Fourteen Go Mad in Christchurch

La Nova Singers dancing on Christchurch Quay

How did it all end up like this? La Nova Singers, making a spectacle of themselves once again, flinging their skirts around and doing the can-can while Christchurch and District Band play ‘The Stripper‘…?!

Well, dear readers, let me take you back; back to a sunny Saturday in late June. It is a picture-perfect morning, and very appropriate for La Nova Singers’ photoshoot with Nichola of Lemonade Pictures (note: most of the pictures in this blog post are behind-the-scenes shots taken by Nigel, our Official Photographer and Michelle’s husband. We’re waiting for the right moment to show you the fantastic pictures Nichola took – they’re worth the wait!).

Virginia, Su B & Alison in Christchurch Priory for photoshoot

The shoot begins well. All is serene and elegant in Christchurch Priory, as the singers pose up stairs, down side aisles and in front of stained glass windows. In the background, a tea trolley waits for an opportunity to get past. Unlike the previous photoshoot, nobody tells us off for scaring away the tourists…

Liz and Michelle in Christchurch Priory for photoshoot

Here is Liz, above left – as you can see, she is delighted to finally be appearing in some of our publicity photographs!

There then follows a bit of a malarkey getting heavily pregnant Mel up and down a very steep and possibly Medieval stone staircase. We all have to sit in some decidedly dodgy grass wearing our black frocks. Fortunately nobody falls down the hill and shatters their jewellery, although we have public liability insurance just in case.

Photo by Nichola of Lemonade Pictures

Photo by Nichola of Lemonade Pictures

After a brief interval of pretending to be in a Westlife music video, all windswept and staring wistfully into the middle-distance, we adjourn to The Regent Centre – where a dressing room has very kindly been provided for the all-important costume change! Then out we go for more photos…

Anne T and Rachel in Christchurch for photoshoot

Anne T and Rachel stand by some trees.

Debbie and Jennie in Christchurch for photoshoot

We all stand by some trees. Here we are, here are the trees.

Su C and Anne M by a tree

This is getting a bit ridiculous.

Holly and Pat in Christchurch for photoshoot

Okay, so once we’d exhausted the photographic possibilities offered by trees, we decided to go down to Christchurch Quay and perhaps have our photos taken on the bandstand. This is something we’d been hoping to do at our previous photoshoot, but it had not happened because there was a band on the bandstand. But today, as it happened…

(video by Eric Montague of Netfora)

… The Christchurch and District Concert Band were opening celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the bandstand! As you can hear from the above video, they’re really rather brilliant (and you can also check them out on Facebook). Some very unwise person suggested to Michelle that we should go over and dance. Something to remember: you should never make a suggestion to Michelle Nova unless you’re prepared for her to take you seriously…!

Musical Shenanigans in Christchurch

Not content to have their performance hi-jacked by a group of giggly women in bridesmaid dresses, the band countered by giving an unrehearsed performance of ‘The Stripper‘ – an instrumental piece first recorded by David Rose And His Orchestra, which “evokes the feel of music used to accompany striptease artists”. Readers may, however, be more familiar with it in this guise…

In a world where the flashmob performance has become a knee-jerk marketing response, orchestrated by companies promoting any old product or service, it was refreshing to do something genuinely spontaneous and more than a bit silly! We even had a short piece published about it in the Bournemouth Echo.

La Nova Singers - impromptu frolic!

At the end of the day, as well as having slightly embarrassed ourselves, we ended up with some really beautiful photographs and had an enormous amount of fun! So our thanks go to Nichola Rogers and her assistant Kristy (be sure to check out the Lemonade Pictures website for some gorgeous wedding photography!), and to the Christchurch and District Band and their conductor Steff Emmett (who you can see at The Regent Centre in November, at the Christchurch Festival of Remembrance) for being so tolerant of our dancing!


Christmas Eve at The Kings Arms, Christchurch - La Nova Singers classical vocal ensemble

On Christmas Eve, six of La Nova Singers entertained the guests and diners at The Kings Arms Hotel in Christchurch.  Situated in a rather more unusual performance setting, the bar,  they sang to a very warm and appreciative gathering.

Jingle Bells was a definite standout and was performed twice, probably because it involves audience participation…. somebody has to play the bells and there were no shortage of volunteers!!

Variety was the key to this evenings programme: from the well known carol Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas; familiar – but with a different arrangement – Silent Night; to the lesser known Rocking Carol.  The set finished with a rousing We Wish You A Merry Christmas – rousing because our version finishes on a top B flat courtesy of Michelle Nova!

After working up an appetite from all that singing, four of us were booked in for a meal and would definitely recommend The Kings Restaurant as the food was delicious!!

– Soprano superstar Debbie Lloyd

The Kings Arms, Christchurch - La Nova Singers vocal ensemble


NEW VIDEO: In Concert at Highcliffe Castle, Christchurch, Dorset

Follow the journey of La Nova Singers as they prepare to perform at historic Highcliffe Castle in December 2012.
Video filmed and edited by Sarita ‘Frit’ Tam :

You can read more about the making of the video on Frit’s blog.

This is our first professionally filmed and produced video and we think it’s rather brilliant! Even if it does feature some questionable dance moves. Do you like it? Let us know in the Comments!

If Music Be The Food Of Love…

La Nova Singers perform at Christchurch Priory. Photo by Sally Stroud.

On Saturday 12 May, La Nova Singers gave a 1-hour concert in The Priory Church, Christchurch, as part of Christchurch Food Festival. The programme featured sacred pieces by Mozart and Vivaldi, as well as music from Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Mascagni’s Easter Hymn. The performance was well-received by the audience, despite competition from a saxophone player in the grounds outside the Priory!

The Mayor of Christchurch’s Charity Concert

Following our performance in February with Vintage Brass, La Nova Singers once again shared the stage with an assortment of local musical talent at the Mayor of Christchurch’s Charity Concert. This wonderfully varied event took place at the Regent Centre on 1 March, St David’s Day; and proceeds from the concert will be going to the Mayor’s chosen charities.

The audience enjoyed singing from Highcliffe Junior Choir and ‘Light and Shade’; and performances by the Air Training Corps Band, Highcliffe Brass Band, Taverners Big Band and the Band of the Royal British Legion.

La Nova singers sang a small selection of our most popular pieces, including ‘Tonight’ from West Side Story, and the beautiful ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’ by Fauré.

The concert finished with a nod to the Welsh national day, with audience and performers joining together to sing some traditional Welsh hymns.

If you didn’t manage to attend this special concert, a DVD of the event (with proceeds going to the Mayor’s charities) is available from ( Look out for the special lighting effects in the first few minutes of our performance!