THE U3a FOLK & POETRY GROUP – A.K.A. “THE WILLING WARBLERS”
The days of our “infancy” when we met in the rooms of the 229 Project in Kempston seem far off now and the look and sound of our group has changed significantly. Initially at 229 we had no musical accompaniment and around ten members. Then we progressed to having three guitarists, two twelve string and one, six string and a whole host of talented singers.
Recently the two 12 string guitarists have left, one owing to a move to Devon and the other, sadly, owing to illness, but happily both have been replaced. Total membership is around a dozen and a good time is had by all.
We sing all kinds songs, some folk songs, both English and American, but mainly popular songs form almost every decade of the 20th century up to the 70’s and we are always on the look out for “new” material.
The Willing Warblers have done a number of gigs, and any monies The Warblers make are donated to Charity and rehearsals for these events help us to improve our overall performance and give us something to aim for.
I must emphasise that everything we do is approached in a very relaxed, light hearted manner as none of us have aspirations to performances at the “Albert Hall”. Although our guitarists, who provide the overall musical guidance are very talented musicians.
The poetry side of our Group survives well with poems on topical subjects mixed with comic monologues and classic poems being performed at each meeting.
We have a repertoire of over 200 songs and all the words are contained in our “Songbook” with chords for each provided for the guitarists. At our meetings we recently introduced the idea of each member of the group choosing a song, from the Songbook, to sing and this seems to have met with everyone’s approval.
Because many of the songs we sing are not strictly folk songs we have decided to change the name of the group to “Singing for fun” in the hope that this will attract new members who may have been put off by the “Folk” idea.
We meet at St. Mark’s Church in Avon drive on 1st and 3rd Thursdays, from 7pm to 9pm and we welcome new members, so why not join us; if you have an instrument, bring it along. Some percussion would be nice! not too loud of course as we share St Marks with various other groups and members of the public.
There is no requirement to join the Warblers on the gigs, performing in public is not everyone’s thing, but rather than singing to the Bathroom mirror, why not come and sing with us.
Contact: David Evans