Please see below new poems by Sheila North.
If you are inspired during this lockdown time and would like to share your inspiration with the choir (within reason) then do send to me.
Nature’s Orchestra (10 May 2020)
Quiet, listen and now really stop and hear,
There’s not a sound from far away, there’s not a sound from near,
Complete silence, so hushed to you it feels quite deafening,
Then the harder that you listen sound will be awakening.
There’s birdsong soft and tuneful, a real melodic background,
It really is the sweetest, embracing harmonic sound,
Finer and more exquisite than any orchestral composition,
It’s nature’s very best and finest exhibition.
Can you hear the breeze as it gently rustles in the trees?
The very faintest movement causing song from all the leaves,
And as the wind increases there’s a mellowing of the sound,
There’s a hum and a drone as branches are tossed around.
The first drops of rain fall silently from the skies,
So soft and so gentle they take you by surprise,
Pitter and a patter lightly drumming on the ground,
Rhythmic and throbbing, nature’s percussion has been found.
A soloist arrives and the central ground secured,
A blackbird, dressed for his performance, tallest tree procured,
His repertoire magnificent, the sound carries far away,
He greets us at dawn in the chorus and then he ends our day.
Nature’s Freedom (13 April 2020)
I sit relaxing in my hut while reading my book,
totally immersed in nature in every direction I look,
My surround is silent except for the song of the birds,
I’m encouraged to write and catch this moment in the richness of words.
There’s the gentlest breeze just moving young leaves,
It brings a welcoming coolness which can only please,
The perfume from lily of the valley is wafted my way,
I watch delicate flowers enwrapped in green as they gently sway.
A sound floats down as two swans fly overhead,
Necks and legs extended, like aerial ballerinas to the skies they’re wed,
Rhythmic wings beat with their magical sound,
As to the water meadows their journey is bound
A bumble bee joins me while in my hut,
It briefly rests on the cover of my book now shut,
Most delicate legs and a body as soft as down,
Eager to continue his quest, hoping pollen will be found.
My garden is tiny but overflows with sights, smells and sounds,
Ablaze with colours nature’s palette has no bounds,
I don’t feel trapped, restricted or confined,
But open to appreciate all of natures riches entwined.
Changing times (23 March 2020)
We are frightened and that has drawn us together,
We are sad and frustrated but this will not last forever.
We are on the cusp of lasting change in how our lives are lived,
Existence as we know it is being questioned and intensely quizzed.
Support and reassurance is always very close by,
Our choir will laugh with us and sustain us when we cry,
We will suffer, but not all of us together,
As one slips another rises so our help is there forever.
And now a sing a long on Fridays, life is becoming brighter,
Longer days are coming so days will be much lighter.
Our homes are being painted, tidied and spring cleaned.
Cupboards sorted, gardens tweaked, beyond what we’d have dreamed.
Look after each other, keep your distance, phone, message and write,
Wash your hands and sing the anthem then you’ll know it’s right,
Eek out that toilet paper and carefully use eggs and flour,
Take up new hobbies, read long waiting books and sing anthems in the shower.
I have had delivery of my poetry books and have some spare for sale. £10.00 will cover my costs and make a small profit that I will donate to the new Winchester Hospice. Please pass on your name and address if interested and I will add you to my list. Many thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
John Wallace has been busy making virtual singing videos. This takes an incredible amount of time and effort. John is now inviting the whole Winchester Fusion Choir to take part – a huge undertaking.
We’ve been thinking that it would be lovely to have a musical project that everyone has the opportunity to join in with. The project is taking shape now so this email is to ask you if you’d like to be part of the fun?
Here is the outline:
I am putting together an medley of 50’s and 60’s Rock and Roll songs with words (hopefully humorous!) adapted for lockdown. There is a serious message too, the final verse(s) are about thanking everyone – including drivers, carers, food producers and of course our fabulous NHS – who are working so hard and risking their lives to help us all through this situation.
Depending on how many people want to join in, I’ll might split the song into 2(ish) verse sections to make it simpler.
Harmonies – if there any at all they will be very simple (e.g. everyone sings the same melody but octaves apart), we’ll get some variation by having different voices singing different sections/phrases.
Some of the words relate to our favourite lockdown pursuits, including baking and so the song will (tbc) be a capella but accompanied by percussion based on anything we can find in our kitchens – Tupperware drums, saucepans (has any one got a gong?!), wine glasses, bags of rice, whatever sounds percussive!
The idea is to produce a publicly shared Youtube Video so to take part you’ll need a Video recording of you:
- Percussing (not sure if that’s a word!)
- Dancing or generally jigging about
You don’t need to do all of those things, just whichever ones you feel like.
- There may also end up being some sort of clothing colour/fancy dress theme too
To make the recording, you don’t need any fancy equipment, just a mobile phone, iPad, laptop, camcorder or whatever you have to hand.
