• Sandra Smith

Tour of Dartmoor Summer 2017

There was no time to bask in the glory of the last beautiful and exciting two gigs - it was straight back to work for us! We hardly drew breath!

We had completely refreshed and updated our summer song set, so that we felt confident to take our singing further afield and to really start building our audience. We loved performing with Chris Hoban last winter and invited him back to sing with us again.

We had also had a slight name change, to include our beautiful location - we evolved into Dartmoor folk Choir, The Lost Sound . We had our new poster, deigned by Pete Andrews, with the stunning professional photos by KateMount Music that we had done on a chilly day in March, on Coombestone Tor. We also got some banners made! It was going to be a packed and busy summer - with 2 extra gigs that came in later, for Sidmouth Folk week as a direct result from the feedback from critics and fans of the RAH show! What an end to a brilliant year of singing!

gig dates summer 2017

St Michaels, Chagford was our first gig - a beautiful and intimate church in the centre of the town. Clear acoustics and a warm feeling. It absolutely poured down on the night, but we still managed to attract a great audience, including the arts reviewer from The Moorlander newspaper, who loved it!

"I enjoyed the evening immensely - TLS were superb, as was Chris Hoban! I shall definitely be coming back for more." Karen Chapman Newton Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Moorlander

Ros, our gospel singing maestro, absolutely stormed her song 'Way Beyond The Blue' and brought the house down! Our new songs felt fantastic and all the small groups worked beautifully. There was an audible sigh of relief from the choir - we knew the set worked and we would have a great tour!

Next we were off to Tavistock Town Hall - sharing the set with the wonderful 'Mariners Away' shanty men, from South Zeal. Again, a wonderful gig with the 2 groups really getting on well and enjoying each others singing. We think it made it an interesting show for the audience too. The guys had a great sense of humour and straight after the gig, we were already talking of another one!

It's very heartening to hear your feedback and to get the wonderful comments through our social media site (Facebook particularly attracts lots of positive feedback, due to the photos) Emails and twitter also come in telling us that we are doing something right!

After that, we were running an open workshop for the Dartington Open day. We had a great crowd and we sang such gorgeous Scottish folk songs, in harmony. It was a short workshop - only 45 mins but well worth doing and the singers that turned up were very, very good! It was full and glorious sun that day - we made a note of it, as the next gig was raining cats and dogs - and outside! Luckily the choir was covered but Sandra was wrapped up and wet taking one for the team!

We had been invited to sing at the Totnes Christian Festival on Vire Island. In the preceding days, the island had been flooded at high tide - lucky the organisers had thought ahead and we were all clear at low tide. Such a brave audience - the heavens opened and they just got out their brollies and macs and carried right on listening to us!

Full costume + wellies!

Our last gig was in Widecombe church - a stunning and ancient church, connected with The Old Lych Way. The acoustics were stunning and we had a very special programme for them. Chris Hoban had re arranged his song,'Lily and The Rose' for the full choir. We learnt it very quickly! Chris conducted the chorus, as Sandra took the solo - it was a special moment in an exciting and moving concert. We had made more of a complete show rather than a support and main act, by linking songs in Chris's set and ours and it really worked. Chris is the only person ever to conduct the chorus, besides Sandra, in our 9 year history - so it was a poignant experience for the choir, too.

We had such a great turn out from the audience - and they really listened - deeply and sensitively.What a difference that made to us - we dug deep and dared to completely give ourselves over to the songs. The acoustics helped - just enough ring to carry a delicate note without booming around the church.

Warm -up

Chris Hoban in full flight

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