Thanks for the details/notification of the Horsebridge Singers’ free Christmas concert on Whitternet.
I attended with my grandson and want to report, if I may, it was a truly magical evening.
Instead of the usual hackneyed corny carols, the A-Capella choir sang some wonderfully original versions of old favourites, plus a shiver-making rendering of Tavener’s The Lamb, a low-pitched 4-part take on Oh Holy Night, various tingle-inducing songs in Latin and Russian, and a tear-jerking arrangement of The Coventry Carol.
All praise and thanks to conductor Laura and her singers for making the St.Alphege Church rafters ring with lovely, uplifting choral music.
They also raised £550 for good causes and had me and my grandson humming and tra-la-ing and getting into the Christmas spirit as we walked home.”
– Val Hennessy, December 2017
“I have been singing with the Horsebridge Singers for almost 6 years now. The group is very friendly and relaxed. Laura is very patient and conducts the lessons in a way that brings out the best in everyone. The songs performed cover a range of genres, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.
On a more personal note I also had the choir sing at my wedding. During the planning stages Laura was always happy to meet with me and discuss the music we wanted, the choir even learned a song especially for us. Having them there on the day made the service extra special and lots of people commented on how beautiful the harmonies sounded on the day. Thank you to Laura and the choir for helping to make our day so special!!!”
– Gemma Rawling 2014
“ Hi Laura – thank you so much for creating such a peaceful atmosphere yesterday – although the wind was a challenge it actually caused the sound to swirl around in a beautifully ethereal way. Please feel free to forward the attached to the others with a big thank you.”
“ Laura – Thank you so much for your contribution and the beautiful music and energy of the choir. It was a really special moment of the evening and I think it inspired a lot of people. ”
– Karen Boswell, Whitstable Supper Club’s Big Gig Beach BBQ
“ I’ve been a member of the Horsebridge Singers for about six years and I am so pleased I found this group. All the group members are friendly and welcoming and there are no “divas” or inflated egos. Laura manages to conduct the weekly sessions in a way that brings out the best of the group in a relaxed atmosphere. With Laura’s patience and perseverance the group have reached a standard whereby we can perform a wide variety of songs with confidence and with so many genres covered there is something for everyone to enjoy. ”
– Di Spencer
“ Laura’s classes are inspiring, uplifting and exciting. We sing songs from around the world; soul, traditional, bluegrass, gospel, rock n’ roll, West End, jazz, pop, rhythm and blues and more.
I’ve been with The Horsebridge Singers since 2006 and have been able to improve breathing, singing and sight-reading. Its a wonderful feeling to be amongst so many voices singing in harmony.
Laura has a lot of good humour and patience and is always supportive when there are tricky bits of music to get to grips with. ”
“ I’d forgotten how much FUN singing can be. After warm-up vocal exercises we start to sing. We harmonise our way through numbers such as Sway; My Girl; Lean on Me; Down by The Riverside and many others. We’re a relaxed friendly group – Laura’s great – and I really look forward to my Wednesday afternoons. ”
“ Three years ago I was searching for a choir to join; one with the emphasis on singing for fun, that I wouldn’t need to audition for, that would facilitate some de-stressing and cater for all singing/musical abilities. I discovered Laura and The Horsebridge Singers and they have more than fitted the bill !
We benefit hugely from Laura’s wide range of teaching and performance experience. With her guidance and sympathetic coaching style we have developed an expanding repertoire. I thoroughly enjoy being a member of the choir and have got to know a great bunch of friends. I truly recommend it. ”
“ The Horsebridge Singers is a fun and friendly choir. We are conducted by Laura Gillham and we sing a range of songs from around the world from Irish lullabies, folk and gospel to African and Georgian songs. We perform at charity events, the annual Oyster Festival and special occasions such as weddings and memorial services. ”
“ I joined Laura’s Singing Group about 3 years ago now, I was just recovering from a very bad bout of depression and thought that it might help me to get out and about again! Well, it was so much fun and it immediately took me out of myself, enabling me to gradually gain more confidence and start to enjoy life again !!
There were only about 6 of us to start with; but it has now grown to 22 in number, showing what a popular teacher Laura is! I recommend anyone to have a go at singing and find out for themselves how therapeutic it is! ”
– Alison Tracey
“ One of the best things about Laura’s teaching is that she is professional but also relaxed and great fun.”
– Lesley Cowan
“ Singing has been the most challenging and up lifting thing I have done for years. I always come away wishing I was even a tiny bit as talented as Laura. Laura makes all our classes so enjoyable and I admire her talents and patience immensely. ”
– Carol Reed
“ Five years ago, l joined Laura’s then small group of Wednesday midday singers at the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre, Whitstable. As a young child l had been told by a music teacher that l was tone deaf and could and should never sing again! I was interested to know if l could possibly join a group and was immediately welcomed and reassured by Laura.
This group, mainly for beginners, is great fun and, after a thorough warm up, l was amazed that, in the first lesson, we were attempting two or even three part harmonies. Soon after l decided to have some (very reasonably priced) private lessons. These were very relaxed and not at all threatening and l found them invaluable in developing my technique and confidence.
Over the years l have sung in two stage musical productions, several times with the advanced group and even solo during jazz night at a local pub. I am still attending the weekday class, now up to 20 strong though a bit short of male voices. Laura, though a total professional, makes every class enormous fun and there is always a real sense of achievement. ”
“ Having never sung at all in my life apart from what I would call “speaking loudly” at weddings and funerals, I became entranced by Gareth Malone, when he trained complete beginners. He and his choir seemed to have such a good time. Shortly after I heard about Laura through a mutual friend, who told me that Laura maintained that anyone could sing. This seemed to resonate with Gareth’s style and I have been truly enchanted by the process.
I have really enjoyed my lessons and I continue to be surprised by what I can do. I do feel Laura’s patience and ability to match the challenge of the day to the individual has been a major part of that! I am a 65 year old man with no confidence in this field, and feel I am still ‘discovering my voice’, and it’s important to me that I don’t feel put down or stupid while learning a new skill.
I remember that wonderful moment when I first maintained a note …… and I have been so inspired by my experience with Laura that I have joined her ‘beginners’ choir’! ”
“ It’s now a couple of years since first going along to a one off Singing Workshop at St Andrews. That Workshop was a regular Friday morning session and although most of us were novices, Laura, with encouragement and cajoling started turning us into singers. For the hour and a half we sang I had fun and within a very short time we were improving our breathing, harmonising and singing all types of music and Laura gave us the confidence to perform at a coffee morning. ”
– Ann Taylor
“ I have been attending Laura’s “Singing for Fun” classes for 2 years. I have grown in confidence and ability but above all have really enjoyed the sessions and would highly recommend anyone considering taking up singing to join in the fun! ”
– Pam Edwards
“ Laura provides first-rate tuition to the Horsebridge Singers in close harmony singing, making full use of her wide experience as an accomplished singing teacher and performer. Within an informal atmosphere, Laura succeeds in bringing out the best possible performances from the Horsebridge Singers, who are of various ages and backgrounds. This has been reflected over the last two years in the number of public performances that the group has provided. Performances include singing at a prestigious dinner at the Abode Hotel, Canterbury, to celebrate Save the Children’s 90th anniversary; performing in the garden of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent to provide funds for Seeds for Africa; participating in the nationwide Water Aid Concert at the Royal Festival Hall; A Christmas performance at Whitstable’s Farmers’ Market; participating in at least two Whitstable Oyster Festivals; performing at a recent wedding in Canterbury and joining with other Whitstable Choirs in an afternoon of singing at St John’s Methodist Church, Argyle Road. ”