So, that’s the outline…..
If you’d like to join in please send an email by the end of Tuesday 12th May to:
VirtualityChoir@Hotmail.com (same address if you have any questions too)
If you are joining in (and I hope you do!), please give me an idea which one or more of these you would like to contribute:
- Singing, Percussing, Dancing or generally jigging about, Clapping
You can change your mind later but some idea will help me to plan the video and song parts.
- Lockdown activity photo’s
If you have a still photo of:
- a lockdown activity – serious/unusual/funny all welcome – please send it with your email (for inspiration/possible inclusion in the video).
- A means of thanking the Covid workers and carers
4) Caveat particeps
Please be warned! I can pretty much guarantee that the video will NOT be of professional quality ! Since this is an experiment, it may prove too tricky to complete at all but we’ll have learned something and had some fun along the way whatever happens. Nothing ventured nothing gained!!
So everyone, reply to John now and let’s get this moving along – such fun. If you miss the cut-off date then just send John an email and we will try to slot you in somehow.
Until we meet again, Liam and I send you our love.
Stay safe and well.
FUSION CHOIR – FLASH CHOIR AT THE WINCHESTER HATFAIR : 4th July 2020….put the date in your diary. We did it last last year and we have been invited to do it again. Theme – take to the streets.
Sheila’s party was brilliant….everything about it was joyous and the choir had a ball. It was a complete celebration and it was lovely that Barbara was there too. Thank you Sheila and Happy Birthday.
Wow, thank you so much for the card. Nearly in tears reading it, what a start to the day. Thank you everyone for your support and greetings, lots of love, Kate
Worth sharing: a choir leader has contacted me to say they have listened to the Fusion Choir on YouTube singing the Mingulay Boat Song and loved it and they have requested professional permission to use the arrangement. It states on Youtube, Harmonies and arrangement by Marie O’Brien. Interesting…new territory!
THANK YOU FROM BARBARA: Thankyou everyone for the beautiful flowers you all sent me. I’m so lucky to have such love and support from a wonderful choir. Thinking of you all today and when I’m stronger I will be back . XX ❤️❤️ Barbara – lovely to see Barbara at Sheila’s party.
- Various choir are travelling
- Ruth are in Australia
- Carol, alto, is having surgery to her knee and will be away until feeling fit to return – hope it goes well
- Kay Duggan is recovering from pneumonia and will return in the spring – heal well
- Welcome to our fabulous choir for a new year of singing
- Welcome to our new singers – relax and enjoy
- Heal well all choir who had illness, accidents and surgery but still came along to sing on Friday. Great to see you
- Thanks to the tea rota girls and boys for nourishing and refreshing the choir
- What a great start to 2020
- A cheque for £950 was sent to each of our four Christmas concert charities: SVP, Gold, Friends of the Family, Rose Road
Previous relevant info:
Marjon, Anne and I spent Wednesday morning going the song portfolios and a few things have changed. If you already have the portfolios you need do nothing, just add Hine e Hine and Let it be and see the updated song index list and some updated pages that you will need to mark up.
If you have not yet printed the portfolios you will find everything there that you need, with a wider left hand margin. The portfolios are now in .doc – please check before you print that the pages are all in order. There are many websites that will accommodate the transfer of .doc to .pdf, if you would prefer. Also, if you wish a bigger typeface then feel free to alter your pages – whatever works for you. There will be no further changes at my end.
Also, the blog has changed.
A big thank you to Marjon and Anne.
10 Jan 2020. – So pleased to hear you speaking and singing again, Sheila – your voice was gone for quite sometime and this poem shares it with us.
I lost my voice this Christmas.
I lost my voice this Christmas,
Where oh where’s it gone?
It was working well on Friday then Saturday all went wrong.
My mouth still shuts and opens and tries to make the words,
But all else has disappeared, not a peep is heard.
If someone else has found it, I’d really like it back,
I’ve grown accustomed to its pitch and tone, always seemed on track.
It wasn’t the best of voices but nor was it the worst,
It’s range just really suited me and I would rate it first.
It excelled at giggling and laughter, could really tell a joke,
Family and friends recognised it along with other folk.
Now I can’t even whisper, not a croak or groan,
Makes me feel a bit isolated, silent on my own.
I can’t even hum, let alone sing, all really most bizarre,
Can’t communicate close by, let alone from afar.
When my voice heals and repairs I’ll welcome it back again,
I’ll value it most dearly and will try a short refrain.
Marie’s given me an exercise blowing bubbles down a straw,
Tony says a snorkel in the bath will heal my voice for sure.
I’m letting it rest, giving it time, it worked very hard just lately,
When it returns I’ll respect it more and enjoy it oh so greatly.