Is anybody out there?

hallo halloo…hope all is well

I used to blog everyday in 2011 and now I tend just to post up when something has happened that I  am excited about or I would like people to look at . I am excited about my choirs and excited about writing songs and recording them.

I supposed there is no reason why anyone  else should be excited about me writing and recording songs, lots of people tend to shuffle about a bit and seem almost embarrassed by my second career,  that is something I have to do to stay sane. Always was a songwriter from a very early age, that’s how I arrange acapella.

I  was talking to someone the other day about people not saying stuff, and how you end up imaging the worst because they don’t talk to you . For instance 4  people out of my over  100 choir members download my tracks, which is a positive and lovely thing..the rest do not, and I  hear nothing, so I  imagine the worst…they hate what I  do…I run choirs..I should bloody well stick to that..I am a show off…My music is shit, my voice is shit, I’m too  old, big headed, shit…etc etc bla bla bla bla bla bla

It might be it’s not their type of music, they are too busy, they don’t know how to download bandcamp, they listened to something I did a long time ago and made a decision then that it was not their thing. .They listen and like it but just imagine they don’t need to tell me, because I already know. I imagine most people don’t really give my songs a  chance..If you hear stuff on the radio there are very very very few songs that hook you the first time you hear them..they often get you the second or third time…but imagine  most of my friends don’t give me that luxury, and the chances of anyone I don’t  know doing that is even less…

My mum decided long ago she did not like my thats the end of that..I suppose at least she told me so I don’t have to imagine the worst…ha ha

Its a curious old thing…

So here I am again..exhibiting my wears once again to the deafening silence of the world wide web…I stopped reading this about two paragraphs ago..and possibly only the stalkers and the sociopaths are probably left ( thank you ladies)

Bandcamp is easy to manoeuvre and you can download the track for free…It is not rocket science..needs must as with all things…anyway…must get on with that room tidying and thank most kindly the 12 people who have, during   the last 10 months have bought our music…..One day it will be the ‘best kept secret’ ..oh shit! it is x x x x


the christmas single is on its way too and the video is being made on Thursday

Single Of the Month – September – Melting

Tough old time..dear friends passing ..end of a long busy choir year…sometimes the bit between feeling better and resting up is unbearable.

We keep on keeping on and have to be resolute, that whether you listen or not, we will continue to release a new song every month –

with the hope of developing our craft and having something beautiful to listen to. I am loving all the singles we have done so far which are all listed together on the 3 BUCKET JONES  website

So the next 3 months is about having a break from my beloved choirs..which is already hard, to tidy my bedroom,my mind and my spirit. To find some time to write and arrange songs for 3 Bucket Jones and the Choirs and maybe both together.

here is the September song…a love song



SINGLE OF THE MONTH – 3 bucket jones

I am really happy that we are now about to release out July single and are still on track for releasing a single every month for the next year. if you have missed any of the songs since march , here is them all in a handy page for you to have a listen to and even buy .


END OF TERM celebrations

As I lie in a darkened room unable to move far, apart from occasionally to tears         ( most teachers will understand this end of term thing, you have to be built like godzilla not to end up feeling like this at the end of term – especially if it has been quite a lot of work, new challenges and you don’t resort to alcohol..ha ha ) . I am at present joined by  a sleeping orange cat ( who has been renamed the orange slug) who does not even belong to me,  just visits for food and quiet. I am  recovering from one hell of a  brilliant term of singing, the lovely emails keep coming through to reflect that, but it takes its toll. I  wish I had someone who could bring me food ……please.

Here is one of my favourite moments from the term that happened on Tuesday night at the Conway Hall LONDON. Paul had a single camera at the back..thank you..soon Bob’s fancy version will come through…. Need more tenors and basses for next term..check out LONDON CHOIRS in my pages up top…enjoy!

