Past Events

22 December 2018

Arts Alive Dorking, St Martin's Square, Dorking

Event Photo Back by popular demand, following our successful outing on September 22nd! This time we sung from the shelter of a disused shop doorway, so we were not quite so exposed to the elements. There was an outrageous amount of repetition (we sang Frosty 4 times), on the basis that the passing audience would renew itself each time, and so hear it just the once. On packing up the leaflet display stand, we realised that some kind person had donated 50p. It will kick start our charitable activities for 2019. We turned out all the leaflets in the hope of finding more, but were disappointed. With thanks to Clive for arranging Santa hats all round. And best wishes to you all for a great 2019!

12 December 2018

Downsmen Christmas Dinner, Tyrells Wood Golf Club, Headley

The annual bean feast with songs and entertainment. Digby conducted the table quiz, Miguel arranged for a case of port, quartet Quattro Voce did their stuff and Southern Electric paid their respects to baritone Allan, absent from the proceedings on medical grounds. Great to see a number of new faces as well as the usual stalwarts.The evening was rounded off with the chorus doing their Christmas songs. 3 members were all due to have their birthday the next day (the 13th); lucky for some!

9 December 2018

Pre-Xmas Sing Out, Ashtead Park Garden Centre

Event Photo Event Photo The Downsmen lined up alongside an impressively long queue of families waiting for their visit to Santa's grotto. Our set of Christmas songs were given a good airing, and not just the once either. Nobody seemed to mind. Several times we almost found ourselves distracted by the results of a very talented face painter somewhere in the building. We were stared at by an assortment of butterflies, tiger cubs and ginger toms. Santa's pixies were on hand to liven up proceedings further, and take part in the obligatory photo call. Merry Christmas!

8 December 2018

Epsom Male Voice Choir Christmas Dinner, Tyrells Wood Golf Club, Headley

Event Photo If you want to find out what one of the great singers of the past was really like, then find a tribute act. In the case of Elvis (the King, we were doing one of his songs, "Love Me"), we got talking with our fellow performer, Mauro Dirago. He said things went fine whilst Elvis was with Colonel Tom Parker doing films; he had a house on the beach in Hawaii where he always went to get back in shape for his next film. Not bad for a guy who couldn't read music! We sang 2 sets, with Paul acquitting himself superbly as a first time conductor. We were only too aware that our chorus was singing to a much bigger chorus, mostly dressed in tuxedos! We adjourned to the bar next door for beer and sandwiches. When we left, Mauro was putting on his star-spangled suit, getting ready for "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog" for the expectant clientele.

4 December 2018

Pre-Xmas Sing Out, Ashley Centre, Epsom

Event Photo To entertain the punters and raise a few coppers for charity. (and maybe snare a new member or two). It has to be said, the chorus at the same venue, immediately before us, had a MUCH larger audience than ever we could manage. All the singers looked to be aged 8 at most and the audience could have contained a few parents. We have learnt to be quite stoic in such circumstances and remain quietly grateful that our own parents were not there to check our progress.

23 October 2018

Mole Valley W I Harvest Dinner, Fetcham Village Hall

Event Photo Conductor Allan Scott gave us his version of 'living life on the edge'. Standing very close to the front of the stage, he invited us all to crowd in, so that some of us had concerns about going over as well. All for the sake of reaching the audience with a better sound. It took years off us! We entertained the all-female WI audience with a selection of songs giving the male perspective, which of course is one we can sing about with utter conviction. No canapes to be had this time, but Stuart was very happy with the sing-out fee, paid on the nail before we left. Thank you ladies!

12 October 2018

Nomad Evening Show, Nomad Theatre, East Horsley

Event Photo The chorus took part in a variety show full of surprises. After our first set of 7 songs, we joined the audience to listen to some well-known arias from the world of opera. The performers came from Rogue Opera, comprising 2 sopranos, contralto and tenor, with keyboard accompaniment. The coloratura piece by the Queen of the Night from Mozart's Magic Flute was quite electrifying. Not forgetting Nessum Dorma from Verdi's Turandot. Looks like we have found a worthwhile act to accompany us for our show next year! In between the music we had one of the many magicians associated with the Nomad do some extraordinary things with coloured handkerchiefs. Are these people human? Following another few songs from the main chorus, our top quartet Southern Electric finished off the evening with their latest addition to their repertoire (I can't help falling in love), after which the attractions of the bar proved just too strong. A very enjoyable evening.

4 October 2018

Squires Garden Centre Autumn Event, Squires Garden Centre, West Horsley

Having learnt about where not to sing at the Garden Centre (last time we were stuck beside the begonias), we instead made a beeline for the restaurant. There we found a cheerful lady dishing out Prosecco as if it were going out of fashion. It was hard to tell if the diners even realized we were there to entertain them. M D Allan was not quite so pleased with the singing this time, (the Prosecco probably had something to do with it), but a good time was had by all. Roll on the Spring event!

22 September 2018

Mole Valley Arts Alive Festival 2018, St Martin's Square, Dorking

Event Photo This time, the Downsmen found themselves competing with a juggler for the audience's attention. He cut a dash in a bright yellow shirt and two thirds of a 3-piece suit. It was rather hard to keep focusing on the musical director's instructions, against an intriguing selection of items being thrown up in the air. In spite of the distractions, Allan (the MD) declared himself content with the chorus sound (such approval is not be taken for granted). We lined up for a snap or two and were amazed to get home and find out we'd been standing in front of our spiritual home!

9 June 2018

Ashtead Village Day (AVD), Queen Elizabeth Grounds, Ashtead

Event Photo This year the Downsmen tried a radically different approach, by simply staying at our allocated pitch and singing to all passers-by. The noise level at AVD is always something to be reckoned with. However, the organisers had given us a place not too close to all the main noise generators at the Show, such as the camel rides, the rock bands, brass bands, etc, so our stay-at-home strategy worked rather well. 2 cast members from the forthcoming Aladdin panto stopped by and we were graced by the presence of Widow Twankey (Yes, Sir, that's my Baby). For a while there was a brisk traffic in Downsmen publicity leaflets and sing-out cards. Hope springs eternal!

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