Christmas greetings

Over twenty Choir members and Janet had a lovely meal together at Loom Makers in Burnley on Sunday evening after we had enjoyed singing at Burnley and Nelson United Reformed Church’s carol service.

Our Christmas tree looked resplendent and we don’t look bad ourselves, do we?

Thanks to all who braved the weather and sang so well. As always, thanks to Janet for encouraging us and holding us together.

New and Old Choir Members  Celebrate. 


Last week, ‘Singing for the Soul’ choir celebrated its fourth birthday in style with lots of lively singing, eating and drinking (tea and coffee only!!) Four years ago a group of women met up at Coldwell Cafe, for a singing day, under the leadership of Janet Swan. As a result, the choir was born. 

Now many of those women are still singing with the choir though we have welcomed many new members since those early days. So on Tuesday, 10th of March, we invited old and new members to our celebration and were delighted to see so many enthusiastic singers coming through the doors of Brierfield Library where we now meet.

After a gentle warm up we learned some new songs amid much laughter and enjoyed sharing some old ones with our guests who had not been to the choir before. In the break we all got to know one another better over a brew and a piece of birthday cake.

Thanks to Sue for getting the lovely cake and to Janet for organising the event.

At nine o’clock we all said our goodbyes with a spring in our step and promises from many of the guests that they would be returning! It was so good to share our momentous occasion with so many people and will be delighted to see them all at our next singing session!


The photo, above,  is of the writer Marie (on the right) who brought her friend Sheila, who has now decided to join the choir. 

The photo, below, shows some of the comments people wrote during the break. 

Christmas songs and food. 

Our extra pre-Christmas session proved to be a great success with forty women in total turning up to sing, and eat together. About twenty of these were people responding to our advertising or personal invitation and whom we hadn’t met before. It was good to see a few former members again too. 

Janet taught us some new songs as well as returning to some old favourites. The results were very impressive ending in a three part harmony of a new Christmas song none of us had sung before. Almost everyone wanted to sing but one or two were happy just to listen. 

A great selection of seasonal food was provided as well as mulled wine (non-alcoholic variety, as many people were driving). All the food was organised, bought and prepared by Janet and few choir members. Thank you to them for that. 

Our next session like this is on January the 3rd. All women are welcome as before. 

The session was paid for by Clinical Commissioning Group-Prescription for Wellbeing Fund (part of the NHS) as the health benefits of singing are well known.  

Thank you also to everyone who contributed to our Christmas collection, instead of sending cards to each other. As a result more than £38 was spent on festive fair for the food bank. Thank you to choir member Sue who shopped for this and delivered it to the food bank. 

And finally… Happy Christmas to everyone and see you on January 3rd for a good sing with lots more to eat .. don’t forget to bring a friend again. 

Good news for Christmas

We are able to extend a welcome to visitors who may appreciate some company, fun and festive food at our sessions either side of Christmas on 20th December 2016 and 3rd January 2017 from 7 to 9pm, as usual, at Brierfield Library. 

We decided to make a publicity video for these events and had some fun ourselves doing the Mannequin Challenge! Follow the link:

We look forward to welcoming some new faces (and voices, if you want to join in) at Christmas

Dates for singers’ diaries

6th December 2016. No choir

20th December 2016. Last session. You’re welcome to bring a friend for Christmas music with mince pies and other treats. 

3rd  January 2017. Return to choir. You’re welcome to bring a friend again for New Year fun.

7th February 2017. Midterm break. 

28th March 2017. Second midterm break. 

11th April 2017. Easter break. (Just one missed session for Easter) 

23rd May 2017. Midterm break. 

27th June & 4th July 2017. Second midterm break. 

25th July 2017. Last session. 

1st-3rd September 2017. Residential summer school at Minsteracres. 

12th September 2017. Return to choir . 

Singing Aunties Sing for their Supper 

Our latest ‘gig’ included a lovely surprise when choir member Bev brought her new baby, Richard (only two weeks old), to join in the fun. We could hardly do the warm up for all the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’. He didn’t stay for the performance of course but was very well behaved for the warm up despite being awake. 

We had been invited to sing at St John’s Church, Ivy St at their hospice fundraiser and this included a quiz and pie and peas supper. Janet decided a variety of songs were in order, ranging from ‘Singing in the Rain’ to ‘Allelujah’ and this worked really well for the audience  Our final song, just before supper was served,  was ‘Food Glorious Food’ and we were loudly applauded for our efforts. Several members had actually bought tickets to go but we also had a collection, from choir members, and presented £35 to add to the total. Including the activities on Sunday, at the church, they raised more than £1,000 for the hospice.  

A poem for Janet. 

Written at The Poetry Takeaway, Burnley Canal Festival, by Cecilia Knapp.  Janet was interviewed for a few minutes and this poem was the end result. You may feel like it was written for our choir too. 

The voices sound like night skies

Purples and bruised blues 

and stars.

The voices sound like heather on the hills.

They are everyone’s heartbreak

And everyone’s joy, plaited together,

Reaching fingers into souls-

“Will you go lassie go”-

They sound like hands on shoulders,

Like comfort whispered into ears –

They sound like holding hands. 

They sound like history.

Devastating and beautiful. 

Hopeful and full of tomorrows 

And wing beats

And ancient feelings-

Carried from eyes and heartbeats and lungs through windows, to ceilings.

A veil of sound to stir the silt that sits within us. 

Cecilia Knapp