Choirs on Fire – Conway Hall 28th March 2017

Very excited about our next gig with the choirs  -the tubthumping chorus, the old bishops -who need a new name and special guests broomdasher – a  16 piece acapella folk group with Sally Davies at the helm who runs the Cecil Sharpe Folk Choir, also 3 Bucket Jones -the trio gitika is in who performed with the choirs last year art Cecil Sharp House will be making an appearance. it is at the Conway Hall in London near holborn and there will be 2 50 minute sets of splendid acapella song with a little bit of acoustic song thrown in for good measure.









 click here is the link for buying tickets,


Going Home

Well the summer holiday was full of complete exhaustion from the 3 Bucket Jones tour, I bet big super musician don’t have to do all their own admin organising every thing,

and we had different marvellous singers at every show

then get on stage and sing. Its ok. It is a wonderful thing.

Just  before we are back to school we managed one quick video to go with a song we recorded in May with the fine musician help of Tom Manning, Will Taylor and Steve Edmunds

with engineering  and extra vocals from Matt Glaseby and Beau Blaise and mixing by Liam Ross.

Its a cracker! But then I had to say that.

I have just learned to use green screen and all the effects on Final Cut  Pro so am just playing….

Press Release – 3 Bucket Jones Make a Splash for Water Aid

3 Bucket Jones


‘glorious sonic depths that you’ll want to explore time and time again’  – Acoustic magazine

‘they gel so well, it’s as if they have been jamming together their entire careers’ – The Musician

03755 3 Bucket Jones Leaflet.indd

3 Bucket Jones – Make a Splash for Water Aid

3BJ met at a songwriting workshop at Monnow Valley Studio in 2013 and formed a band on the first day they met and wrote a song. They are all experienced musicians and producers all born in the 1950s – their musical diversity is the thing that makes it work – composing music for kid’s TV, producing with Trevor Horn and teaching 5000 children a song in the Albert Hall are included on their list of musical endeavors.


Their second album – 8th July coincides with a song from their first album ’All at Sea’ being sung by 1200 singers in Bath for SING FOR WATER WEST – an event which raises funds for Water Aid – arranged and conducted by Gitika. They decided all their tour and album sales during would go to WATER AID.


Their tour takes them to Monmouth, Bristol London, Sheffield and Brighton. Every gig involves local musicians – In Bristol, at the beautiful St George’s – Gitika ’s brother’s sea shanty group  -The Roaring Troman, her mother’s (85) folk choir and members of the world champion Tredegar Town Band. The London Cecil Sharp House gig has a 70 strong community choir on backing vocals & they will also be singing songs about water.

3 Bucket Jones are Andy Mcrorie-Shand on stringed things, Gitika Partington on ‘sky-scraping vocals ‘ (the MU review this month) Garry Hughes in the studio, and featuring Bruce Knapp on guitar and dobro for the tour. Their music is ‘heart-on-their sleeve’ dark folk-pop. The tour will be a delight.   ###

International Women’s Day 2016

So here is my contribution to the day of celebrating the struggle, and  it is often one. The Tubthumpers Chorus sung a great rendition of ‘I’m Gonna be an Engineer” last term and we just got the blessing of the remarkable Peggy Seeger to post the video of our performance. The song was written in 1970 and it is really interesting to mark the differences in how things have moved on. We did not sing all the verses which I am posting below the video.


I’m gonna be an engineer

When I was a little girl I wished I was a boy
I tagged along behind the gang and wore my corduroys.
Everybody said I only did it to annoy
But I was gonna be an engineer

Mamma said, “Why can’t you be a lady?
Your duty is to make me the mother of a pearl
Wait until you’re older, dear
And maybe you’ll be glad that you’re a girl.

Dainty as a Dresden statue, gentle as a Jersey cow,
Smooth as silk, gives cream and milk
Learn to coo, learn to moo
That’s what you do to be a lady, now.

When I went to school I learned to write and how to read
History, geography and home economy
And typing is a skill that every girl is sure to need
To while away the extra time until the time to breed
And then they had the nerve to ask, what would I like to be?
I says, “I’m gonna be an engineer!”

