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loftsingers.org.uk

'The choir sings in three or four part unaccompanied harmony in a style that borrows much from the “West Gallery” and other largely rural singing traditions such as that exemplified by the Copper family of West Sussex. Much of the repertoire is local and is arranged for unaccompanied voices by local musicians.'

Visits to the Website80
Views of Full Record197

www.bgq.org.uk

'We like to play and sing mainly the sort of music that was heard in the majority of English parish churches between about 1730 and 1860 ... For performances and services we generally wear costumes, loosely based on the period 1825-1840. Most of the folk we portray would have been quite poor, relying on cast-offs and hand-me-downs, so we use considerable latitude.'

Visits to the Website54
Views of Full Record205

www.bedfordgalleryquire.org.uk

'A community group of singers and instrumentalists performing three and four part musical pieces from the West Gallery period, around 1700 to 1850 ... In the conventional voice parts of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass with instruments doubling the vocal lines, we perform in Bedfordshire and the neighbouring counties in costume representing what might have been worn by our counterparts in Bedford around 1810—1830. We have no religious affiliation and members are of all faiths and none.'

Visits to the Website85
Views of Full Record240

brightonshapenote.weebly.com

Sacred Harp Singing is four part a cappella harmony singing. The tunes are notated in four different “shape notes” - Fa (a triangle), Sol (an oval), La (a rectangle) and Mi (a diamond) - designed to aid sight-reading. Anyone is welcome to come along, whether you have experience or not, whether you think you can sing or read music or not, and whatever you believe in - The Sacred Harp is a hymn book, but the singers here are “of any faith or none”. We are an informal group of all ages and backgrounds, and no regular commitment is needed. You can come and go to a singing as you please, and come along as often or as little as you like- though singing the shapes becomes easier the more you do it. Sacred Harp is social singing- it is not performance music and there are no rehearsals. We sing together for ourselves in the moment, more akin to a folk session than a choir.’

Visits to the Website55
Also indexedSacred Harp Singing
Views of Full Record91

www.cwgq.co.uk/home.shtml

'Group of around twenty-five singers and instrumentalists, performing the distinctive psalms, hymns, anthems and carols that were sung in the west galleries of English country churches in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The Quire started nearly 20 years ago in 1993 when some local singers were asked to perform in a Victorian Christmas weekend ...'

Visits to the Website91
Views of Full Record214

gladlysolemn.co.uk

'Formed in 1992 ... We sing West Gallery Music: the all but forgotten rural church music of the 18th and early 19th centuries. At that time, most small churches were organ-less and their choirs were led by fiddles, clarinets, cellos, bassoons etc – music florid and lively, rhythmically energetic, delighting in earthy (sometimes unorthodox) harmonies and simple polyphony. Victorian reformers disliked the style preferring the more decorous " Hymns Ancient and Modern", sung by children’s choirs, to organ or harmonium accompaniment.' (The Choir's name is taken from hymn words by Charles Wesley.)

Visits to the Website59
Views of Full Record209

www.greenwoodquire.co.uk

'Sings and plays choral items, including West Gallery pieces, that were popular in the church of the 19th century and earlier, some uniquely from music masters who travelled around the local area and brought compositions to villages nearby. The Quire evokes an experience of the time: an agricultural community, un-mechanised and largely unchanged for hundreds of years, and the music that helped to express the religious sentiments of farming people.'

Visits to the Website77
Views of Full Record173

www.immanuelsground.com

'Costumed group of singers and instrumentalists who perform music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, reviving the psalmody and hymnody of the rural parish church from around 200 years ago, so much beloved of Thomas Hardy and exemplified in his novels and poetry. This raw and exciting music is genuinely "music of the people", which found its way from the established church into the independent chapels, before becoming lost and almost forgotten by the beginning of the twentieth century. The Quire's repertoire also includes secular music from the Georgian period, and psalmody from the American tradition in the same era, taking to heart the instruction of John Wesley to "sing lustily and with good courage".'

Visits to the Website61
Views of Full Record166

johnmoorequire.blogspot.co.uk

'The first concert was upstairs in the pub at Blists Hill Museum, Ironbridge, on the 17th October 1985 ... The Quire continues to rehearse once a month and do as many concerts as possible throughout the year, mostly in churches incorporating information about John Moore and his place in west gallery style of music in Shropshire and throughout the country. The Quire remains a costumed Quire with a village band adding authenticity to performances.'

Visits to the Website84
Views of Full Record279

sites.google.com/site/larksofdean/Home

"Up in the Forest of Rossendale, between Deerplay Moor and the wild hill called Swinshaw, there is a little lone valley, a green cup in the mountains, called Dean. The inhabitants of this valley are so notable for their love of music that they are known all through the vales of Rossendale as Th` Deighn Layrocks, or The Larks of Dean."

Visits to the Website69
Views of Full Record195

www.lgq.org.uk

'Formed in February 1997 and is composed of a diverse group of welcoming people who enjoy making music together. New singers and instrumentalists are welcome to attend one or two trial rehearsals but there is no formal audition. Visitors to London are welcome to attend one or more rehearsals, by prior arrangement, without further commitment ...'

