Community News: The Chapel Sessions Story

A guest post by Sonja and John Davison, Chapel Sessions hosts. Eastleigh

chapelChapel Sessions is a community led, not for profit occasional music series in the acoustically acclaimed Victorian Chapel in Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, on the shores of Southampton Water.

Volunteers are crucial to the success of the Sessions and it’s one of the only venues you can get to suggest your favourite artist or band and possibly even end up providing hospitality

Past artists have included musicians from far and wide including May 2013 from New York -Nell Bryden plus Sam Bradley and Herbie Armstrong; November 2013 from Nashville -Jenn Bostic with Emma Stevens, Daisy Chapman, Jack Omer; April 2014 from Portland Oregon –Tony Furtado, Benji Kirkpatrick and Nigel Stephens; May 2014 from Sussex Richard Durrant who has just completed a 30+ gig ‘Cycling- Music’ tour of UK raising funds for a Big C’ Cancer therapy Centre; July 2014 Americana with Wood Wire and Words and the Papertrains; and most recently the return of Daisy Chapman to headline with Duo Lily and Meg providing support.

In addition, in October, the skills and expertise of ‘Chapel Sessions’ helped to make the Jubilee Sailing Trust Autumn Pumpkin Festival music stage a great success.

The overall aim is to put on music sessions from all genres toappeal to a wide ranging audience.

It’s important to Chapel Sessions hosts and creators John and Sonja Davison, that these chapel 2artists come as audience recommendations and leave as friends who believe in theethos of the Chapel Sessions – to bring the venue to life whilst respecting it’s past. “We were delighted that during the intervals so many people were socialising, chatting, talking about the concept whilst enjoying the quality music, discussing the venue itself and interacting with one another.

So many music venues you go to and either stand like sardines for ages before it starts or sit in a row, and often don’t even have an interval and then you leave. Not exactly a social interaction! It was always intended to make this different and it looks like it is working!”

The success of Chapel Sessions will continue by encouraging even more people to attend and support this local community based initiative so follow and interact with us on Twitter @chapel_sessions and on Facebook ‘Chapel Sessions’ Page.

No expenses are charged by John and Sonja Davison. It is run entirely on a volunteer basis for the love of it. Thanks for supporting Chapel Sessions and helping us make our long held dream a reality. We are always looking for extra people with skills to help us achieve our goal and help us sell tickets as well as volunteering on the day and putting fliers through

At most Chapel Sessions we have a specialist coffee cart in addition to the real ale bar from which we get a small percentage but great service and quality. A small raffle is important too as it helps give a little extra income.

Raffle prizes are always welcome and much appreciated. Recently we have teamed up with a lovely lady called Hazel from the Music Postbox, High Street, West End who not only sells the best selection of music gifts, cards and sheet music around, she has also agreed to help sell our Chapel Sessions

Tickets for a small commission which gives us a face to face contact for ticket sales as well as helping to promote her own longheld dream to set up her small but friendly and ever growing music shop. We feel it is important to interact with the help of people in the small business community so that we can offer our audience the best possible Chapel Sessions experience. We look forward to welcoming you to Chapel!

Follow the Chapel Session on Twitter

About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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