This was our second outing to the community choirs festival and it once again was a fantastic day out for the choir.
Our numbers were about 20 up on last year so we have a nice mix of those who had done it before and those who were new to it.
We set off in our lovely big coach being driven by the lovely Andy and arrived in Stratford with time for a cup of tea.
For those who may not have been before most of the action takes part in a massive sports hall. The room is divided into four main voice parts soprano, alto, tenor and bass and it was lovely to see that some feedback from last year had been taken on board and the parts were simply described for those who may not use those terms.
As a natural voice practitioner I dont use terms like sopranos and altos but tend to divide along the lines of high, middle, low. I had given a bit of a pep talk to the choir members going down on the coach about the best place to sit so with the added bonus of the signs this was really easily dealt with.
We learnt two songs together. The first was a lovely Wassail song with some gorgeous crunchy chords. The second was a freedom song whose melody was very recognisable as the theme tune from the film review show on BBC. This was a much more challenging song and I think a lot of my choir struggled with some of the semitones. That being said it was lovely to hear it being sung in the hall with so many voices and the ending was a joy. I also think its good to have a challenge.
Then we had lunch and Voices Entwined took over a corner of the sports hall and happily busked our way though Yellow Bird and When I walk down the street. This is the photo above.
In the afternoon we learnt a fantastic part song called Mo Better Blues and I will be definetely doing that in choir. We also did a round with Roger Jackson. I love rounds! I spent most of the time getting incredibly excited listening to it being sung in the hall.
Finally we moved onto a South African Anti aparthied song. Some of the choir were a bit worried about the words but knowing something quite similar I assured them it would be fab! It was more than fab! It was spectacular and we even danced! I loved this one and sung it with sheer joy and jubilation and passion. Exactly how it should be!
Then we had another break and rehearsed for the concert. We only did one run through. It was all we needed and it was great to have some friends in to watch us sing.
Its a full day because then the concert started. As last year the varierty is breathtaking. Considering all of the choirs are non-auditionining and all sing unaccompanied the range is awesome. We also got to have a singalong to Wild Mountain Thyme thanks to Bruce Knight. We thoroughly enjoyed the concert everyone was brilliant!
Voices Entwined were on last but one and I had lost my pitchpipe! I tuned up with my ever trusty IPAD. We did a stonking job of both songs. We kicked off very fast with Billy Joel but I think the sheer adrenaline and excitement of it means we all put so much energy into it. I was so impressed though as even though we sang it at a tempo we have never sang it at before it was tight, in tune, full of passion, energy, dynamics and I am so impressed with the flexibility of everyone on that stage. Pokeare was sung with the tenderness we have managed in every rehearsal and it was simply beautiful. I had a lot of comments about how much people enjoyed our performance.
Then it was time to go home so we all trundled back to the coach. I must admit we were all a bit tired but we managed a bit of a sing on the coach and everyone said what a great time they had.
For any choirs considering the event I really cannot recommend it enough! It is a lovely day out.
Thank you to Hilary, Ros, Bruce and Roger who once again did an amazing job of teaching all the parts. I would love to be on the stage to hear how it sounds from there as from within the mass of people it was magical!
Thank you to Helen and all of the other people who put so much time into the event. I email Helen more than my close friends and family and she was so very kind to us this year and I appreciated all of her help.
Thank you finally to my choir members who worked so hard and despite being at the end of a long and tiring day did an amazing performance. I also want to thank those from choir who could not come. Your support is also much appreciated and we shall look forrward to our next outing.