“No, you only need to learn to be a lady
The duty isn’t yours, for to try to run the world
An engineer could never have a baby
Remember, dear, that you’re a girl”

She’s smart — for a woman.
I wonder how she got that way?
You get no choice, you get no voice
Just stay mum, pretend you’re dumb.
That’s how you come to be a lady, today.

Well, I started as a typist but I studied on the sly
Working out the day and night so I could qualify
And every time the boss came in, he pinched me on the thigh
Said, “I’ve never had an engineer!”
“You owe it to the job to be a lady
The duty of the staff is to give the boss a whirl
The wages that you get are crummy, maybe
But it’s all you get, ’cause you’re a girl”

Then Jimmy came along and we set up a conjugation
We were busy every night with loving recreation
I spent my days at work so he could get an education
And now he’s an engineer!

He said: “I know you’ll always be a lady
The duty of my darling is to love me all her life
Could an engineer look after or obey me?
Remember, dear, that you’re my wife! ”

As soon a Jimmy got a job, I studied hard again
Then busy at me turret-lathe a year or two, and then
The morning that the twins were born, Jimmy says to them
“Your mother was an engineer!”
“You owe it to the kids to be a lady
Dainty as a dish-rag, faithful as a chow
Stay at home, you got to mind the baby
Remember you’re a mother now! ”

Every time I turn around there’s something else to do
Cook a meal or mend a sock or sweep a floor or two
Listening to Jimmy Young – it makes me want to spew
I was gonna be an engineer.

I only wish that I could be a lady
I’d do the lovely things that a lady’s s’posed to do
I wouldn’t even mind if only they would pay me
Then I could be a person too.

What price for a woman?
You can buy her for a ring of gold,
To love and obey, without any pay,
You get a cook and a nurse for better or worse
You don’t need a purse when a lady is sold.

Oh, but now the times are harder and me Jimmy’s got the sack;
I went down to Vicker’s, they were glad o have me back.
But I’m a third-class citizen, my wages tell me that
But I’m a first-class engineer!

The boss he says “We pay you as a lady,
You only got the job because I can’t afford a man,
With you I keep the profits high as may be,
You’re just a cheaper pair of hands. ”

You got one fault, you’re a woman;
You’re not worth the equal pay.
A bitch or a tart, you’re nothing but heart,
Shallow and vain, you’ve got no brain,

Well, I listened to my mother and I joined a typing pool
Listened to my lover and I put him through his school
If I listen to the boss, I’m just a bloody fool
And an underpaid engineer
I been a sucker ever since I was a baby
As a daughter, as a mother, as a lover, as a dear
But I’ll fight them as a woman, not a lady
I’ll fight them as an engineer!

Words and music by Peggy Seeger in 1970
Copyright Stormking Music, Inc.
Recorded by Frankie Armstrong- Out of Love, Maccoll & Seeger – At
The Present Moment

Singing in Harmony -12th March 2016

So I am having a sabbatical from weekend workshops this year APART from this its a very special one off occasion.unknown1

IMG_0161I love Saturday workshops at the Bishopsgate Institue, and though I was curating the seasonal Saturday workshops I decided to curate it to me!P1090765

We shall be covering songs from several regions of the African Continent and some Folk.

It is a great way to have a sing without having to commit to a regular group and a lovely way to spend a Saturday. Very close to Liverpool Street Station and the glorious SpitalfieldsMarket


you can book via this link.

First Video – 3 Bucket Jones

My three  weekly choirs are enjoying a lovely autumn term…Bishoosgate Singers going Acapella Soul and Funk, The Tubthumping Chorus doing mostly protest songs and my primary school choir loving Space Oddity.

