The Bolton Warblers Community Choir began in June 2012 with 40 interested people and a dream to sing and have fun! We have members from all over Bolton, and currently average at 16-20 people per week. We meet at Lancashire Wildlife Trust (cnr Crompton Way and Bury Road) on Monday evenings from 7-8.30pm during school term time. Our main “seasons” are Remembrance Weekend and Christmas, where we hold small performances at care homes and shopping centres, and then we spend 6 months working on a themed song selection, leading to a public performance. (This year, our themed performance has been put on hold during Covid-19, so we have been singing virtually on-line with the care home choir, and meeting up for zoom-chats!)
Membership is informal, with no audition needed. We ask for a weekly contribution (waged and unwaged rates) to cover song copies, tuition costs and other musical incidentals, and we have a minimum age of 16 years and over (insurance).
As a community group we have a constitution (available on request) which details the way we run and the committee positions available. We plan to perform three times per year (Spring, Summer, Autumn), as well as ad hoc events to which we are invited. Festive seasons usually see us in supermarkets, dressed festively and having a good time!
Having been in the local paper a few times, we wholeheartedly believe that everyone can sing, that singing is one of the healthiest activities one can do, as well as developing personal confidence and social skills and opportunities.
Bolton Warblers management
Our enthusiastic committee includes the following volunteers:
- Chairperson: Pamela Eaton
- Treasurer: Sandra Spencer
- Musical Director: Frances Turnbull BSc MEd HNC MBPsS FRSA (not on the committee)
Rehearsals are informal, and performances include white long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve shirts and dark/black trousers or skirts. Christmas events usually involve tinsel and Santa hats!
When and where we rehearse
The Bolton Warblers rehearse weekly at Lancashire Wildlife Trust, cnr Crompton Way and Bury Road, Bolton on Mondays from 7-8.30pm. We ask for your mobile/email details to advise you of cancellation during holidays/bank holidays/sickness. We spend 15 minutes warming up, and then the rest of the time rehearsing our next performance repertoire, a mixture of notation and learning by ear. We end sharply at 8.30pm.
Daily singing is encouraged, whether practising choir repertoire or just singing along to the radio. This is because regular rehearsal develops notation accuracy, breath stamina and vocal strength. Suggested rehearsal exercises:
- Gentle stretches and relaxation – 1 minute
- Easy vocal warm-ups (sirens, hums, scales) – 1 minute
- Breathing technique (long note/sipping/hissing) – 1 minute
- Technique practice (tongue twisters, arpeggios) – 1 minute
- Repertoire practice (especially solos) – 15 minutes
- Cool down (descending scales) – 1 minute
No annual membership fees have been necessary to date, but the weekly fees cover basic costs, and are:
- Waged: £3.00
- Unwaged: £1.50
A copy of our current repertoire can be printed from the links below or obtained from Sandra or Frances.