Sing Out Loud – Testimonials


4th December 2014

Dear Karen and David,

I really enjoyed last night so thank you for organising it and running it so well. I really liked the comfortable and welcoming  atmosphere you both helped create despite having to deal with the traffic issue!!  I enjoyed singing all the songs and had a good chat with V… and some of the Colchester singers in between songs.

Have a lovely Christmas,

Best Wishes,



13th November 2014

“Hi Karen,

I just wanted to text you to say how much I enjoyed this evening.  Thank you for making me so welcome.  There are lots of lovely people in your group, and I feel quite privileged to have the opportunity to be part of it.  Please extend my thanks to David also.

I am already looking forward to next week.  Kind regards A.H.”

Testimonials for The New Sing Out Loud Group in Colchester (Taster Event 27th October 2014)

From Trish and Roy:

Hi Karen,

Being fairly new “Sing Out Loud-ers” we found it amazing to catch a glimpse of a new group in the making. But I have to say it was far from a new group feel… here was a true buzz of excitement. I am sure for anyone walking into the room they wouldn’t see the join!

Several people said they had been looking for a group, others that since retirement they were looking for new adventures to persue.

The venue is very central which several people found to their advantage. Also the room we were in was hexagonal shape which was warm and welcoming.

Of course they all felt the same as us on our first time, the joy of seeing in David, someone who knows how to encourage and build a group while having great fun.

We know that the group will be a great success, because people are there already looking, and many more will follow.

Well done Karen and David for all your hard work.


Trish and Roy

From Jennifer:

I was warmly welcomed into the lovely room at the Quaker Meeting House in  Colchester on Monday evening.  David our teacher explained to us how the class will work.  He was very easy to listen to and I felt very comfortable.  We very quickly started to sing our first song together, and a lovely sound we made, too.

After an hour we had a break for coffee or tea and a chat for 10 minutes, and went back to singing again.  David’s teaching practise is very calm and the whole evening was a pleasure.  I will look forward to attending the class if I cannot make a Thursday in Chelmsford.


 From Hazel:

It was a dark and stormy night…well, dark anyway, as I headed up the A12 to Colchester, to the Taster Session for a new sister Sing Out Loud group.  I was happily surprised to find St Mary’s car park with no problem, parked on the ground floor with ease, and walked into the Quaker Meeting House in Church Street, after crossing the dual carriageway over a footbridge (don’t look down).

I was greeted on arrival with a massive “HELLOOOOO”, a wave and a big grin from David, and smiles from all the assembled potential Sing Out Loud-ers.

David was introducing himself, explaining his ‘credentials’ as musical director (Welsh National Opera, singer songwriter, folk musician etc.  etc., for more years than he cares to remember), and all about the aims of Sing Out Loud, how there’s no pressure to sing super high or low, just mime the bits you can’t (or don’t want to) sing, that’s the beauty of being in a group, it doesn’t matter, someone will cover it.  You’ve run out of air on a phrase? It doesn’t matter, someone else will have breathed slightly differently and the Sing Out Loud ‘one voice’ will carry on regardless.  The focus is on enjoying the singing, and producing a great sound collectively.  All very comforting stuff!

After a brief warm-up – involving: relaxing, letting go, and yawning – the first song was Bright Phoebus (by The Watersons), a rousing start to the evening, which David taught by singing the lines first and everyone else repeating them back; the same happened with other songs from the Sing Out Loud repertoire, such as Caledonia (Dougie Maclean), Country Roads (John Denver), Somewhere Along the Road (Rick Kemp), and Into The West (Annie Lennox et al).  As this was a taster evening, we galloped through them, to give people an idea of the variety of Sing Out Loud songs, rather than learning them thoroughly.

As usual there was a break for tea, coffee and biscuits (mmmm…chocolate chip cookies), and, as we’re going to be environmentally friendly, in future, Colchester Sing Out Loud-ers will be bringing their own mugs and spoons, and taking them home again for washing up, after use (eg in zipped polythene bags, or other suitable containers).

Socialising during the break was possible, because the Quaker Meeting House is quiet and sound absorbing, so, many voices all talking loudly at once was not ear shattering.  There seemed to be a good cross section of people from older to not so old, those who had sung before, and those who just wanted to sing but had never tried.

The venue was set up with the chairs in a diamond shape so we could all see, and sing to, those on the other side of the room; it was cosy and intimate, unlike some halls which are all hard surfaces and reflective noise, the sound was gentle.  The meeting hall is warm, friendly, and very nice.

All in all, an exceptionally pleasant evening, where on earth did that two hours go?  I’m looking forward to going back.



Please see the “5th Anniversary MEMORIES” page, for Testimonials from many of the Sing Out Loud Chelmsford group, at that time.


