From Oast to Coast

Singing with Shannon Express

Recently we joined Bedfordshire based award winning chorus Shannon Express during their weekend retreat to work on songs for competition.  They based themselves in the Ashford International Hotel and we were made most welcome.  Their award winning sound was breathtaking and we very much enjoyed listening to them and singing with them.  

We also performed some of our repertoire which was received enthusiastically.

To find out more about Shannon Express and listen to some of their work visit

Performing at the Civic Awards in Ashford

We were most honoured to be in invited to sing at the inaugural Civic Awards Ceremony in Ashford.  In the grand setting of St Mary’s Church we entertained the assembled dignitaries and honoured guests with a few songs.  ‘Sentimental Journey’, ‘Love Me Tender’ , Hello Mary Lou’ and the ever popular ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ .

We received a lovely letter from the Chairman and Honours Board saying,”a huge thank you to you and all your members for such a wonderful performance at our Civic Awards Ceremony.”

Quartet Help Lee The Suitor Ask at Ask

Romantic Lee Suter surprised long time girlfriend Janine with more than a birthday meal when he took her to the Ask restaurant in Faversham. The quartet from the East Kent Chorus sang her a “Happy Birthday” greeting and then surprised her with a harmonic proposal. They sang "Heart of My Heart", the last line of which is “Will you be mine for ever?”

That was Lee's cue to drop onto one knee and propose.  In happy anticipation of the big day Janine answered ‘I do!’ Diners and staff applauded happily.  We at the Chorus wish them all the best. The event was reported widely in the press and featured in a live radio in interview with Pat Marsh on BBC Radio Kent the next day.

Harmony in the Garden (Centre) ... The Chorus at Dobbies

We are very pleased to be associated with Dobbies Garden Centres in Kent.  We sang at the opening of their first store at Ashford.  Subsequently we were invited to sing at the opening of the Gillingham store.  For this sing out we are in the gold waistcoats and bow ties. You will see our other outfit of blue blazer and red tie in other picures.  

Singing alongside Australian Voices

In the same month that we joined in with Shannon Express, we were delighted to receive an invitation to sing during a concert by the reknown vocal group Australian Voices.

We performed three songs during their recital in the beautiful setting of Christ Church in Ashford.

The Australian Voices are singers selected from all over Australia. A gold-medal winning choir with several YouTube hits to their name, they surprise audiences around the world with their vocal acrobatics.

Comfortable in a wide range of genres, their recent commissions include Kalkadunga which combines didgeridoo rhythm that are tens of thousands of years old with overtone singing (where one singer produces two notes at the same time).

Directed by Gordon Hamilton, their recent hits The Facebook Song, Tra$h Ma$h and We Apologise contrast with their beautiful renditions of sacred repertoire by composers like Rachmaninoff and choral-theatre works like MOON (at Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August).

Before the concert all who bought tickets were invited to a workshop allowing them to explore vocal technique and see some of the amazing skills the group have in the creation of indiginous Australian music.

We don’t plan to introduce the didgeridoo into our singing at this time but the ‘two note’ technique could come in useful!

Find out more about Australian Voices and watch them in action.

Marital Harmony

We had a lovely sing out at the Museum of Kent Life as entertainment for the reception at the wedding of Donalee and Adam.  On these occasions we offer a selection from our repertoire to suit the time required by the special people on the day.  Anything from fifteen minutes to forty five is usually selected although we would break the longer set into two shorter halves.

The quartet who joined Lee were:

 (L to R) David - bass John - baritone Nigel - lead and Matthew- tenor.

Folkstone Festival

We were part of the Folkestone Festival entertainment and had three good sing outs in the streets of Folkestone.  The weather was a bit gloomy but hopefully we cheered up the passers by.  Singing outdoor presents some very special challenges.  Harmony singing works best in an acoustic that blends and resonates with the voices, causing lovely chords to be produces. Outdoors the notes float away and our challenge is doubled as we cannot really hear the results.  Add to that wind, chatting crowds and inquisitive dogs and you start to get the picture.

On the 100th anniversary of the day that Britain entered WW1 we sang at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkstone.

August 4th saw many events in the town including the unveiling of a commemorative arch by HRH Prince Harry.  In the evening, a concert of song and dance was staged. We opened the event with songs from our ususal repoirtoire plus WW1 favourites and we lead the audience in community singing.

Picture courtesy of Albane McGuinness    07957 207 891

2015 Learn to Sing with EKC

Autumn 2015 saw the 4th Learn to Sing course run by th EKC.  Over six consecutive Tuesday evenings there was tuition, exercises and lots of singing for anyone that came along.  

27 started the course and, on Tuesday 27th October, 17 of them took part in a concert alongside the existing chorus members watched by their family and friends.

Those who stayed the full 6 weeks received certificates at the end of the evening to the heary applause of those watching.  The course gave them the basics of voice projection, pitching, harmony and diction.  The concert was their opportunity to try it all out in front of a real audience.

Musical Director Lindley Gram said, “the standard was incredibly high and we have been delighted to welcome so many potential new members.”  Thanks were given to him and and secretary Barry Andrew for all the hard work in organising the course.  

The good news is you don’t have to wait for the next one.  If you would like to come along and meet us, contact Barry and arrange to attend a rehearsal evening.

The 2015 LTS members performing

A bit of Christmas cheer

Members of the chorus assembled at a Sainsbury store to sing for shoppers at this Christmas time.  Aside from having a good time they raised £185.72 and a box well overflowing with donated goodies all of which is for the food bank at The Francis Road Evangelical Church, Ashford.  The church is very active assisting the local community and they kindly give us rehearsal space so it is our pleasure to assist in keeping the food bank stocked up.  

Our thanks to the shoppers who were so generous.