Many Grey Friars adult college classes over the years have become notable and long-lasting clubs and societies. Here is one example.

Community Learning in Action … “QUIRE”


The forming of ‘Quire’

Prof. Bill Tamblyn is founder and music director of Quire, a community choir based in Colchester, Essex that offers the opportunity to have fun singing a varied and exciting programme of music from around the world.

Bill says, “The Adult Community College at Colchester asked me to start a new group at the Wilson Marriage site – the group now called Quire . I wrote at the time: “The objective for Quire is to explore many styles of World Music. We have a repertoire of about African and African-American songs, Hispanic songs from the Latin-American repertoire, songs from the American Shape-Note tradition (called Fasola music.  (Later we would add a whole new collection of European songs ).

bill-tamblyn“It is really important that we enter into the spirit of World choral music.  To do this we need to shake off a few inhibitions: we will need to sing in the original languages, clap, click our fingers, stamp our feet, dance, and move when the song demands it.  This may be a bit of a culture shock to church choristers, but in the parallel world of Barbershop, singers have been moving to the music for the past 70 years! “

“At its roots, singing is a physical exercise. In Quire our members have fun; nobody gets too anxious if there are some changes to the song  each time we sing it.  Improvisation is allowed, indeed, in some songs it is expected.”

So – how has it all developed?  Singers bring their friends to rehearsals to listen. Quire is gaining members all the time. The group began with about 13 members. By summer 2005 it had expanded to 20 regulars and by autumn 2006 there were almost 50 singers on the books. We now have between 55 and 65 members on the books, with new members welcome at any time.”

If you’re interested in joining Quire contact or call 01206 735770

Also, for an article about the health benefits of singing click on >


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