Monday, 30 May 2011

Singing in Queens Park

On the morning of Sunday 29th May, I got up, threw open the curtain to see. . .

Clouds! Oh well, it could be worse. At least it wasn't bucketing down with rain so one should be thankful for that at least. With the driest March and April on record, I suppose it was pushing things somewhat to expect the unfeasibly warm spring to continue to the end of May for my second public performance with the Loughborough Male Voice Choir. Today was the day for an open air concert in Queens Park, Loughborough. Some inspired individuals at Charnwood Borough Council, obviously with our concert in mind, decided in the weeks before the concert to completely renew the bandstand's roof with a nice paint job inside too. Nice job guys!

So, after one final, last minute attempt to get to grips with When the Saints Go Marching In, I donned the uniform and made my way to the park and it's newly revamped bandstand. Just as I arrived I gave Chris Higgins a helping hand withthe equipment including the new technology that was to hopefully solve the problems encountered last year when the choir had to resort to singing unaccompanied. This time a large battery plus an 'inverter' would it was hoped, power Sue's keyboard for the duration of the gig. Fingers crossed!

Loughborough Male Voice Choir under the Bandstand at Queens Park, Loughborough

As 1.45pm approached, choir members arrived one by one. The first major decision to be made was to decide which direction to sing in. With that agreed we were then ready to get cracking and by this time an encouraging number of folks had ignored the dull grey skies and assembled on the benches surrounding the bandstand. Not 'One Man and His Dog' as I feared, but a veritable audience! Chris kicked off proceedings with With a Voice of Singing which is always a good one to give a good rousing start. This was another personal triumph for me as I just about managed to get through it without music. You regular blog readers will recall I timidly sat this one out on my debut at Trinity Church last month! Okay, bereft of music, I was a bit dodgy in the middle, but it is getting there. In fact that probably describes my performance as a whole on reflection. Next up was Myvanwy which is fast becoming a personal favourite of mine - I guess it's my welsh blood.

LMVC with Chris Hill conducting

I won't bore you by listing the entire programme, but I feel highlight must be made of the vast improvement in the 'ra-da-da-da-dahs' in Chanson d'amour, which were almost approaching 'breathy and sexy' as opposed to 'agricultural'! Also, Chris Hill quite wisely I think, chose to ditch Amarillo in favour of Every Time We Say Goodbye. The collective sigh of relief from the choir was huge!  My own personal nightmare continues to be When the Saints Go Marching In. Oh dear, oh dear! Will I ever get this one right? One day my friends, one day. . . .
That's me in the middle with John Holt to my left and Peter Bateman to my right.

The award for the hilarious moment of the day came courtesy of our intrepid accompanist Sue. I forget which song it was, maybe When the Saints, but as she started to play, a bizarre noise emitted from the keyboard, bringing cheers from all!

So all in all, a great afternoon. The weather stayed fine if a little dull with just the occasional gust of wind turning my music over at the most inconvenient moments. Special mention must also be made to the audience who turned up in good numbers with my dear wife contributing numerous  appreciative 'whoops' of delight after each song. Thanks to all my 'fan club' including Ruth, Julia, Diane and Caroline for their support.

I will leave you with some more photographs of the event. Keep your eyes open for a glowing report in the Loughborough Echo, penned by Ruth. They had better print it or else!!!

Cheers for now,

Th Loughborough Male Voice Choir in fine voice

Chris Hill conducting

John Holt and me behind.
Note  that while we're both second tenors, only one appears to be singing at this moment
- not an uncommon occurrence it must be said!

I really am not drunk as this photo might suggest. Honest!
.Here I am enjoying a welcome swig of APPLE JUICE during a break.

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