Important Message for Ashford Sinfonia

Dear Sinfonia member

Your committee have been giving considerable thought as to how to proceed safely with regard to the risk of passing on Coronavirus (Covid 19) amongst the orchestra and its friends and families.

As of this moment, our conductor is self isolating with a respiratory tract infection – not necessarily Coronavirus – but nonetheless feels it is not worth the risk of passing anything on. Therefore our rehearsal for Monday 16 March has regretfully to be cancelled.

Looking further forward, the pandemic looks to be getting worse rather than better for a while, and bearing in mind our age range and possible underlying maladies, it has been decided that we should suspend activities, including our forthcoming concert. Even if we were to run the concert, it is likely that we would not be at full strength, and our audience would likely be very diminished. The hard work we have already put in will be used at a subsequent event, and Gill has kindly offered to email through some additional pieces for us to practice at home.

We would like to emphasise that this does not mean that we are winding up – as soon as it is deemed safe to do so, we will return to full activity.

We wish you all the best, and hope you can keep clear of this bug – and if not that it is mild and over quickly!

Kind regards

Roger Pinnock

Chairman, on behalf of the committee

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When the night wind howls in the chimney cowls…

Last Monday’s rehearsal was on one of the more spectacularly violent weather events of recent times. With the wind howling through the church doors, it was necessary to shut and bolt the outer doors, but the sound of the church bell ringing gently was truly spooky. Whether it was simply the wind blowing across the bell mouth, the bell being rocked until it touched its clapper or the resident ghost, we shall never know!

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Christmas Concert Report


And so finally the evening arrived. Much carting of tympani and percussion, much to-ing and fro-ing of musicians, choir members and audience, and finally everyone was seated and ready to go. There is always a bit of a buzz as Christmas approaches, and the evening of 9th December 2019 at St Mary the Virgin Church, Ashford, was no different. An audience of around 150 had gathered, many of whom were family and friends of the Ashford Community Choir, Ashford Sinfonia or Woodchurch Driving Group of Riding for the Disabled.

The music started with three songs from the choir – Be Our Guest, Why We Sing and A Million Dreams. We then moved on to the ET Flying Theme and the James Bond Theme by the orchestra before moving into three carols sung by the audience and the choir accompanied by the orchestra, and sandwiched between the classic Singing in the Rain and a Christmas Medley written by the orchestra’s conductor Gill Booker.

Following the interval for tea and biscuits, served by the RDA helpers, the choir sang Santa Lucia, Thank you for being a Friend and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  By now everyone was well warmed to the task of making music, and those who thought they heard voices during the orchestra’s Sound of Music Selection were not mistaken – the choir couldn’t help but sing along behind the stage! A rousing round of applause (whistles even!) then lead us into the final three carols.

All in all a very successful evening, and all thanks go to the members of Ashford Community Choir and their conductor and musical director Karen Hill, and to all our orchestra members and our very own conductor and director Gill Booker. To crown it all, we later learnt that the event had raised £1,037 for the Woodchurch Driving Group!

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Christmas concert

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Folkestone Concert 9th November


Tickets also available from or ‘phone 01303 894635

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Half term break

No rehearsal on Monday 21st October as it is half term. Back again the following week!

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Update on Concert Charity

Thanks to a generous contribution made after our last article, we are delighted to report that the total raised for the Padhar Hospital has risen to £500!

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