Monthly Archives: June 2016

Cardiff for Orlando

Last Monday, several hundred people – the BBC estimated 350 – gathered in front of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay to hold a vigil for the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting. Sparked by the dreadful news that hit our televisions, newspapers and web pages on Sunday morning, the vigil was organised in a matter of hours and was one of many held across the world.

The feeling in the crowd was one of pride and defiance as much as it was mourning as the assembled crowd adorned themselves with rainbows, draping themselves in the array of pride flags – gay, trans, bi, pan – usually reserved for Mardi Gras, marches, and other celebrations of our community.

In the face of this atrocity, as in the face of many others that our community has faced, we react with resistance and messages of peace and hope. It is a mark of the power and importance of our community.  In every country around the world, we grieved the Orlando murders as if we had all lost 49 friends.

As many people have commented, the nightclub in which the attack took place, and others just like it across the globe, is so much more than just a place to drink and dance. These are the places in which we are free, places where we can celebrate our identities, places where we can find support and community.

As a community our strength is in the ways that we gather and in the bonds we form between ourselves. It is in this spirit that we invite you to join us, not only to sing, but to celebrate and build our community here in Cardiff.

 

Songbirds Choir is a non-auditioning community choir for self-defining lesbian, bisexual and trans* women in Cardiff.

We meet at 7.15 to rehearse from 7.30pm every Wednesday at City United Reformed Church on Windsor Place, Cardiff.

 

 

Treowen Manor: Wedding Serenades and a Wall of Cows

Way back in December last year Songbirds were invited to perform at a wedding – the third matrimonial event we were to perform at as a choir. What it is to be in demand!

Having had plenty of notice, we had been learning new material over the spring and were really looking forward to have the opportunity to perform it.

On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon we set off towards rural Monmouthshire and with perfect weather for a spring wedding, we were looking forward to enjoying the scenery on the way. What we did not anticipate, however, was turning off onto a track and coming face to face with a wall of cows as this particular herd were heading back to the farm…

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Cue a decidedly un-alto shriek from Emily and Amo!

Fortunately it was only a minor bovine delay and shortly afterwards everyone arrived at Treowen Manor house. This 17th century manor house is a spectacular venue and we were very excited to be singing there – not only is the building over 400 years old and the views from the grounds stunning, it has also been used for filming Doctor Who! We set ourselves up in the Banqueting Hall (!) and got warmed up ready to sing.

Then as the wedding party finished their photographs, we embarked on our set.

We had spent a few weeks learning ‘Joyful Joyful’ from Sister Act 2 (Back in the Habit) as requested by the bride and groom, so opened our set with this. Learning this song has been a challenge as the style is different from lots of the rest of our repertoire, but we pulled it off – with big congratulations to the choir members who had solos at the end of the song!

From here we moved through the rest of our set which included some more soppy songs (as we were at a wedding after all) as well as other new numbers such as The Weeknd’s ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ which was thoroughly enjoyed by all!

After a more mellow a capella section we finished with Regina Spektor’s ‘You’ve Got Time’ which we learnt last year for Cardiff Pride – watch this space as we are to perform there again later this year.

Our set was well received and guests were dancing and singing along which was great to see! A big thank you to Rosie who worked so hard preparing us for the concert and also to Daniel our accompanist for helping deliver a really solid performance.

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Not to miss out on the opportunity of being in such a beautiful venue, we took a couple of photos of the choir before relaxing post performance with a round or two of crazy golf and a wander round the ground of the manor. We were really pleased with our performance and had a great time singing, relaxing and enjoying the day.

Thanks to Jaime and Alex for inviting us!

Kate Bodd, June 2016

Songbirds Choir is a non-auditioning community choir for self-defining Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans* women in Cardiff.

We rehearse every Wednesday from 7.15 at City United Reformed Church on Windsor Place, Cardiff.

New members always welcome!