Cantamus is a small group of local women who meet together regularly in their homes, primarily to sing for their own pleasure. However, soon after its inception in 2013 the group began to give mini-performances in public, doing pop-ups for friends’ parties and singing at local care homes and churches. Wherever the group is performing, Cantamus incorporate into their programme a few songs specifically to be sung along with the audience and this feature of each event has proved to be so successful that, last year, a workshop was held for those who enjoy singing with us and whom we regard as the Cantamus Community Choir.
Cantamus produced a CD in 2015 featuring spirituals, traditional songs from several countries, classical pieces and carols which typifies the eclectic range of their repertoire.
In May, Cantamus hosted a fund-raising event in aid of the Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen which is based at the Baptist church in Dukes Avenue and the concert was held in the dining room of the newly restored Victoria Stakes pub. Ben, Lucy and Marc generously supported the event by subsidising the cost of a fish and chip supper for the 90 guests. An auction was held for concert tickets and raffle prizes were donated by local businesses Marks & Spencer, Planet Organic, The Laboratory Spa & Health Club, Sainsburys and by friends of the choir – Cortland Fransella and Fran Bowman.
David Harries, Ian Hall, Rick Morrison and Jackie Foot joined the performance and Martin Stone, organiser of the soup kitchen, played a trumpet solo after giving a moving account of the value of the project, beyond its obvious function. As always, there was a singalong at the end of the concert and, as you might guess from the theme of the evening, those songs were ‘With a little help from my friends’, ‘Wonderful World’, ‘You’ve got a friend’ and finally ‘Those were the days my friend’ which were all sung with such warmth and gusto that it almost raised the roof of the Vicky Stakes for a second time!
‘Cantamus and Friends’ raised over £1,700 for the soup kitchen and therefore Caroline Bell, Eileen Iliffe, Elaine Saini, Helen Finch, Jacquie Sawford, Jacque O’Keefe, Laura Fransella, Rosalind Spinks and musical director Yvonne Holmes, would like to take this opportunity to offer sincere thanks to all the Muswell Hilly Billies and those who came from further afield for their loyal and enthusastic support.