Visits to the Website71
Views of Full Record263

londonsacredharp.org

‘London Sacred Harp sings every week in London, UK in the tradition of a cappella community folk hymn singing from the United States. The Sacred Harp is also the name of the book we sing from. The tradition has roots in Europe, but has mainly developed in the American South. We don’t rehearse or perform. We sing for our fellow singers. Everyone sings. Everyone sings loudly and freely. And everyone sings for their own enjoyment. Anyone can learn to sing Sacred Harp. Our singings are open to all. Singers of all religions and none are welcome. There is no fee or subscription, but we do suggest a small donation to help us cover our basic costs. And you don’t need to be able to read music or have a so-called “good” voice.’

Visits to the Website32
Views of Full Record52

www.thewarblers.org.uk

‘Perform West Gallery Music - the sacred and secular music performed by amateur singers and instrumentalists during the Georgian period (ca.1720-1850). We concentrate particularly on music known to have been performed in the Southeastern counties, principally from Kent and Sussex. We are a mixed choir, singing mostly in four parts, accompanied by stringed and wind instruments. We dress in costume appropriate to the period and our performances include anecdotes and readings which set the music in its historical and social context. Members of the choir research the music, which we perform in concerts, church services, and workshops. Our repertoire is drawn from printed and manuscript music books from the southeast of England. These have survived in libraries and archives, occasionally in churches and chapels, or in the possession of private individuals, sometimes descendants of the early choir members and musicians.’

Visits to the Website59
Views of Full Record181

sites.google.com/site/bcquire/

‘Meets near Bishop's Castle, Shropshire to sing and play country church music from Thomas Hardy's time, mainly from the English West Gallery and American shapenote traditions ... All singers are welcome to our rehearsals. We use sheet music, but you don't need to be a fluent sight reader. Players of woodwind and stringed instruments of the sort that might have been played by village bands in the 18th/19th century also very welcome. (No guitars thanks).’

Visits to the Website93
Views of Full Record149

sussexharmony.org.uk

'Founded in 1992 to research, reconstruct and perform the little known music of the English Church and Independent Chapel from 1700 to 1850, and its derivatives from New England and the Southern States - a tradition that continues with new music to the present day ... The quire's membership is drawn from people of all ages with a variety of interests and consists of an enthusiastic band of amateur singers and instrumentalists. Weekly practices are held on Thursdays in Lewes and new members are always welcome. Our current membership is around 20 and we have a bassoon, oboe, clarinet and recorder, with occasional flute and violin. We are of all – or no – religious persuasions. Though we tend to practice and perform in churches and chapels we have also performed in venues ranging from theatres to breweries!'

Visits to the Website75
Views of Full Record219

www.maddingcrowd.org

Founded 1975: ‘The Madding Crowd researches and performs the church and secular music of the English village bands and choirs in the period 1660 to 1861 ... The Puritans destroyed most organs in country churches, so after the Restoration of the Monarchy, instruments were brought in to lead the singing. Galleries were built at the west end of churches for the singers and players, who, besides leading the musical parts of the Sunday services, played for dancing at harvest-time and Christmas, led the Club Walk at Whitsun, and when invasion threatened led the militia on parade’.

Visits to the Website106
Views of Full Record241

www.villagequire.org.uk

'The Village Quire, from Glasbury near Hay-on-Wye, was formed to sing West Gallery music. This is what you would have heard in rural parish churches in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. West Gallery music is energetic, joyful, no-nonsense stuff that is great fun to sing and listen to. The Village Quire performs without the accompaniment of instruments. If you enjoy the thrilling sound of unaccompanied vocal harmony, then this is definitely the stuff for you.'

Visits to the Website85
Views of Full Record153

www.creditonwestgallery.org.uk

‘In 1990, three of today's Quire members took part in a televised celebration of Thomas Hardy's life. They so enjoyed themselves that the West Gallery Quire in Crediton was born. Since then we have sung for concerts in churches, chapels, for the Devonshire Association, from pub to Bishop's Palace, and for services such as Evensong for the 950th anniversary of one of Exeter's oldest churches. Quite deliberately, much of our repertoire is by West Country composers ... if you are a potential singer or instrumentalist you are very welcome to join us at one of our rehearsals.’

Visits to the Website61
Views of Full Record87

www.ukshapenote.org.uk

Sacred Harp Singing in the United Kingdom has increased considerably in the past few years, to the extent that there are now numerous monthly Local House Groups, and All-day Singings on at least three out of four weekends every month ... Although the words set to the songs are mainly from religious backgrounds, there is no requirement for participants to belong to any church or denomination whatever. Many, however, will find that the music itself is both deeply moving and spiritual. Nor is musical experience required — the music is written in the same way as it was over 200 years ago in America, where itinerant singing masters taught complete beginners to sing using techniques first conceived in England.’

Visits to the Website80
Views of Full Record143

www.wgma.org.uk

'As a voluntary group with no political, religious or other persuasion, the objectives of the Association are to study, preserve, perform, teach and enjoy the sacred and secular music and song of west gallery and allied traditions, together with their settings within a social and historical context.'

Visits to the Website82
Views of Full Record126

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