We were delighted to welcome 15 singers from California to Bath on Thursday 8 & Friday 9 September 2016, with their leader, Lauren Carley. The visiting singers joined with 25 Songways choir members for two collaborative workshops, led jointly by Lauren and Jane, in St Swithin’s Church followed by a lunchtime concert in Bath Abbey.

Songs included: led by Lauren, the classic, Breaths, from Sweet Honey in the Rock, a haunting version of Amazing Grace, and a beautiful rhythmic round, Let Go, by Velma Frye; and led by Jane, the beautiful South African Thina Simunye/We are together, her setting of the poem I will go with my father a-ploughing (led from the fiddle) and her song, Everybody needs Beauty, which was particularly wonderful to sing with our visiting singers from John Muir country.

One of the Californian singers summed it up:

Such a fantastic and memorable experience… thank you all

The singers were taking part in a Joy of Singing Retreat in England, staying first in Bath to sing with Songways and then in Oxford to sing with another choir there.

Many thanks to David Lewis Baker for the images.