Harrogate Harmony Enjoy Post Christmas Dinner and Honour Past Musical Director – Harold Blackburn

posted Jan 21, 2018, 11:12 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Jan 21, 2018, 11:12 AM ]

‘Twas the night before Christmas …… well three weeks later really …. when the Chorus celebrated a busy festive season with our annual ‘Post Christmas Dinner’ at the Crown Hotel. 

The occasion provided an ideal opportunity for us to recognise the sterling efforts of our former Musical Direcor and current Chairman, Harold Blackburn. There was wide acknowledgement from all members in attendance that Harold really has been the ‘glue’ holding us all together over the past four years or so, both as Chairman and in directing us musically. Our longest serving member, Mike Tasker, made the presentation of some engraved crystal cufflinks and thanked Harold on behalf of the Chorus for all his hard work and commitment in expanding our membership and developing our sound. 

In that time, Harold has also overseen our quest to appoint a Musical Director for the longer term and we’re delighted that Terry Burns has come in to take up the mantle for a probationary period. We wish Harold and Terry all success in taking us forward now into 2018 …. and hopefully …. in the words of Buzz Lightyear ….. “to infinity and beyond !!”

A Concert for Over The Rainbow Care in Ripon

posted Jan 21, 2018, 11:07 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Jan 21, 2018, 11:09 AM ]

January 10th saw the Chorus embark on a trip to the 16th Century Thorpe Prebend House in Ripon. This magnificently restored Heritage Centre, set in the precincts of the Cathedral on High St Agnesgate, is where the Over The Rainbow dementia day club meets and what a splendid back-drop for a concert it was. 

This care provider was the winner of the Great British Care Awards in 2016 and promotes social interaction through meaningful days for their group members, who were certainly engaged with the songs, particularly in the sing-a-long set from our very own ukulele group the ‘Misspent Ukes’. We worked through some popular barbershop arrangements of the past 100 years or so – from Al Jolson to John Denver – with a monologue from the whimsical Mr Harold Blackburn, to really get the thought processes going!. 

This was the first of a series of concerts we’re doing with Over The Rainbow Care and we look forward to working with them in Knaresborough, Wetherby and Harrogate.

Pre-Dinner Christmas Melodies for the good folk of Harrogate Rotary Club

posted Jan 21, 2018, 11:04 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Jan 21, 2018, 11:05 AM ]

The 18th December saw us ringing out a few tunes for the Rotary Club of Harrogate. In the splendour of the Ascot House Hotel, we sang before the main course of their Christmas Dinner was served and the audience was certainly a lively group of revellers warming to the tunes and the tincture! 

The occasion was tinged with a bit of sadness as we remembered their President for this year and our very own Chorus member Pat Doherty, who sadly passed away in August. Pat will be very much missed by us all but none more than his lovely wife Sylvia and his sons Mark and Chris. Our thoughts remain with them.


Some Christmas Cheer with the Ladies of the Yorkshire Country Women’s Association in Starbeck

posted Jan 21, 2018, 11:01 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Jan 21, 2018, 11:01 AM ]

It was with great pleasure we returned to sing for the ladies of Starbeck on the 11
th December after their Christmas Dinner evening. The hall at St Andrews church provided a lovely setting for some festive spirit and singing. Along with some barbershop classics and some more modern arrangements, we spanned the 20th Century with some Christmas songs influenced by some of the major events. Silent Night from WW1, Judy Garland’s ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ from WW2 and, of course, the American explosion of the commercial Christmas for kids in the 1950’s, with a rendition of Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Much merriment was had by all and the Chorus was treated to lashings of mince pies, cakes and tea, lavished upon them by the lovely ladies of the YCWA!

