Latest News


  • Double success for Solent City
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  •  Date Posted: Sun, 1 May 2022


    Solent City Chorus
    had a great evening at the Fareham Music Festival on 29 th April, winning both classes in which they were entered. These were the Adult Choir category and the Barbershop Chorus category, for which the chorus was awarded the A Cappella Cup.

    This was the second year in succession that Solent has won a top prize at Fareham. Adjudicator Angela Rowley awarded a “highly commended” rating on the performance, praising the beautifully blended singing, the dynamic variation, and gave a special mention to the delicate tenor line in all three songs.

    What a debut for “Autumn Gold”!
    It was also a night to remember for “Autumn Gold”, a new quartet drawn from the chorus and featuring Ian Ayres (lead), Bob Simmonds (bass), Kevin Jones (tenor) and Julian Church (bari).
    In their first ever public appearance, the guys beat some highly experienced competition to win the Cabin Crew A Cappella Cup for best barbershop quartet. In awarding a “commended” rating, the Adjudicator commented on the quartet’s well-blended sound from the outset and the beautifully tuned final chords in both songs.

  • A Sparkling Evening in East Meon
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 16 Mar 2022


    Solent City enjoyed a wonderful evening at the beautiful All Saints Church in
    East Meon on Wednesday 16 March. A large and enthusiastic audience
    enjoyed a varied programme, and were quick to demonstrate their own
    singing credentials by joining in a rousing version of “Wellerman”. With one of
    the Church’s two boilers out of action, even the family of penguins spotted at
    the back of the nave were shivering. But a great atmosphere, helped by
    delicious cake and tea, made for a lovely evening.


    After the event, the guys adjourned to the nearby Old George pub, where
    patrons were entertained to a selection of Chorus favourites. One lady,
    celebrating her birthday, reckoned it was the best rendition of Happy Birthday
    she’d ever heard.

  • Remembering Gabriel
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 17 Jan 2022

    Our dear friend Gabriel Dooley sadly passed away unexpectedly just before Christmas, aged just 60.

    Gabriel joined Solent City Chorus in 2011 after attending a Learn to Sing course run by the club. After receiving his 10-year pin from BABS last year, Gabriel’s reaction was: “I only signed up for a 6-week LTS course. I’m not sure what happened – I must be a slow learner”. 

    A proud Irishman, Gabriel was passionate about his singing and loved the “craic” of being with the other guys in the chorus. In recent years he commuted daily from Portsmouth to London where he was a senior engineer on the Crossrail project: he would take the train home in the evening and jump into a taxi at the station to arrive just in time for rehearsal. On the risers his style was distinctive and idiosyncratic, as Gabriel himself was the first to acknowledge. With his eyes invariably tightly closed as he sang, he was always a challenge to the MD. But with that wonderful cheeky smile, enormous charm and gift of the blarney, we all loved him.

    The Chorus sends its sincerest condolences to Gabriel’s widow, Kay, and their fourchildren.

    At his funeral on 17th January, Solent City members past and present sang “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

     

  • Festive season off to a great start
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 1 Dec 2021

    Solent City’s festive season got off to a sparkling start with two gigs on
    Wednesday 1 st December.
    In the morning the chorus performed for the NHS Retirement Society in
    Cosham, singing a selection of repertoire songs in the first half and then a
    mixture of carols and Christmas songs in the second half. Tim Coney, the
    society’s Branch Secretary, said the concert had been really enjoyable and
    had brought some much-needed Christmas cheer to his members. Then in
    the evening Solent City enjoyed a return visit to Denvilles WI in Havant, after
    a gap of more than two years due to the pandemic. Another terrific evening of
    repertoire songs and carols concluded with an impromptu rendition of
    Jerusalem.
    The chorus were pleased to welcome back Peter Mumford to their ranks: a
    former Music Director of Solent City, Peter has rejoined as a singing member
    in the bari section. We were also thrilled to have Philip Davies (lead) and
    Chris Franks (bass) make their debuts with us - both joined very recently
    following the learn to sing course. Both were really buzzing at the end of the
    evening and said they’d had a great time. “But”, said Philip, “it was a bit
    daunting when we lined up and I was suddenly facing all those ladies.” Philip
    - all we can say is well done and don’t worry, it’s only very occasionally that
    they start throwing things at us…..
  • Good To Be Back!
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 19 Nov 2021

    Another fun-filled evening, this time performing for the Bidbury Mead WI. 

