kathie prince - musician, teacher, singer

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A Musical Celebration for Christmas

Viva, Heart & Soul and DCH Choir perform Carols & Festive Favourites in the Borough Gardens, 16th December 2021

Having missed out on performing at Christmas 2020 because of the pandemic, Kathie was delighted to announce that her three adult choirs (Viva, Heart & Soul and Dorchester Community Hospital Choir) had been invited to sing carols in the Borough Gardens in December. Along with Durnovaria Silver Band, the choirs led a selection of well-known carols, and also sang a few of their own festive favourites, including Carol of the Bells and Silent Night. Along with a lantern parade, a children’s chorus of Away in a Manger, and the rousing melodies of the Durnovaria Silver Band, a chilly night in the park became a wonderful festive extravaganza! The event was very well attended by the people of Dorchester and we can’t wait to do it again in 2022!

Bandstand and carol singers lit up at dusk

Christmas Carols in the Borough Gardens, December 16th, 2021

Virtually Viva!

Singing together even when we’re apart…

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 19.29.18Screen Shot 2020-05-07 at 19.57.18

When choir rehearsals were understandably cancelled due to social distancing measures, we were imagining weeks of solo singing into hairbrushes, warbling in the shower, and chirruping into the ears of our locked-down family members.

But! Thank you Zoom app! And thank you Kathie for being determined to keep us together. Because now we have a way to meet up every week and sing our hearts out simultaneously, even though we’re scattered across Dorchester and beyond!

Although on Zoom we can’t all hear each other at the same time (we would go crazy!) we can learn our parts bit by bit with Kathie’s instruction, and then practise the songs in overlapping harmonies as we become more familiar with the music. In addition, Kathie has chosen recordings of some of our old favourites (Somewhere Only We Know, Hard Times and Amazing Grace, to name a few so far)  that allow us to individually sing layered above the entire choir harmony, giving a real feeling of togetherness.

If you haven’t joined us yet on Zoom, come and give it a try! Keeping that feeling of singing together as a choir is such a mood-booster and when we ‘un-mute’(!) at the start or end of the session the usual Viva chit-chat and laughter ensues! If you’re not sure how to work Zoom, drop Kathie, Wendy or Caroline an email and they’ll be happy to guide you.

Look forward to seeing you all again this Thursday, at 7pm (our new regular time whilst ‘virtual’!).

Viva Women’s Choir Commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day

by Caroline Harborow

Viva Women’s Choir were honoured to be asked to return to sing at Dorchester’s Holocaust Memorial Day Event this January 24th.

Viva sang No More Silence, a folk song by The Burns Sisters.

Held at the Corn Exchange, the theme of this year’s commemoration was ‘Stand Together’, and the event included readings and presentations from Sunninghill Preparatory School and The Thomas Hardye School.

Read Dorchester Echo’s article on the event here.

Viva big/small hall timetable January 2020

by Caroline Harborow

Here is the hall timetable for Viva rehearsals at the Silver Band Hall:

Jan 9th: Small hall

Jan 16th: Big hall

Jan 23rd: Small hall

Jan 30th: Big hall

Feb 6th: Big hall

Feb 13th: Small hall

Feb 20th: Half term holiday, no rehearsal

Feb 27th: Small hall

Mar 5th: Big hall

Mar 12th: Small hall

Mar 19th: Big hall

Mar 26th: Small hall

Apr 2nd: Big hall

Viva! – Big hall/small hall timetable

by Caroline Harborow

Hi all, here are the dates for the halls for autumn term 2019. It’s a little easier to remember this term as we simply alternate each week.

Sep 5th: big hall

Sep 12th: small hall

Sep 19th: big hall

Sep 26th: small hall

Oct 3rd: big hall

Oct 10th: small hall

Oct 17th: big hall

Oct 24th: small hall

Nov 7th: big hall

Nov 14th: small hall

Nov 21st: big hall

Nov 28th: small hall

Dec 5th: big hall

Dec 12th: small hall

Dec 19th: big hall


Viva! – Car parking at the Silver Band Hall

by Caroline Harborow

Car parking: we now have permits to use part of the Youth Centre car park (grass/tarmac behind the Band Hall) as long as we display a permit and comply with a number of conditions.
On evenings we are in the Community Room we cannot use the parking adjacent to the larger Band Hall and we need to seek on street parking.

Viva! Autumn Term Dates 2019

by Caroline Harborow

5th September – 24th October Viva! Autumn term (part 1)

31st October Half term break (no choir this week)

7th November – 19th December* Viva! Autumn term (part 2) *TBC depending on Christmas concert date

Summer picnic cancelled

Hi all,

Due to our Apollo commitments, the summer picnic and sing at Kingston Maurward that was planned for Sunday 14th July has been cancelled. Our next event will be the Stinsford Michaelmas Fayre on Saturday 28th September.

Date change for Apollo rehearsal in Puddletown

A reminder that the rehearsal with other singers is now Monday, 15th, 7.00 – 8.30 pm at St Mary’s School, Puddletown.

