Late Summer / Autumn 2019

Well, I somehow didn’t get round to doing one since April, so welcome to my late summer/Autumn blog!
Am on a high having just had a fabulous week leading the daily singing workshops at the Sun and Moon Festival. Lovely heart opening singing all week with lovely people at a lovely festival and I can’t wait to do it all again next year : 
https://sunandmoonfestival.com/


See my Diary (singing workshops and events) page for info about new workshops coming up in Autumn this year 🙂

Monthly Highlights
In April I traveled with my Open Voice Community Choir to Malaga to visit ‘Coral El Castillo’, a Spanish choir, and we did one concert in  beautiful sea caves! Here’s the poster.

In May I had a real treat when I sang Taize songs at 8am with a group in this beautiful ‘hobbit house’ in Findhorn . Findhorn is a difficult place to leave – it’s heavenly!


 In June, I was on BBC Radio Manchester with Mike Sweeney promoting a fundraising gig  at Salford Lads Club with my ‘Rhythm of Life’ Christie and Maggies choir, singing with Rowetta of Happy Monday’s fame.

Rowetta has a BIG voice, a big personality and an even bigger heart – what a charismatic woman! Donated her time to work with us and raise money for the Christie and Salford Lads Club, where we filmed ‘Cold Feet’.
https://www.facebook.com/ros.fox1/videos/10157429350187300/

July was when ‘Open Voice’ got together with Boff Whalley’s Commoners choir, 4 other choirs and all sang his specially written song to commemorate 200 years since Peterloo. Boff used to be in Chumbawumba, is a great guy and has written a brilliant song based on the words written on the Skelmanthorpe Flag. We sang it in concert at the People’s History Museum, and around Manchester and the Peterloo Memorial site.

July also brought National Street Choirs to Manchester where over 1,000 voices gathered in song – over 40 community choirs from around the country, busking all round Manchester hosted by Manchester Community Choir – glorious! I was wrangling my 3 community choirs all day and eve then did 2 ‘From Discord to Harmony’ heart opening singing workshops for the Street Fest on the Sunday, so had a rest after that!
Here’s Open Voice busking

Also my Wrexham One World Community Choir did an end of term concert along with a local choir set up for those affected by homelessness and mental health issues   -Wrexham One Love Choir.  We shared a feast of delicious food then shared a feast of delicious songs, ending the evening singing together and raising the roof and raising £400 for Wrexham Foodbank and UAREUK refugee charity.

Oh, the power of singing together – it breaks down prejudices and creates UNITY!
 ‘We  have more in common than divides us’. 

Love, Carol

SPRING BLOG

Welcome to my SPRING blog!

 Have had a great couple of months. As some of you know, I have had a difficult few years of close bereavement and loss but it now feels like I’ve found my mojo again!

I’m starting’Singing Tribe’events in Manchester – big gatherings of people singing just to be in the moment.  No gigs, no performing, just being together singing simple meaningful songs to uplift and soothe.

First one is on Mother’s Day and we’ll be singing lots of mother honouring songs.

Next one will be in a month or so.

I’m also expanding my singing workshops across the country and this year have had a lovely time in February and March doing them in Worcester and Chichester.

Next one set to be in Chester hosted by Caldy Valley Voices on May 4th.

“From Discord to Harmony” Workshop

Hoping to be in Bristol in November and wanting to do ones in Norwich and Swansea at some point.

Let me know if you can link me up to organise one near you.

I enjoyed some brief minutes of fame when ‘Cold Feet’ Episodes 5 and 6 hit ITV in Feb! My lovely ‘Rhythm of Life’ Choir did themselves proud J  Am so glad they used a REAL choir for cancer patients. I’ve been running that choir for 5 years now and they are an inspirational group of people.

 And my ‘Hay ho’ warm ups have now been seen by millions! Video clip here

I’ve also had some great gigs with my choirs including singing with ‘Open Voice’ at Manchester Cathedral for Hate Crime Awareness week, singing at Asylum Seekers fundraiser, and for International Women’s Day event at Theatre Clwyd.

Here’s Wrexham Community Choir in their Suffragette colours.

I do newsletters once every couple of months. If you’re Facebook friendly then you can get more regular news on here by liking my page here.

Well, it does us our hearts good to KEEP SINGING together in these strange times. I have a vision of getting everyone in the Houses of Parliament to sing songs of unity and peace, so that they all might start working TOGETHER!

That’s all for now.

Wishing you much harmony,

Carol

ITV’s Cold Feet – choir

Have you been watching the new series? Jen joins a choir, and it was my Rhythm of Life Choir ! We were on in a cameo on Monday 11th Feb and are set to feature on 18th February for the season finale .

Hopefully it’ll spread the message to millions of viewers that singing together is bonding, uplifting and great for body, mind and spirit.



Here’s what Fay Ripley (Jenny) had to say about it….

TV Times

“I loved the choir experience on Cold Feet so much. My mum went for the first time on Saturday and she absolutely loved it! So she’s started in a choir and I’m chuffed! Honestly filming it was such a lovely and uniting experience. But for me personally it wouldn’t work because I’m a show-off and I’d want to get all the attention! I couldn’t just sing along with everyone else!”

Fay Ripley, Yahoo Celebrity UK interview with Laura Hannam

Jenny joins a local choir. Did you get to sing for real?

It is really me singing on screen although I don’t have to sing solo. I’m not surprised choirs are such a big deal now. The whole experience is very uplifting. Especially if you have someone at the helm who is really inspirational.

Fay Ripley, British Comedy Guide interview

Old News

In September I conducted a huge singing event in Wrexham ‘Singing Streets’ where I led 1,000 singers 🙂

November was busy…

I led the anthems on the pitch for the Wales/ Ireland rugby match with my Wrexham One World Community Choir. 

My North West Stroke recovery choir won a national award (Life After Stroke Award) and we went to a posh hotel in London on a coach, drank free champagne and performed to a live streamed red carpet evening full of celebrities. There was Juliette Stevenson, Warren Davies, Rob Bryden, Chico (who had a stroke the month before, loved our choir!) and lot of other celebs who were wasted on me!

We got our award from Baroness Floella Benjamin, Stephanie Beacham and Mark Goodier.


Here’s the write up of the event, and they also made this lovely film about the choir.
http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/stroke-association/pressreleases/north-west-stroke-choir-wins-national-stroke-group-award-2803016

Carol Donaldson – North West Community Stroke Choir

Later that week I filmed for BBC Watchdog with my Open Voice choir in Manchester. We filmed for hours singing 7 different songs, all about waiting (It was about energy companies keeping people waiting on the phone).

I composed 7 different ditties, but, we were only on telly for a minute at the most. They say it takes a day of filming to make one minute of television …