Spring comes to Ringwood… well, almost.

La Nova Singers in rehearsal

So. Last year we learned that if you make preparations to put on an event entitled ‘Summer Garden Concert‘, you will inevitably end up with the wettest summer in 100 years.

And this year, just to drive the message home, we had two concerts sub-titled ‘A choral celebration of spring’. If you’ve been outside in the last few weeks – or considered going outside, looked out of the window and then thought better of it – you will have noticed that conditions in the UK have not been exactly spring-like.

But that has never held back La Nova Singers from our mission of performing uplifting choral music, and so it was that we returned to Ringwood Meeting House on 20th April for a concert that seemed to be enjoyed by all present.

Classical choral concert in Hampshire

The Meeting House is an unusual venue, but a lovely performance space.


Pianist Celia Cologne in rehearsal for La Nova Singers concert, Ringwood; with Steven Howard on fluteCelia Cologne is no stranger to Ringwood audiences, having had a long career on the stage! For this concert she was not only accompanying us on piano, but provided expert advice to Anne T for her Noël Coward solo, ‘Please, Mrs Worthington!’. Steve Howard was on hand for flute accompaniment and page-turning.

Behind the scenes - second soprano line in blue!Despite appearances, no deliberate effort was made to co-ordinate dresses for this concert!

Bella Nova Singers perform in Ringwood, with classical singing teacher Michelle NovaThe Bella Nova Singers young ensemble also performed, slightly low on numbers but aided by Anne T and Josie .

Photo by Dennis of Rivendell Designs Photography

Photo by Dennis of Rivendell Designs Photography

Three Little Maids refusing to be held back by the mysterious disappearance of their fans!

Colourful Dorset choir La Nova Singers perform in Ringwood Meeting House

Bears Aloud!

Time to share a few more photos from our Children in Need fundraising concert last week! Here we all are, sporting our fabulous Pudsey ears – and featuring new member Alison in the Second Soprano section…

And below, the girls from Bella Nova Singers brave the cold to collect money from the fine people of Ringwood:

Our most important contributors got a Children in Need sticker!

Tomorrow La Nova Singers will be back in the recording studio, putting down some more tracks for our upcoming CD! We’ll also have some behind-the-scenes footage from the last recording session for you, coming very soon – here on the La Nova Blog.


Thank you, Ringwood!

La Nova Singers & Bella Nova sing for Children in Need 2012, with Celia Cologne on piano. Photo by Rivendell Designs Photography.

Thank you Ringwood for raising a magnificent £365 in two hours on Saturday morning from 11 until about 1pm.

This 3pt ladies choir, dressed in its own-logo-purple t-shirts and teddy bear ears head gear, was invited to entertain for Children in Need in the Meeting House venue, accompanied by local musician Celia Cologne.  At one point there was some choral competition from 4 of Michelle’s teenage pupils as they drummed-up trade in the Sainsbury quadrangle, then joined us in the Meeting House for a session.  Finally we all moved back up outside, ending with a selection of Christmas carols.  Thank you WEATHER for being on our side, but most of all THANKYOU RINGWOOD FOR YOUR GENEROSITY TO CHILDREN IN NEED.

– Celia Cologne, local musician and accompanist extraordinaire!

We’d also like to thank those at the Meeting House, not only for kindly hosting us but for all their help in promoting the event; and of course Celia herself. We couldn’t have done it without you!

What a smashing, positively dashing spectacle – the Summer Non-Garden Concert!

The sun shone bright and warm on the day of our Summer Garden Concert – obviously somebody didn’t get the memo about it being held indoors, at The Meeting House, Ringwood! Fortunately our audience turned up in force, and enjoyed a colourful, musical celebration of the capricious British summertime.

"I have never been so keyed up!"

The Ascot Gavotte. Photo by Rivendell Designs Photography

There were fairy wings, fancy hats, fruity cocktails, picnics and bunting galore; and nobody even had to worry about getting rained on.

