities to choose from – from rope climbing (let’s not ask what happened to Simon H’s shorts in that one!), swimming, our very own Bake-Off, judged by the glamorous ‘Marky Berry’ and ‘Tanya Hollywood’, prop making for our winter concert – and human hungry hippos! With only four injuries, that one was definitely a resounding success!
The day continued with rehearsals led by our Musical Director Murray Hipkin and fantastic music team, and some more choreography practice. As always this was interspersed with plenty more sustenance – we were certainly well looked after! all pitching in with the final clean up, we then trundled into our chariots to make our way out of the enchanted forest and back into reality. Boooo….until next year!
The whole weekend was put together by our fantastic events manager Mark – what an incredible job he did. We can’t thank him enough! Here he is with the wonderful Tanya, who I may have already mentioned worked really hard to keep us fed and watered all weekend. Thank you both!
Click here to see more photos from the weekend!
Carroty Wood

On rehearsing our new commission, Part 1: "I, Choir"

Mina and Lara

Lara: One of the most exciting elements of our 30th Anniversary celebrations this season that Mina and I share with you now, is the commission piece, being written for us by Richard Thomas, the artistic evil genius behind Jerry Springer, The Opera. After having worked previously with this notorious potty-mouth of a composer, there has certainly been an air of curious hubbubadry within the choir over the last few weeks. It was only recently that the first part of Richard’s 3-movement work was completed and released ‘unto the hounds’ as it were, much to our insatiable intrigue. Finally we were to discover the meaning behind numerous post-it note exercises used to write the piece itself, in which we were asked by Richard to answer several specific questions about being in a choir.
Part 1: I, Choir seems indeed to offer an extension of just that: an introduction into the choir as an entity, including what it can express, explore, create, and what it can draw out of an audience. In a style that reminds me somewhat of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Mr. Thomas has laid down his own simple yet effective modern day highway into the heart and soul of what it means to be a choir.
Continue reading “On rehearsing our new commission, Part 1: "I, Choir"”

Backstage pass: All the right moves

With just six weeks to go until the New Year concert on Saturday, 8 January 2011, you’d be right in assuming the pressure is on to get the singing down pat, but our regular fans will also recognize that we put in loads of work to perfect the choreography as well. This season we’re debuting two pieces with entirely new moves and, in a choir where moving is ninth or tenth nature, the end result really is the hard work of all the Pinkies.
No-one works harder than our choreographers Karin, Oli and Rachel though, but in between rehearsals they stopped for minute and sat down in front of the camera for a heart-to-heart chat. Watch the interview for a behind-the-scenes look at how they got into dancing, where they get their inspiration from, what they get out of working with the choir, and what you can expect to see at ‘A Burst of Song’. And if you look closely, you’ll also catch a glimpse of the Pinkies rehearsing Proud Mary!
Wondering whether their — and our — hard work has paid off? Get your tickets and come see us in the new year!

Working hard but having fun!

No-one ever said that being a Pink Singer was easy, and this season has been tougher than most, with one change after another. We’re making sure we put on the greatest show we’ve ever done, which can be rather difficult when you have to sing in several languages – including French and Swedish – and dance like Tina Turner! Despite this, we’re pulling through and having a great time doing it; have a look at the photos taken at last Sunday’s rehearsal for the proof.
This weekend we’re travelling up north to meet the Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus and sing at their concert ‘We Go Together‘. We love them, and know you will too when you come to our own New Year concert ‘A Burst of Song‘ right here in London on 8 January 2011.
If you are looking to get an early bird discount on the most popular seats, remember the deadline is this Sunday, 21 November 2010. So dial 020 7730 4500 for your tickets and see what we’re all smiling about!