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On sunday I went on a coach to Stratford Upon Avon to attend the above festival. It took place at Stratford’s King Edward V1 school.
I have been singing in the Parkhall Natural Voice Choir for about 3 months, we sing each Tuesday evening. Fortunately there is no audition, anyone can join, you don’t need a good voice. It is about singing for fun and it’s a really uplifting experience. I was hoping for a little sight seeing, but that was not possible so I took pics of the surrounding buildings.
Info re the school courtesy of Wikipedia:
There has been an educational facility at the current site of the school since at least the early thirteenth century. A schoolroom, schoolhouse and payment of £20 per annum for a master was one of the provisions of King Edward VI’s charter which established Stratford-upon-Avon as a borough in June, 1553.1 The school was re-founded as one of King Edward’s schools nine days before the young king died of tuberculosis and is believed to be the last of the King Edward VI Schools. A history of the early years of the school has been published by the former chairman of the governors Levi Fox. It is likely that the playwright and poet William Shakespeare attended the school between the ages of seven to fourteen. His father, John Shakespeare, a glover and wool dealer in the town, held the office of bailiff of the borough in 1568. As a child, William would have been entitled to a free place at the school.

This is the passageway to the part of the school housing the festival. You can see two of my friends Lorraine on the left and Margaret right.

This fantastic building is to the right of the passageway.

This is to the left of the passageway.

Once through the short passageway …….. these beautiful buildings. I didn’t have time to go right up to them, so not sure what they are, but I think they must belong to the church.

This part of the school is quite modern and here is where many of the choirs ate lunch. We were out a bit late so there was nowhere for us to sit in the lovely sunshine.

This is our coach driver and the lovely lady in red, Louise Blackburn who is our choir leader. She’s so enthusiastic and helps get rid of our inhibitions and self consciousness.

I wish I could have shown you more of Stratford, but not to be.

I want one of these in my garden:-)

There will be a natural voice choir near you and joining is so easy. Don’t worry if you think you can’t sing …. you will. There were 500 people at this festival, probably most thought they couldn’t sing when they joined, but to sit in the hall and hear such marvellous sounds from all the choirs was an experience I will never forget. Some were truly exceptional, all were fabulous. All choirs sang two songs. I have no idea how our choir sounded as I was so nervous on stage and if you try to listen to the sound, you might sing the wrong part lol. We were told we were good, so I’ll believe it:-)

When the festival is on the Natural Choir website (about 10 days from now), I’ll try to put a link to it on here. The highlight for me was a gospel type song by two choirs from Leicester, the Amika choir, which was joined by Red Leicester choir and the Amika choir leader a charismatic Ghanaian Lady in full national dress who had the most wonderful voice. I’ve found the Amika choir on Youtube if you’re interested.
Hope I haven’t gone on too much:-)

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I'd love to hear your choir Ba so will look for the link, isn't Stratford lovely away from the touristy areas.....

I have a friend in Groby Leicestershire who sings in a happy choir, one on Quorn too I think, wonder if either are red leicester?

1 Apr, 2014


Lovely to see those beautiful old buildings - thanks Ba! I do like the sound of Natural Voice choirs, so will look them up. As you say, it's such an uplifting experience (whatever our singing voices) . . . I've never forgotten singing for fun at the Barbican many years ago!

1 Apr, 2014


Thanks June, that was nice mini visit to Stafford Upon Avon. Just my sort of place, I love the photos I just cant think at the moment what name the buildings are called, is it Tudor, I love the design of them. Seen that you liked that street light so much, I think I have seen one of them in Bottlers scrap yard, If you like I can get him to put it up on the cart, and bring it around to your place, with Betsy the piebald pony.

2 Apr, 2014


Hi John, just tell him to send one by post:-)))

2 Apr, 2014


Hi Pam, there were much better choirs than ours to listen to at the festival, but everyone had a good time. I wonder why everywhere doesn't still have Tudor buildings, if they had them in the first place that is, it would be wonderful if we had all preserved old buildings wouldn't it:-)

2 Apr, 2014


Hi Sheila, the wonderful thing was seeing people all ages, all backgrounds and all races getting so much enjoyment from unaccompanied singing:-)

2 Apr, 2014


You had a good day then Ba, we have driven thru Stratford but never stopped to look round, the few buildings you`ve shown look very interesting must make the effort to go and explore one of these days.

2 Apr, 2014


Hi Phyl, I wish we'd been able to have a look round too:-)

2 Apr, 2014

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