In 2018, Morris Folk Choir turns 10! We want to celebrate this by making a recording of some of the most beautiful songs we have sung. We need YOUR help to fund this project. By supporting us you can help to promote traditional and modern folk songs with original arrangements by our choir leader Michelle Woolfenden. Help us to bring folk music alive and encourage more choirs to sing these inspiring songs.
Morris is a community choir, directed by Michelle Woolfenden. Our singers come from across London. We come together every week to learn and perform unique arrangements of sea shanties, murder ballads, protest songs, contemporary folk tunes and work songs from around the world. Members are not auditioned. We learn all songs by ear (without reading music), always working to a high standard of performance.
To hear about the choir in our own words, listen to our 'Meet My Choir' section broadcast on Radio 3 in 2016:
The choir was founded in 2008 with just a handful of singers. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and now has a permanent home in St Barnabas Church Hall in Dalston, a charming Victorian hall where we are planning to record the CD. We have performed at the Union Chapel, the Southbank Centre, the Young Vic, Bang Said the Gun and the City of London Festival as well as in parks and train stations - and even on a canal barge. The video below shows members of the choir singing at about 6am in Elephant and Castle park last summer!
As well as rehearsing weekly, we run a monthly folk club where everyone is welcome and can join in the open choir rehearsal, led by Michelle. This is an opportunity to learn exciting songs and hear some solo performers. We love sharing the joy of singing as part of a group and exploring folk repertoire.
We would love to share our music with more people and need your support to produce a CD.
Help us to capture our best arrangements from ten years of singing. Featuring guitar, banjo, violin, harmonica and clogs, as well as lots of acappella singing, we plan to record:
- A new arrangement of the 13th-Century hymn to the changing of seasons: Summer is Icumen In
- American Old-Time number Cluck Old Hen, in a mash-up with This Old Hammer
- A Scottish song about a fishing boat from the island of Mingulay, abandoned in 1912
- The well-known work song Paddy on the Railway, complete with steam-train effects
- Our arrangement of the beautiful and haunting Eli the Barrowboy by The Decemberists
- The classic sea shanty Haul Away Joe
- Karine Polwart's King of Birds, charting some of the history of our great city
- A ballad about leaving your new-wedded lord to run away with the Raggle Taggle Gypsy
- Some Scottish mouth music to get your toes tapping: Ho Ro Haradala and Yenamenoa
- The ballad of the Three Little Babes, in a chilling arrangement with Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
- The beautiful waltz that is Roseville Fair
- St Giles' Bowl - a song penned by our own alumnus Tim (of Tim Jones and the Dark Lanterns)
- The Wren in the Furze - a Christmas tune with some vocal diddling
- Raise Your Voice by the Melrose Quartet - a hymn to communal singing and shaking off the need for perfection and approval!
Pledge now for your copy of the CD or for a digital download. The CDs will be ready by the end of June. Your support will make this project happen.
We are excited to be putting on a huge celebration of 10 years of singing with a concert and ceilidh dance in the inspiring Kennedy Hall at Cecil Sharp House, the home of English Folk Dance and Song. We hope you will join us for this on Saturday 30th June 2018. Snap up one of our limited CD and VIP front row concert tickets pledges.
Check out fantastic opportunities to get a limited edition song arrangement or choral workshop delivered by our director, Michelle Woolfenden. Perhaps this would make the perfect present for a singing friend or colleague. There's even the chance to book the choir for your own event. We have a huge range of songs to share and love to get others singing along.
Find out more at www.morrisfolkchoir.org
Thanks to the talented Elsbeth Van Der Poel for our birthday update of her brilliant Morris logo @studioelsbeth