This will be in the Sports Hall, which is to the right hand side of the school and there is an upper carpark in front of it. Singers are welcome to bring along a folding garden chair, but not shooting sticks with spikes ….nothing sharp please.

We will also need to take chairs to the performance on Friday 19th July

Dress code for Apollo performance

Kathie has now agreed with the organisers that we will wear white. If all white is not possible then black bottoms and a white top will be fine. She would also like us to have badges (VIVA) and says “silver spray paint is a possibility” which we can think about and come with ideas next Thursday. Geof Edge  is now coming to that session.

European Choir Wanted for Singing Exchange!

Kathie Prince and Viva Women’s Choir are looking for a choir to partner with in another European country. Women’s choir, men’s choir or mixed… we don’t mind! We’d love to exchange songs, perform together, have fun exploring another location and culture and meet some new musical people! If you’re in a choir in France, Spain, Germany… or any European country!… and would be interested in partnering with Viva in Dorchester, please get in touch with Kathie via email: kathieprince@btinternet.com

Kathie Prince et la chorale Viva cherchent une chorale d’un autre pays européen pour un partenariat. Une chorale de femmes, d’hommes ou mixte, ça nous est égal ! Nous aimerions échanger des chansons, jouer ensemble, s’amuser en explorant un autre endroit et une autre culture, et se rencontrer de nouveaux gens musicaux ! Si vous êtes membre d’une chorale en France, Espagne, Allemagne… ou d’un autre pays Européen, et vous vous intéresseriez d’un partenariat avec Viva à Dorchester, si vous plait contactez Kathie via email : kathieprince@btinternet.com

Viva members – Dates for your diaries

by Kathie Prince Music

Saturday 29th June

3pm – 4pm, Thomas Hardye School

We will be singing Space Oddity with a children’s choir in celebration of the Apollo anniversary

Sunday 14th July

2:30pm, Kingston Maurward Gardens

Viva will be joining Heart & Soul to sing outside by the lake if the weather is fine. If it’s raining there will be alternative arrangements.This is an informal event open to singers and their families/friends and pets!!

This event has now been rescheduled for early Autumn term, due to our Apollo commitments! New date TBC

Tuesday 16th July Monday 15th July

7pm – 8:30pm, Puddletown Middle School

Rehearsal for Apollo Cantata with the conductor

Thursday 18th July

7:30pm – 9pm, big hall

Viva rehearsal as usual

Friday 19th July

Time TBC, Maumbury Rings

We will be joining a children’s choir and the Quangles to sing 2 songs from Geof Edge’s Apollo Cantata

Divas Who Dine in Dorch (or nearby!)

by Kathie Prince Music

There were 12 diners for our meal at the end of last term when Sophie arranged our return to Masala for a grand banquet on Tuesday, 2nd April. An interesting evening was had getting to know different people in the choir and the food was scrumptious!

Viva enjoying a meal at the Masala

Summer Picnic and Sing 2019

Summer Picnic and Sing – updated

Kathie is hoping for fine weather on Sunday 14th July for an informal picnic and sing with Viva!, Heart & Soul, and their friends and families (dogs welcome too!) at Kingston Maurward Gardens.

Commencing at 2:30pm, the choirs will sing outside near the lake (alternative arrangements will be made for wet weather!). Bring a rug and a picnic! We look forward to seeing you there.

This event has now been rescheduled for early Autumn term, due to our Apollo commitments! New date TBC

VIVA! Dates for big hall / small hall – Updated!

by Kathie Prince Music

The strings group are using the big hall every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month – not every other week as we previously thought. So if you’re not sure which hall we’ll be in, just take a look at the dates below:

Please note recent changes to timetable in red

2nd May: Big hall
9th May: Small hall
16th May: Big hall
(23rd May: no choir)
30th May: Big hall
6th June: Big hall
13th June: Small hall
20th June: No choir, Kathie away
27th June: Big hall
4th July: Big hall
11th July: Small hall
18th July: Big hall

VIVA! – New start time

by Kathie Prince Music

IMPORTANT CHANGE: Following a ‘straw poll’ last term, that showed most folk in favour of an earlier start time, after this first week back (i.e. normal start time of 8pm) we will be starting earlier at 7:30. So, Thursday 2nd May will be the first Thursday of the new time.  BUT, this new time means we will also be alternating between being in the main hall and the community room next door when the cello group are practising in the former. It means parking will be more challenging as cellist will be using the DBH carpark when we arrive these weeks.

