Bolton Warblers

Bolton Warblers Strip op

About the Bolton Warblers

The Bolton Warblers Community Choir began in June 2012 with 40 interested people and a dream to sing and have fun! Although we began in Breightmet, we have members from all over Bolton, and currently average at 8-12 people per week.

Membership is informal, with no audition needed. We do 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.

When and where we rehearse

The Bolton Warblers rehearse weekly at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, Breightmet, BL2 4HU (Newby Road/secondary/PE entrance) 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:

  1. Gentle stretches and relaxation – 1 minute
  2. Easy vocal warm-ups (sirens, hums, scales) – 1 minute
  3. Breathing technique (long note/sipping/hissing) – 1 minute
  4. Technique practice (tongue twisters, arpeggios) – 1 minute
  5. Repertoire practice (especially solos) – 15 minutes
  6. Cool down (descending scales) – 1 minute

Bolton Warblers management

Our enthusiastic committee includes the following volunteers:

  • Chairperson/treasurer: Sandra Spencer
  • Assistant Secretary: Pamela Ward
  • Marketing Secretary: Pamela Eaton
  • Musical Director: Frances Turnbull BSc MEd HNC MBPsS FRSA (not on the committee)

Dress Code

Bolton Warblers 2016

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!

Fees

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 obtained from Sandra or Frances in the first instance, and below, please find our current exercises (click and print for larger version):

Kodaly exercises p2dr_Exercises_P3dls exercises p4Kodaly exercises p1

 

 

Social media links

Warblers are on Facebook (updated weekly) and SoundCloud.

Try one of our sessions to see the difference!

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“This is the only session where he will stop and join in”

“This is the first time she crawled”

Said at a baby session for 0-2 year olds

“This is where he started singing”

“He’s started holding his ukulele just like you hold your guitar”

“She’s memorised the words to that new song, here’s the video”

“The huge variety of instruments is the biggest reason that we love having you”

“She’s suddenly stopping herself and giving other children a turn”

“He got the whole family to sit in a circle and pass the instruments in turn”

“She’s always talking about you, so mum wanted to get you a Christmas gift”

“Could you recommend a ukulele book? I had to get her one for her birthday”

“After attending your nursery music and then afterschool music club, he is in year 6, doing grade 6 music exams”

“Could you please consider teaching private guitar to my 6 year old and ukulele to my 4 year old – this is such an accessible way into music”

“She was so anxious and frustrated, and that all seems to have been channelled into practise”

“He’s changed to a private school and they are so impressed with his maths ability – I credit your music teaching”

“Could you also teach my secondary school child? You must be so good, I (dad) may have to book a few lessons with you”

“He was so uncertain about doing anything in public, and this session has given him so much confidence that he wants to perform for his school”

“He was so uncertain about doing anything in public, and this session has given him so much confidence that he wants to perform for his school”

“Please can you hold another session, he would like them every month – or fortnightly”

“She’s going to enter Britain’s Got Talent, she won’t put her guitar down”

“Aah, brilliant, this is the best bit, you brought the ukuleles!”

“That was so cool, the way we played it all together at the same time”

“Can he start guitar lessons with you? He loved trying out the electric guitar”

“I felt awful before we got here but now that we’ve sung, I feel so much better, you just forget your problems”

“Choir has really improved my confidence, there was this job going and I decided to go to the interview – and I got it”

“It’s so good to forget about your day and just sing”

“After your music training, one of the students taught herself ukulele and planned her demonstration lesson around it”

“The students got a great feel for not only holding the session, but what it would feel like as a child in a session”

“We would love you to teach with us more often, could you apply for a job here?”

“It was really good singing all those old songs – are you coming again?”