I am having a very creatively balanced time at the moment, because when you run choirs or anything where you give out a lot, it is important to do something creative yourself. Before secondary music teachers had to work so hard they all were in  bands , orchestras etc as it feeds you so you have more to give back. Now its harder, so I am lucky…

I am making pop videos now for my new band 3 Bucket Jones…here is the first one..that I mostly filmed, much on an iPhone and I edited it all too. Would love you to watch it and share it. It is gentle moving and atmospheric. The song is called Draw a Line in the Sand. Let me know….


The new book is out by myself and the fantabulous Alison Burns.  The book is mostly acapella songs, but there are chord symbols and several optional piano accompaniments too. One of the wonderful features of the book is the audio. When you buy the book you get a cd with 156 tracks of every individual part. Also you can audition all the songs as FULL PERFORMANCES of them sung by myself, Sheena Masson, Nickomo and Andrew McCrorie-Shand

Here is a full performance version of Time after Time it is gorgeous!IMG_5749

Community Voiceworks…Is out!

IMG_5749The labour of love that is Community Voiceworks, that Alison Burns and I have been working on for three years is out and available to buy from many shops and online sources. 43 songs for community  choirs with audio for every track! This is Val Regan (one of the composer/choral director contributors) and I celebrating its new shininess this weekend!

Happy Birthday Bob Dylan

And so happily to celebrate the man’s birthday I get a real special treat. A Bob Dylan Track I have recorded as a 14 piece acapella group is being played tonight on a special show on Severn FM to celebrate Bob’s big day. on Alex Huskisson’s show the Mystery Train. Last week he played a 3 Bucket Jones track which you can hear on one of his catch up shows.

so here is Bob on Letterman a few days ago looking quite like Alice Cooper’s long lost brother…




City of London Acapella

So it is 10 years since the Bishopsgate Singers

started with 15 singers. Over the years it has peaked at 75 with a waiting list and now we are running at 40-50. fear not! we continue to  sing with valiant voices and the choir seems to just be getting stronger and more lovely. Tomorrow we start our journey into the Acapella land of Country and Western with songs such as ‘I am a Man of Contstant Sorrow’, ‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘Your Cheating Heart’, ‘(ghost) Riders in the Sky’ and hopefully some real cracking stuff like Jolene etc…very exciting. it is not too late to book for the term which stats tomorrow at 6.30 PM. Autumn term we are going to be doing funk and soul…



images-1After much sweat and almost tears the shop is now  BELOW IS THE LINK ..please drop in .

3 bucket jones – the shop

We open for business!

It is going well…A little bit of a headache with the digital downloads at first, but slowly with  a little help from my friends it is all working well. I am quite proud of myself…A cottage industry is emerging! It seems that ordering the real CD is working. Sales are happening slowly and steadily but it is a  slow process, as  many people think  about buying the CD and then don’t get round to it in this busy world, so at the moment I am reliant on the real movers and a shakers who have seen the process to the end…and have got their lovely CDs arriving through the post..thanks…if you have not yet…there is no hurry!

People tell me it can take a year from the cd coming out… if you are creating your own buzz . I imagine the difference between working in a large chain store ( a major label) and setting  your own pitch at the farmers market ( independent trader) it might be harder work but it feels good.

Now I am starting to send CDs to Radio Stations and Blog reviewers and such like.

Have just got a little slot on Croydon Radio (proud)..they will be playing Mended several times over the next month…baby steps…baby steps….


you stopped the rain jpegI am quite excited about this – the final of the five songs I have completed this month, as part of the songwriting course with the London Song Company. It is completely acapella…even did an impersonation of a bass drum, snare and  high hat…the beat box workshop I went on last year with Jason Singh finally paid off!

Now a few of my friends have had problems playing the songs on sound cloud -it should be as straightforward as clicking the big orange  arrow/play button above….any problems let me know.

I have now got the songwriting bug again. If only there were more hours in the day!