Bella Nova Singers. Photo by Rivendell Designs Photography

La Nova Singers were joined by Bella Nova Singers, a group of younger performers who were formerly a quartet but at this event had expanded to five. Bella Nova were fresh from their success at the 2012 Bournemouth Music Competitions Festival, where they won the junior ensemble class. They performed several pieces, including ‘Save the Child’ from Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio; Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ and the traditional spiritual ‘Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho’. Jess also performed a solo, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night!’ from My Fair Lady.

Photo by Rivendell Designs Photography

There was fun with Fairy Chorus from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, and Three Little Maids from the Mikado. The audience were also treated to a solo from Michelle Nova herself – the Song to the Moon from Dvorak’s Rusalka. The well-loved tunes from West Side Story, and a sprinkling of classic pop songs, made for a really enjoyable programme.

Photo by Rivendell Designs Photography

Thanks to Dennis of Rivendell Designs Photography for taking some lovely photos at this event, and to Nigel Nother for going to Mockbeggar Lane in Ibsley to redirect any stray audience members (of which there were… none)! Thanks also to Su, who was prepared to host us in her lovely garden (even if the weather won out in the end!) and to Lisa and Sally for their help, as always.

So, what’s next for La Nova Singers? On Monday 20th August we’ve got a very exciting concert, in Dorchester for the Thomas Hardy Festival. Stay tuned for an announcement about a particularly special piece of music we’re sure you won’t want to miss…!


The show will go on (and on)…

Special announcement: La Nova Singers’ Summer Garden Concert on 8 July is still going ahead!

Updated: 8.20 PM, Friday 6 July: The concert will now take place indoors at The Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Ringwood BH24 1EY.

If you’ve looked through a window recently, or have even been brave enough to venture outside, you might have noticed that it is not ideal ‘Summer Garden Concert’ weather! If you have tickets for our concert on Sunday 8 July, or were planning to buy them at the door, do not worry – we have a plan…

The concert will now take place in the Meeting House, Ringwood. We are very grateful to them for allowing us to use this venue at such short notice. The concert will be at the same time, and there is seating at the venue so no need to bring chairs.

Any questions? Contact LaNovaSingers@aim.com or phone 07736 070033.

We look forward to seeing you at the concert!


Garden Concert – Ibsley

The weather held out for La Nova Singers first open air concert held in Ibsley near Ringwood.  Nearly 100 people took the opportunity to enjoy a picnic in the lovely garden with some people even bringing out their best china and candelabras.  Perhaps next year we will have to think about a prize for the best picnic!

The singers performed a variety of music from Handel’s Silent Worship to the very well received Rhythm Of Life by Cy Coleman.  The concert finished with a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia with the audience joining in and waving their union jacks.

La Nova Singers would like to say a special thank you to Sue & Malcolm Lambert for hosting this event in their garden, Christine Langton their pianist, Lisa and Sally who sold tickets and were in charge of refreshments and to Steve Howard who compered the event.

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A Grand Christmas Concert at Somerley House

You could feel the anticipation and excitement as you stepped through the grand entrance to Somerley House.  With the audience in evening attire and mulled wine in hand, we were ready for a magical evening of entertainment from La Nova Singers.

The first half was performed in period costume echoing the era of Somerley House and the Gallery where the concert took place.   The singing was fantastic and the songs performed were well selected.  The Hallelujah Chorus filled the Gallery.  The first half concluded with a delightful semi – staged scene from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.

Publicity photo for Somerley House concert, from the Daily Echo.

The Countess and Suzanna sang the letter duet, Cherubino sang his love poem to the Countess, ‘Voi che sapete’ and the maid servants sang the flower song ‘Ricevete’ – presenting flowers to members of the audience as well as the Countess.

A variety of well known Christmas songs and carols were performed in the second half.  There was also an element of audience participation with two gentlemen battling to be the best bell shaker during Jingle Bells!

La Nova Singers now attract a national and international audience with people traveling from Denmark, Guernsey, Leeds and London to attend this concert.