The Chorus Sing at St Marks for the Harrogate Speakability Group

posted Dec 5, 2017, 8:11 AM by Hh Admin

Tuesday December 5th saw the chorus assemble at the beautiful St Marks church in Harrogate to entertain the Ladies and Gents of the Harrogate Speakability Association. Speakability Self-Help Groups are run by and for people with Aphasia - language-loss following stroke, head injury or other neurological condition.  At the group meetings they support each other, share experiences, make new friends, rebuild self-confidence and develop new skills, and have groups such as ours entertain the members. 

The group ethos is to relax and have fun and the Harrogate Harmony Chorus went some way to helping them achieve that goal on Tuesday. The group raises awareness of Aphasia in our local community and raise funds to support our group meetings, activities and outings.

Christmas songs unveiled

posted Dec 5, 2017, 3:14 AM by Hh Admin

Following extensive and intensive discussions a resolution has now been found - no, not to the Brexit negotiations, but something far more important - the selection of songs for our Christmas repertoire.

Work is now underway to source the Teach Tracks and copyrighted music to enable us to deliver such classics as White Christmas, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and many others.

A word to the WiSE in Collingham

posted Dec 2, 2017, 9:31 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Dec 2, 2017, 9:33 AM ]

Wednesday 29th November saw the chorus entertain the audience at the Sunshine Cafe organised by WiSE. It turned out that a childrens' toddler group was also in the building so we had ages from 2 to 92 listening to our repertoire.

Terry Burns conducted his first engagement with aplomb, and the chorus sang two varied seta, including some Christmas favourites. And of course our own MisSpent Ukes led some singalong numbers. 

The picture on the left features Ukes leader Greg Tunesi in full song. Click on the picture for a closer view. 

Oh What A Night!

posted Nov 2, 2017, 2:03 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 2:30 AM ]

The "bring a friend" night at the Chorus rehearsal on Wednesday November 1st was a great success. 9 new potential members joined the chorus for a warm-up led by Keith Barker, and an introduction to barber shop singing, led by Harold Blackburn and Mike Tasker. 

One of our favourite songs, "Hello Mary Lou", was selected as the song which the chorus, including its new 9 potential members, would learn over the course of the evening. The newcomers quickly found the voice range that suited them best, and 4 members each were added to baritone and lead sections, with one bass addition. 

The photo on the left shows the smiling faces that singing brings, particularly when achieving something new as these people did in the space of a couple of hours. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The Chorus Livens up The Green Hut

posted Oct 11, 2017, 2:47 PM by Hh Admin   [ updated Oct 26, 2017, 4:16 AM ]

Wednesday lunchtime at the Harlow Friendship Society was livened up by a performance of some of our repertoire at the headquarters - known locally as the little Green Hut on Harlow Lane, Harrogate. Chorus Member Terry Byrne is a founder member of the group and President of the Green Hut charity. The performance was enjoyed by about 25 members who braved the lunchtime monsoon weather to hear us perform. 

See also THIS LINK for the testimonial written by organiser Pat. 

A Busy Week for the Chorus

posted Sep 30, 2017, 1:30 AM by Hh Admin   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 1:20 AM ]

The week of September 25th was a busy one for the Chorus. On Wednesday 27th we entertained Doug and his friends from Loughton, Essex, on their annual trip. 40 or so people packed the dining room at the Dower House hotel for the evening and they turned out to be a fun=living bunch who really enjoyed singing themselves as well as listening to the chorus. 

On Friday we gave a full concert to the Hampsthwaite Village Society in their Memorial Hall. The chorus performed the full repertoire, and also included a few speciality spots by the Misspent Ukes, a monologue by Harold Blackburn, a comedy song by Ian McNeil and a quartet performance of Birth of the Blues. 

Saturday 30th was the Big Sing! We got together with 3 other small local choruses (Daytones from Clifford, Northern Acchord from Teesside and White Rose from Leeds/Bradford) for a day of professional coaching and learning the popular song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" from the musical The Lion King. 

Musical director Peter Bryant took a video of the final performance which you can see by clicking the image below. 

Can You Feel The Love Tonight

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