Would love you to have a listen. More sunny days please. x

Singing in Harmony


Its been an absolute age since I posted a blog. The monthly newsletter has sort of taken over a bit. I only send it to people who subscribe, so it means ‘ bloggin cloggin’ is a thing of the past! ( when I was posting everyday in 2011!). The sun is beckoning through the window. The most exciting thing I am doing at the moment for myself at the moment is a weekly songwriting course…just for six weeks, but we have to write a song every week. I have just written my second song and am suffering from extreme over-excitedness! I had forgotten how much fun the songwriting process is…Will compile them all at the end for listens….

Back to the matter in hand, I am very happy to be running the occasional  local Saturday workshop that I can get to in the same day!   ( I have  run workshops in Cardiff, Lancaster, Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire in the last 4 weekends – all completely lovely days but some have been real treks of love)

SINGING IN HARMONY is  happening this Saturday if you fancy it, or know of anyone who wants to do a one off day of lovely  harmony singing, all learned by ear,  with yours truly, in a great district of London, very close to Liverpool Street Station. Here is the Link.

Right …back to the records x

London Community Choirs

Happy New Year! I was thinking about the new year that is upon us and how excited I am to be running THREE Community choirs in good old London Town in 2013. It is interesting how people get to join and find us. As none of the three choirs have the name ‘community choir’ in their titles, they fly under the radar a bit, and most people join because of word of mouth, which is a wonderful thing.

A community choir, as I am lead to understand, it is a group that usually has no auditions and does not tend to use notation – so it is singing for all, both experienced, inexperienced and returning singers…it’s like the idea comprehensive model…everyone grows. No judges, we sing because we love it….we ‘share’ not perform…none can ask for a refund…the audience always get a chance to join in.

Of course different groups will suit different singers. I have heard it told, oo aaarrr, that my choirs have a level of difficulty, due to the fact that some of my choral  arrangements  are sometimes  quite challenging. The thing is, we have weeks of practicing, and going over things over and over, in little bite sized chunks and I put recordings of all the parts on my website, so singers get to download,  listen to them on the train, in the car, while jogging ( perish the thought!) Only once did a newcomer run from the building at the end of the first session because he said he would never keep up. I pleaded, but he would not have it….I blame myself…who else is there to blame? If he had stayed he would have been fine, as people in community choirs are team players, help each other, not every one is as experienced to begin with. When a group has been running for a while, and The Bishopsgate Singers has been going for over 7 years, people will naturally become more experienced and delight in the challenge of some meaty pieces, but still welcome newcomers every term. Our repertoire spans so many genres, last term we ‘did ‘ the 80’s. This term we are going to visit Gershwin, Cole Porter, Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones, for starters!

The Tubthumping Chorus  -a choir nestling under the large umbrella of ‘folk’ repertoire which starts in about a week will not leap into challenging vocal arrangements straightaway, but I do like to challenge people, and if you teach with bravery and a clear vision, having confidence, knowing where the finishing  line is , and your singers are up for the challenge and willing to stay with the journey I think we can try all sorts of music. If you are not  so brave, your musical choices can be a bit limited sometimes.

The Acland Burghley Harmony SIngers are about to start their official second term on Jan 30th.  I am attaching a video taken on a shonky little camera of one of the songs we shared for the first time at the end of our first 6 week season. This again is what I would describe as a real community choir – run by the school, The choir is a mixture of teachers, parents and locals, which means I get to recognise more of my neighbours, so the community choir is not just abut the singing, it is about making connections – and new friends.

Singing is a wonderful thing…so much fun! Someone said about a certain  type of  community singing they were doing it was like  collective howling at the moon. I liked that a lot. Singing with other people is A blast! And it is meant to fun. Making connections with your community through song…it just gets better and better. One thing I have noticed over the years is how many really special friendships have been made through people singing together in community choirs. May the friendships and the singing together  continue . X x x x x x

