Every month we focus on particular music groups or events in the area and finding out more about our local musicians. This month we are going to focus on Ian English, a fantastic local choir master and event’s organiser!
1 – How did your interest in music start?
My parents encouraged me when I was about 10 by buying a piano and giving me music lessons. At the same time I started to play by ear, working out how to play tunes on the piano without sheet music.
2 – Who influences you musically?
I love good music, in any genre. Live performances are important to me – I’ve seen some great musicians and singers that have made big impressions on me – Richard Thompson, Kate Rusby, Eddi Reader, Bonnie Raitt, Albert Lee, Tracy Chapman.
3 – Tell us about Thame Pop Choir
Thame Pop Choir started nearly 3 years ago with 25 singers, we now have a membership of 85. It’s a very friendly group, we meet weekly to sing, harmonise and have fun. The community aspect of the choir is important to TPC members and whenever possible the choir takes part in community events in Thame. We have a small choir of 15-20 people available in the day who perform a couple of times a month at local care homes, day clubs, Thame & District Day Centre etc. Also, in the last 2 years the choir has donated over £3,500 to local charities.
4 – Where has the choir been performing recently?
The choir is primarily about meeting each week for the pleasure and fun of group singing, however recent performances include Thame Council Christmas lights event, Music in the Park and Towersey Festival, and we staged our annual TPC concert in December.
5 – What other musical activities are you involved with?
I love the mix of music and humour – many years ago I was in a musical/comedy duo called ‘Outasight’, and in recent years I’ve performed with The Boodlum Band, playing at theatres and events around the area, including Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Music in the Park and Towersey Festival. We do our own interpretation of classic hits; however we have been inspired by ‘Wierd’ Al Yankovic (parodies), The Bonzo Dog Band and The Bob Kerr Whoopee Band. When not doing that I occasionally get the opportunity to accompany some great singers at the First Thursday Music Club in Thame, including Hayley Gomm and Joe Heap.
6 – How can you be contacted for live performances?
The choir’s website is www.thamepopchoir.com and this has a ‘contact’ page. Alternatively I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brought to you by – Thame Music Academy: