KAB Gravesend: Singing and Dinging, guest post by Tania Holland Williams

Tania, Opera Singer and Musical Director comments on our first joint meeting. Singing and Dinging, a first meeting of the KAB Gravesend Art group and RiverVoice Community choir.  Around 12 people involved in the Reaching Out project met up on Saturday 12th March – a mix of visual artists from the art group and singers from RiverVoice Choir. Several very adventurous bods belong to both groups. We met together to find out more about each other, our areas of work and specifically about how we were going to be working together over the next few months towards the final exhibition and concert.

Following a very warm greeting by members of St Georges Church, (who also happened to have an open day at the same time), Ms Daws and I launched into three activities planned for the day.

We started with an aural exploration of the church. With bells, voices and ears in tow, the group were charged with finding the most interesting acoustic in the space. We found that singing into the large window casements had a particular warm “ting”, while the stairs on the stone encased foyer provided a natural ambient platform (and drew a few strange glances from passers-by). But, perhaps unsurprisingly the most popular and resonant was directly under the cupola.

The exercise was followed up by another perambulation around the church, this time with foil paper and pencils, to capture patterns or textures in gold and silver relief. I can confirm that, as a result of this activity, the exhibition pieces are now firmly underway.

Finally, we thought about all the names that Pocahontas was known under, for example Matoaka which means flower between two streams. We all submitted our middle names or nick-names for other people to determine possible meanings. See below for how this resulted in a “Reaching Out Memory” as far as I was concerned.

Things I want to remember from the morning:

An explanation of the name Elizabeth – one of triplets, playful and into everything, followed by the slow realisation that we had three people in the group whose middle name was a derivative of Elizabeth and all of whom could be described as playful and into everything. Now how often does that happen?

Seeing the choir members get stuck into the foil embossing like children let out to play – what a treat. Note to self – make the choir rehearsals a bit more playful.

The description of the workshop by one of the participants – Singing and dinging – it was so apt and just made me smile.


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