Comments and Compliments on Our New Musical Director/Tutor, David Baird:

Friday 19th October 2012 – from ‘B’

Really enjoyed last night, amazing how you and David pull us all together music-wise.

Monday 22nd October 2012 – from ‘J’

Just thought I’d let you know how much I am enjoying my Sing out Loud classes again.

I had missed them over the summer, and was a little concerned about changes, but I needn’t have worried, David has filled the spot with great presence and a different approach which now I feel is such a good thing for us all.

Monday 29 October 2012 – from ‘S’

I have enjoyed the energy and pace of our singing.  I also like to stand when I sing, which we seem to do more frequently now.  I have always found Sing Out Loud to be a friendly group of people with plenty of banter and I like the fact we are “brought to order” in a good humoured way – we can be a noisy rabble at times!


Earlier In 2012:

I had a brilliant time last Thursday.  It was so friendly and welcoming and I got home completely exhilarated with the singing.  Unfortunately I will miss this Thursday because I have tickets for a show, but will be back the week after and looking forward to it already.  DP January 2012


The Sing Out Loud Group is united by a common theme – we all like to sing.

Peter plays guitar and guides the musical side of the evening by starting with a few simple warm-up exercises before moving on to the songs we are currently developing. The songs are easy to sing and consensus and humour play a big part in the group – Peter always welcomes feedback and ideas, adopting some suggestions and storing others for later use.

“I joined the Sing Out Loud Group in September 2010 and have found a great way to spend Thursday evenings. This is a very easy-going group offering a warm welcome to all those who like to sing …. and laugh.” SR October 2010

I joined Sing Out Loud last term.  I have always been interested in singing, but never thought I was good enough to join a group.  But I was made very welcome and have made new friends.  I try to join in team events and find it all very enjoyable.  I hope the group will go from strength to strength and I will always try to lend my support.  The mixture of young members and more mature members works well.  JC October 2010


“When I joined the group my first impression was how friendly everyone was – people made a real effort to chat to and include the “new ones”, and nobody was left out.  Early on, it was clear that the emphasis was on having an enjoyable time, and doing plenty of singing!  We sang at least five songs, most of them well-known popular tunes that we could all make an attempt at.  It seemed to me that by doing this, rather than concentrating on just one song, we would sing different types of music at each meeting, and no-one would mind if the results were less than perfect.

The group is well run on the administrative side, and we are lucky to have a versatile and patient tutor who manages to get us all singing together and having fun too.  Quite an achievement! “  ML December 2009

“…from someone who was NEVER going to perform in public – I really enjoyed myself on Tuesday.  It’s thanks to you and Peter’s relaxed attitude and the choice of songs.  I really enjoy singing them.  Thanks again…”  OB November 2009

“Nice and sociable singing group, nothing too heavy.” LJ November 2009




A Testimonial for Sing Out Loud – Solo (This Class Has Been Temporarily Withdrawn)


I’ve been part of Sing Out Loud for over two years. When the Sing Out Loud – Solo class began a year ago, I thought I would join, just for a term. To be honest I was not, and am still not, interested in singing a solo. Standing up there, on my own, with everyone looking at me – no, that’s not for me. However, the word ‘Solo’ probably doesn’t give quite the right impression about what happens in a Solo class.

What I’ve always been more interested in is singing as part of a small group, singing harmony parts, and doing it well! With a small number of people, it has to be said, the process of learning a new song is faster than in a large group. It is also easier to learn your harmony part, and if you struggle, Peter can take you through it individually until you get it right! I now don’t mind singing on my own in front of the others, although this was a bit of an issue at first.

Everyone in the group is so encouraging and willing to help. No-one criticises or says “You’re singing that wrong, Marion!” Peter just uses his time-honoured phrase “Let’s try that again!” I now feel confident enough to sing harmony parts on my own – this sometimes happens because numbers are low. Sometimes we each sing a verse or phrase on our own, and I’m OK with that too, because I’m not really on my own, the rest of the group is there with me.

Sometimes, as a singing exercise, we take part of a song and improvise some harmonies, with Peter making suggestions, so we end up with five people singing five different parts, with interesting results! As you gain confidence, this gets easier to do, and is great fun. My favourite technique is to sing everything more or less on one note, which might sound boring, but can be really effective as a harmony!

I had never had a proper singing lesson before, and I suppose that’s what the Solo classes are, teaching technique and building confidence. I also started to enjoy my individual lessons with Peter, once I had got over the sound of my voice on its own in the Church hall! These lessons are held behind closed doors, thankfully, and anyone arriving for the next lesson, or the class, waits in the other room until you have finished.

I carried on after that first term and I’ve now had almost a full year of Solo classes. I’d like to think that, as a result, my singing has improved. Even if it hasn’t, I’ve enjoyed myself so much, it hardly matters.


(NB: the Sing Out Loud – Solo class has been withdrawn).

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