Our Music

What do we sing?

Sydenham Singers are a friendly bunch of people, brought together by a love of music and a desire to express it through singing.

We sing without accompaniment – “a capella” – but that doesn’t limit our song choice, which is gathered from all corners of the world. Whether it’s Folk, African, Georgian, Maori, Motown or even Blues, our leader Xenia is brilliant at teaching us a wide range of wonderful songs.


Learning new songs and harmonies stimulates me mentally. I always leave feeling invigorated even if sometimes I felt tired at the start of the session.“- Gerry

Over the years the choir has expanded and improved and can now tackle more complex harmonies without fear, but it hasn’t lost its inclusive feel and ‘open to anyone’ vibe regardless of singing ability. The songs are rarely difficult and it’s a lovely environment to sing in.” – Janice


What do we do in our rehearsals?

Each rehearsal starts with a warm-up; to relax our bodies, steady our breathing, and warm up our vocal cords.  This prepares us for singing and helps us to let go of the stresses of everyday life and connect with the group.

Then we learn our music by ear, listening to Xenia sing each part first, and learning the words from lyric sheets. Songs can be simple, with just two parts, or can be broken down into more harmonies. You will be amazed how achievable even complex-sounding 4-part songs can be with Xenia’s expert and patient coaching.

I found it difficult at first not having sung for years and then only with written music, so it required building new skills of listening and remembering, but it’s so rewarding when it all comes together and we get it right! There’s a big variety of different types of song and the choir leader is patient with those who need more help.” – Sophie