The Mere Singers were originally formed in 2003 to sing Mary Keith’s choral score for Pentabus Theatre’s acclaimed production of “Precious Bane”. Since then we have evolved into an open-access community choir, performing a wide variety of new music at events large and small, around Shropshire and the Welsh Borders.
Under the musical direction of Mary Keith, we have sung newly commissioned a capella music for a range of new theatre shows, all concerned with or inspired by local events; Shrewsbury’s role in the Civil War in “Play the Man”, at Shrewsbury Castle, the fight for Fordhall Farm in “Arthurs Plough”, the unique place in the working and social lives of Shrewsbury’s women in the underwear factory “Silhouette” at Theatre Severn, and the fight to establish ownership of Mary’s garden pump in “Dwr Caru/Sweet Water” at Walcot Hall.
When not singing for theatre we explore a capella songs from around the world and popular songs in unexpected arrangements, shying away from conventional performance spaces. Give us a market balcony, a shopping mall, a grassy mere side verge or a drafty barn and we are at home!
In 2012 we were joined by an army of other rousing local voices to sing the newly commissioned Festival Anthem for the closing ceremony of the Shropshire Olympian Festival. We were again joined by other singers for the very first Shrewsbury “flash mob” in the Darwin Centre, singing to bemused and delighted shoppers on all three levels, including the escalators! In 2014 we were some of the 1,000 voices who performed the world premiere of David Lang’s “Crowd Out” inside Birmingham’s Millenium Point. We have continued to perform annually as part of the “Water Aid” project; in supporting and fund-raising for a number of local charities and at a range of festivals across the county.
In 2015 we worked with a school choir from Mary Webb secondary school in Pontesbury to record the haunting anthem which formed the soundscape for the History Makers World War 1 digital archive project. In 2016 we were very closely involved with the Curlew Country environmental project and in 2017 a subset of the choir joined other local singers in the Heartland project – a multi-faceted art project spread throughout the Shropshire hills.
In Autumn 2021 we performed newly commissioned songs in the dark, in the middle of the National Trust site Carding Mill Valley, as part of Darkfest Shropshire Hills, and in summer 2022 we sang songs arranged by Lisa Napp and Nathaniel Mann in Comer Woods as part of Benjamin Wigley’s “Hart of the Woods” at NT Dudmaston Hall.
We rehearse on Monday evenings in the Hive on Belmont in Shrewsbury, between 7.30 and 9.00(ish).
Termly fees apply.
For more information contact;
Mary Keith on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0787 5637786.