The Partington Family Singers – Go Tell Aunt Rhody


Another groovy old find from a cassette. Much earlier that the one yesterday. I am 6 my sister 5 and my brother 3. It was recorded on a reel to reel by a man who hung a microphone in the middle of our dinning room. Mum and Dad were recording a few songs to make a record for charity and thought it would be nice for us to sing on one.  I sang verse one, sister verse 2 and brother verse 3 (quite a feat at the age of 3!). The reel to reel is long gone, and I found the cassette which has always had a little edit on it as I think we did a few takes, and brother had much more interesting things to do than sing ….I mean when your three. there are toys to play with! I had another go at editing it (only my family will notice)

This photo is the only photo we have of us pre-performance. We once  did a big concert in Wigan  -Mum and Dad’s hometown ( probably about the time we sang  yesterday’s rendition of Deck the Halls). I think that might have been our swan song gig too!

Once again, a link for those with fancy ipaddy things….

click here for soundcloud link

The Partington Family Singers -Deck the Halls

I think this may have been a couple of christmases before the recording. That's me in the middle.

I think this may have been a couple of christmases before the recording. That’s me in the middle.

Oh my! It is nostalgia time. I blame radio 6 and the chat over a ginger beer in the pub last night. I have trillions of old cassettes and found this gem….my family all singing ‘Deck the Halls’ together in the early 1970’s. I think I remember us singing it at a little concert and someone had an old cassette recorder. Watch out for the nasty hissy stuff….can’t believe the cassette still works! I am sure I might be able to clean it up and get rid of all the nasty hiss, but as a piece of history, well you cannot beat it. That’s my little brother with the cut glass soprano voice at the top. with me and sis in the middle, mum on tenor and our very patient Dad on bass. Ah memories. I think we spent as much time fighting as singing, near the end of our singing career as a family…. but I think we sounded rather fine.

More to brace yourselves.

Merry Christmas ho ho ho.

Weird just tried to listen to this on someone’s fancy shmancy iPad and the soundcloud link did not come up. so if you are loved up with an iPad you might have to go to my soundcloud page until I sort out what the problem is…..curious xlink here

The Tubthumping Chorus

I am running a new choir at the Bishopsgate Institute in the new year called The Tubthumping Chorus. Singing songs that might shelter under the umbrella of “folk” is rather a good description, and means we will be singing a really WIDE selection of repertoire. The  75 strong Amazing Bishopsgate Singers will continue to ROCK on a Monday night. I think we are going to try out a few songs from the old shows, more jazzy numbers in the near future  …Here is THE LINK for the TBTC and a quick snapshot of what the link looks like below.


It had better be something under the umbrella of ‘folk’ to be in keeping with the day’s post. The Robert Shawe Chorale from the 1960’s…ah you can’t beat the sound of the all male choir. It is really too fast to be doing the particular task  linked with this particular sea shanty. I have been very influenced by this type of arrangement. I think I must have listened to a lot of songs like this when I was in the womb!

24 hour Song and Video Challenge!

I want you to try it. Write a song, record it, film the video, edit it and put it on youtube in 24 hours! Follow my example..It might be fun….The rules are

1. You can also only buy essentials such as tin foil, sellotape and string,

2. Everyone who  is involved in the ‘behind the scenes’ has to take part musically and be seen in the video.

Here is our finished article..I have to admit that the song is based on my ‘warm up of the week’..which I had already made up. But even so….it was not a song before. Someone asked me ‘why’ and my reply would be ‘why not?’. It is quite fun when being ‘creative’ ( if that what you call it) to put some rules and boundaries on yourself. I think the finished product is quite lovely, especially the rocket and the wigs.)

Arrangement of the Week

Another technical milestone has been crossed -I can get soundcloud to show up on my blog..yippee! So I am going to start having a PAGE which shares the latest song I have arranged into acapella. This will be on a heading at the top of my (ahem) website, always sounds a bit pretentious…… still. But as I have got the hang of it I am going to post another song here just so I can practice my newly found skill. This is a version I finished about 2 weeks ago of a Pet Shop Boys song called West End Girls, for our 80’s season this term at the Bishopsgate Singers.