VIVA! and Heart & Soul Term Dates – Summer 2019

Heart & Soul summer term dates

Term starts Tuesday 23rd April

Half term week (no choir) – Tuesday 28th May

No choir on Tuesday 7th May and Tuesday 25th June (Kathie away)

Term ends Tuesday 23rd July

First half term will be 4 weeks (£24 if paying by cheque), second half term will be 7 weeks (£42 by cheque)


VIVA! summer term dates

Term starts Thursday 25th April

No choir on May 23rd – there will be a session in half term week instead, on Thursday 30th May

Term ends Thursday 18th July

First half term will be 5 weeks (£30 if paying by cheque), second half term will be 7 weeks (£42 by cheque)


by Kathie Prince Music

By Ruth Lanigan VIVA! choir member cropped-kathie-prince-music-header-choir.jpg

To sing with Kathie Prince is a wonderful experience. Her choirs are fun, inclusive, accessible and good for the soul. Kathie has many years of experience as a professional musician and vocal coach working throughout the UK and abroad. Eleven years ago she founded VIVA! at Dorchester Arts Centre and has since gone on to create Heart and Soul, the Poundbury Community Choir and the excellent Skylark’s children’s choir

Ages range in her adult choirs from 22 to 90. They sing an exciting and eclectic range of music…. gospel, blues, pop, folk, classical and roots. The choirs that she coaxes, teases, and cajoles with such enthusiasm, find themselves winning competitions, raising thousands of pounds for charity and even changing lives!



This from a Heart & Soul member….

“Over the years I have sung with other choirs (mainly choral) but none can match up to singing with Kathie. I am not keen on going out to evening meetings but Heart & Soul has turned out to be an exception and something I look forward to each week. Kathie’s great enthusiasm makes every session such fun and you feel that you must do your best for her. You go home with a sense of well being”._DSC9677


This from Viva members….

“Having experienced bereavements very close together, singing for me has turned out to be my therapy. I’ve made new friendships, found I could laugh again and be part of a very unique group of people”.


…”Last summer I was in Southampton hospital having open heart surgery. Things didn’t go well, I had pneumonia and was in a coma for five weeks. When eventually I recovered I was told by the specialist that I had not been expected to survive. He told me that the strength of my breathing had seen me through. When I told him that I was an enthusiastic choir member he said that singing had most definitely helped to save my life“.


…..”A shy person you would have called me, not able to communicate easily.   I’d been told at school by the music teacher that I couldn’t sing a note ; I finally was able to recognise that I needed some confidence boosting even at my age!   Meeting Kathie at her first VIVA! session in 2006 totally changed my outlook! To have forty people singing in four part harmony within twenty minutes made the hairs on my arms stand up at the sound we made. I sang all week; in the car, in the bath, in the garden-at the top of my voice!!   Through regular practice and with new breathing techniques a proper voice emerged. I relaxed, enjoyed, and found myself looking forward to the next practices. Kathie has the wonderful ability to organise all of us in such a fun way that we (up to sixty of us), bond together, bring out the best in each other, and know we now are a force so strong that singing has made me discover that I can express myself, at last.


Since early beginnings they have raised almost £3,000 for charity by doing what they like best… singing for….

Hillfield Priory Retreat, DCH Cancer Appeal, Dorset Blind Association, West Dorset’s Women’s Refuge, Wessex Autism, Philippines Typhoon Appeal, Warmwell Church Roof, Race for Life,


Their next concert is on

Saturday 14th October 2017 United Reform Church at 7.30pm, in aid of CAB, the Citizens Advice Bureau

They would also love to perform for you   http://kathieprincemusic.co.uk




VIVA 2006-2016 : 10 Years of Singing Our Hearts Out!

I can’t quite believe that our wonderful choir came into being 10 years ago! It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I opened the doors to Dorchester Arts back in 2006 wondering if I’d be greeted by a throng of enthusiastic singers or just a view of the car park! Luckily folk did arrive to sing and the seeds were sown for a wonderful community of singers which, over the years, has gone from strength to strength.

The really special thing about VIVA, apart from the great sound of course, is the commitment, enthusiasm and community spirit shown by our singers. Some have recently joined and others have been coming to choir for many years. We originally started out as a mixed choir and performed regularly at local events including the Dorchester Festival, Apple Day and Christmas celebrations at Kingston Maurward and of course the opening of the Olympic Games in Weymouth. VIVA also premiered the specially commissioned song for Dorchester,  Dancing the Rings at Maumbury in Borough Gardens and featured on the soundtrack of Out in the Open a film about homelessness premiered at the Dorchester Plaza. More recently in 2014 we performed in Heartwood , an original site specific piece with original music by Karen Wimhurst. This was a collaboration between sound artist Adrian Newton who directed the piece Karen and myself.  VIVA joined forces with Pallida, Karen’s Shaftesbury choir, Skylarks Children’s Choir and my Heart and Soul Community Choir from Poundbury.

Winning Best Large choir of the 2014 and 2015 Weymouth Festivals in collaboration with Heart and Soul, was a highlight for the choir. Our Christmas concerts at St Georges church in Fordington have also been a great success and hugely enjoyable and these concerts have enabled VIVA, in collaboration with my other choirs ,to raise hundreds of pounds for charities – the West Dorset Women’s Refuge, Autism Wessex, The Red Cross and the Dorset Blind Association to name but a few.

So…here we are 10 years on planning our new CD, a trip to the Southbank to sing at the Chorus Festival and a choir exchange to France!  I can’t wait! Viva la VIVA!

Amazing Grace

Clean Heart