    Great facilities, including a rehearsal room with acoustics to die for, a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the Bidbury ladies, and Richard on sparkling form as usual with some impromptu banter.

    Lockdown meant it was almost two years to the day since our last visit, but an evening well worth waiting for.      
     

  • Learn To Sing course concludes with a Concert
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 3 Nov 2021
    Learn To Sing course concludes with a Concert

    The 2021 Learn To Sing course came to an end with a concert for family and friends. The delegates and chorus sang the song we had learned together - Pokarekare Ana - and the chorus also performed some of our rep songs for the audience. 

    We were delighted to present certificates of attendance to the ten delefates who complted the course and we are also delighted that the majority have decided to stay on with us with a view to joining as full members. 

    More photos from the concert are here: Learn To Sing 2021 Photos
     

  • More silverware for Solent City at Fareham Music Festival
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 22 Oct 2021

    Solent City maintained their winning run with another trophy on Friday evening 22nd October, this time at the Fareham Music Festival. The chorus won the Peter Fielder Memorial Cup for best adult choir, achieving a “commended” ranking, and came narrowly second in the Barbershop Chorus category.
    Adjudicator Benjamin Costello commented on the lovely rhythmic energy of the chorus, and praised its singing for being moving and atmospheric. He also complimented Solent on a really enjoyable overall programme.
    Solent’s Musical Director Steve Morris said he was thrilled with the trophy win. “18 months ago we were on a real high: we’d just won two trophies at the Isle of Wight Festival, including best choir of the whole week – and then came lockdown. That meant we haven’t been able to sing together in person again until very recently, and Fareham was our first competitive outing since the IoW.”
    Steve added that the guys had continued practising on Zoom right through the lockdown, and had even learnt four new songs during that time. “But”, he added, “there’s just nothing to match being in front of a live audience again."

      

     

     

      
     

  • WOW! WHAT AN EVENING
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  •  Date Posted: Thu, 21 Oct 2021


    WOW! That’s surely the only word to describe an amazing evening with the ladies of the Totton Sunflowers WI on 21st October.

    We had originally been booked to perform at Totton last year, but the lockdown meant the gig had to be postponed. But as Christine Peckham, booking organiser for Sunflowers commented, it was an evening well worth waiting for.

    “Uplifting”, “fantastic”, and “a glorious evening”, were just some of the comments received, and one lady added that at least one of our songs had given her goosebumps.  Although Solent performed a wide range of material, from love songs to upbeat and comedy numbers, the highlight was probably “Wellerman”, with the ladies enthusiastically joining in the chorus to great effect. 

    A really fun evening for all of us in Solent City as well, and a big thank you to the Totton ladies for their friendship and hospitality.

  • Our new chairman
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 15 Sep 2021
    Ian Barbeary was nominated and elected unanimously as our chairman at the club AGM on 15th Sept. 

    I'm sure you'll all congratulate Ian on his election to the post and we thanks him for standing.

    This is Ian's second stint as our chair and so we are in safe hands for the next year. 

  • Barbershoppers Of The Year
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  •  Date Posted: Wed, 15 Sep 2021

    As is traditional we voted for our Barbershopper of the Year  at the AGM on 15th September and this year the award was jointly won by Ian Ayres and Dave Potts. 

    Congratulations to them both.

    Here you can see the John Beck trophy being awared to them by our newly elected chairman, Ian Barbeary

  • East Meon Singout
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  •  Date Posted: Mon, 23 Aug 2021

     

    Finally, finally after all these months we got together again for our first sing out since March 2020.

    We were invited to sing at the East Meon Village Festival which was a celebration of the easing of lockdown restrictions. 
    It was an open air event so we were competing with other attractions such as the beer tent ,the hog roast  and children’s races.

    Nevertheless our singing was really appreciated: 

    “Just to say thanks so much for your wonderful performance yesterday "

    “Thank you for bringing your delightful choir on Sunday .Very accomplished indeed and I greatly enjoyed listening to them “

    See what you are missing !

    Contact us if you would to hear our distinctive sound at your special event 
  • Coming Soon
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  •  Date Posted: Fri, 18 Jun 2021
    We are getting ready to meet again in person - starting with outdoor rehearsals, preparing for indoor rehearsals as regulations are relaxed and even thinking about singing to audiences.
    We'll post more information here as soon as events are arranged. 

    We have started to take preliminary bookings for some sessions so if you would like us to sing for you please get in touch via e-mail to 
     
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