Workshop 2020 -“Makin’ Our Own Kinda Music”!

Well, our tenth workshop came and went and what a day we had! With a buoyant attendance of over 60 delegates, we couldn’t wait to get the started on this year’s song, The LABBS polecat “Make Your Own Kind of Music”.

We warmed up, sorted the parts and went off in our sections, armed with liberal amounts of coffee and cake.



Before we knew it, it was time to reassemble and with the bulk of the song learned, wow, it was sounding fabulous!

After a swift lunch, with an opportunity to have a flutter on the raffle , we reconvened and Wendy restarted our brains with the fun but tricky “Boom Snap Clap” exercise.


One last sectional was enjoyed to iron out those last few tricksy bits and then a several run-throughs with the whole group, before it was time to perform for the attendees friends and families.

We were really impressed with the performance from our delegates and the way they immersed themselves in the spirit of the day. We hope they continue to make their own kind of music and return for next year’s challenge!

Convention 2019 “Lovin’ Llandudno”

We were thrilled to improve our score again this year. Competing at this level and gaining on last year’s marks makes the graft absolutely worth it. No-one ever said it was going to be easy!

As tradition dictates, we took two more bespoke arrangements by the wonderful Dr Liz Garnett to the stage and we were delighted to receive so many compliments on the beauty of them, especially City of Stars from La La Land.

Singing by the seaside is always a pleasure and it’s safe to say that even if it was a tad blowy and the local gulls participated in some hotel room raiding for sandwiches(!), Llandudno was lovely.

Bring on Bournemouth 2020!


Rocking Yate!

On a not so sunny June afternoon Fascinating Rhythm and Junior FR joined the Yate Rocks Festival Great Choir Showcase.

This annual music festival is organised by Yate Town Council and this year we were asked to perform alongside other local choirs.

Junior FR as always sang beautifully and entertained the crowd with a rousing version of Mr Blue Sky which cheered up the slightly ‘rained on’ audience as they enjoyed their picnics.

FR opened the adults choir section after causing some confusion for the sound guy – he was expecting us to have a backing track! We jumped onto the back of a lorry (a new experience for a lot of us) and sang some of our favourites including the fabulous arrangement of ‘This is Me’

We could then sit back and enjoy the other choirs who were performing including Choir Jam from Keynsham, Bromley Heath Community Choir and the huge Rock Choir – a fantastic afternoon’s entertainment.

The collective of Choirs at the end of the day

All too soon came the finale, all the choirs joined together to sing ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen, a fabulous end to a great afternoon.

We enjoyed ourselves hugely and would love to do it again in the future.

Fascinating Rhythm entertain at the Great Choir Show Case

Charity cheque presentation

Recently, we were delighted to present a final cheque for almost £550.00 to Dementia Connections, our chosen charity for 2018.

Thelma represented Fascinating Rhythm to present the cheque to Amanda and Christine who run the local group in Wotton-under-Edge.

Christine said “All of us at Dementia Connections are really grateful for this donation from Fascinating Rhythm. The money will help us to complete our allotment project this year. We plan to add a seating area, raised beds and troughs, so that everyone in our groups can take part in planting and harvesting this year and into the future. We love our days on the allotment, when weather allows, and all this will make it so much easier for us to go there more often. A huge thank you from all of us. Amanda and Christine”

We are of course so pleased to be able to help such a worthy cause and wish them well in their future projects.



“Leave no one behind” on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day

Children and young people with Down Syndrome release Fascinating music video

Today sees the release of a musical video with children and young people who have Down Syndrome performing an arrangement of the award-winning song “This is Me” alongside one of the UK’s leading ladies’ barbershop choruses. This musical collaboration brings together families supported by the Down Syndrome charity, Ups and Downs Southwest, and members of the 60-strong, South Gloucestershire based chorus, Fascinating Rhythm.

Released on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day (WDSD) , the video contributes to the WDSD 2019 “leave no one behind” campaign raising awareness that people with Down Syndrome should have equal opportunities to live fulfilling lives in all aspects of society.   “This is me”, from the film the Greatest Showman, is a defiant song of self-empowerment sung by the people with unique qualities employed as so-called “human oddities” for the Barnum Circus.

The idea for the video came from Jo Thorn, Director of Ups and Downs Southwest and Musical Director of Fascinating Rhythm, “This year at Ups and Downs, we agreed to create something for World Down Syndrome Awareness Day relevant to its campaign but with the potential for global reach too. We wanted to feature our young people sending out a very pertinent message through a song which says, although I may be different, I still make a difference and a worthwhile contribution to society. We asked my chorus Fascinating Rhythm to support us to help provide an inclusive platform for our children and young people to explore their creative side through signing as well as song.”

The video was recorded after weeks of preparation. Members of Fascinating Rhythm and the young people with Down Syndrome had to learn the song with Makaton signs to communicate key words.

Fascinating Rhythm chorus member Wendy Daniell said, “It has been a huge privilege for us being invited to participate in this project. I personally have learned so much more about Down Syndrome and it was a surprise to me to discover Makaton being used as a language to support speech development. And we had such fun working with the Ups and Downs families on the day our performance was being filmed.”

Marie, mother of 12 year-old Poppy who has Down Syndrome said “It was such a joy for me to see Poppy involved in this project. It gave her the opportunity to get involved in new and enriching experiences, but in a nurturing environment too with the lovely ladies of Fascinating Rhythm being so understanding and supportive. She was enthralled by the equipment used by the professional film production team and also thrilled at performing with such an amazing chorus.”

The project has been generously supported with grants from Sedgemoor District Council and Bridgwater Town Council, and in-kind contributions from music recording company “nooj Productions” and venue hire from Sydenham Barn.

The video can be seen on Twitter at #leavenoonebehind and #UDThisisme

Fascinating Rhythm signing “Here I come” with Makaton in the song “This is Me”


Here are a few more photographs showing what a great day we had filming: