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some Chechelele facts

Chechelele has made a name for itself over  the years as an exciting and lively singing group, specialising in African and Balkan music.

We have performed at folk festivals (Otley, Cleckheaton, Durham etc) , sung at the Edinburgh Fringe, and supported  benefits for a range of ‘good causes’.

We meet weekly in York, Tuesdays 8-10 pm.

 We list below some key facts about Chechelele.

  • Chechelele is a well established SATB Acapella choir consisting of 28 people
  • Chechelele are currently lead by four choir members. However, following significant changes over the Covid/lockdown period, the choir have decided to move forward with a single new MD. 
  • The current management committee deal with admin and musical decisions and they are assisted by all members of the choir who participate in organising events etc
  • We are funded by members’ subscriptions, by sales of CDs and by performance fees as and when we charge these.
  • Rehearsals are held at the York Steiner School on Fulford Cross.
  • Chechelele perform  “traditional songs from around the world” incorporating movement, occasionally with accompaniment with drum, percussion ,guitar, fiddle for specific songs
  • Chechelele perform about once per month, sometimes more often in the summer months. We perform anywhere, and at all types of events ranging from folk festivals through to fundraisers for good causes, and friends’ weddings etc
  • We perform “in uniform” which is black with  a top garment made of choir fabric to members choice.
  • All songs are performed without scores, from memory.
  • Songs are generally learnt by ear.
  • At any one time Chechelele keeps a current repertoire of some  twenty – thirty songs
  • Chechelele recruits new singers by way of a periodic open rehearsal, to which potential singers are invited from a waiting list and by  “the grapevine”.  Singers are recruited to fill vacancies in particular parts. Decisions about recruitment are currently made after  an open rehearsal by the MD and  the management committee. There is a welcome to new members document which elaborates on the recruitment process.

Chechelele, pronounced cheh-cheh-leh-leh, is a word from the South African Ndebele language, meaning happy