The group is a friendly, welcoming space for women to join together to sing. We are kind, supportive and fun as well as encouraging and committed. We espouse collaborative, consultative, participatory working and are dedicated to working through any issues we might have as a group together.
A group with no leader
Wessex Women was formed as a collaborative venture and as such there is no leader of the group. Members all contribute to the running of the group in a number of ways, principally, taking turns to be on the group’s committee and during practice sessions as facilitator and running the warm-ups. During sessions, all members are given a voice and members are responsible for listening to each other as well as putting their opinions forward. More information about the decision-making processes that we use is available.
When and where do we practice?
We meet on alternate Saturday mornings between 10am and12.45pm at a local village hall in South Somerset. We normally break for the summer holidays and for Christmas and Easter. The timetable for the year is set at the beginning of each year.
New songs are often taught by the member of the group who has introduced the song. We use a variety of methods to teach and to learn – much is done by ear with music available for those who want it. Most songs have between 2 and 4 parts and members are free to choose which part they would like to sing for each song. Members are expected to do some practice at home and song recordings (in MP3 format) are available for this. Sometimes we are taught new songs by external facilitators during workshops organized for the group.
New member’s trial period
Before joining the group, each potential new member is given a trial period of three sessions. This gives the individual an opportunity to get to know the group, to sing with us and see if you like our repertoire and way of singing and to experience the way the group runs. Equally, it gives the group a chance to get to know the individual and to discover if we are a good fit. On the third session, during the break, we have an open, kind, supportive discussion between the new member and the group to discuss how the new member is finding the experience of singing with and being with the group.
The group aims to run one or two workshops each year. External facilitators are invited to come and work with the group for a day. Sometimes the workshops focus on learning new songs, sometimes the focus is on improving style and technique. Members decide on the aim of the workshop and choose the workshop leader together. Sometimes workshops are used as an opportunity to attract new members. They are often free for members and for other participants the charge is about £15-£20 to cover costs.
Members pay a subscription of approximately £20 per term. The subscription fees go towards group funds and include paying for the village hall each fortnight.
We currently have a full complement of members. If you are interested in joining us, you’re very welcome to get in touch with us and we’ll let you know when we’re next recruiting. We run open singing workshops once or twice a year, and prospective members are welcome to come along for the day to see if you might be interested in joining us.