Monday, 21 January 2013

And we're off!

Fear ye not, the title of this post is not a warning of impending horse puns following the Tesco burger outrage. No, I simply refer to the fact that 2013 is off and running, naay galloping towards our first singing engagement of the new year.

But whoa! What else has happened since Christmas? Well, changes are afoot with regard to Loughborough Male Voice Choir publicity. After about four years of producing the choir's website, Jeff Berrisford has asked me if I would like to take up the reins. He rather feels it needs a fresh pair of eyes and with a bit of web-design behind me during my days as a reflexologist I thought I would give it a go. But, handling that as well as publicity might prove too much. So into the saddle steps Ruth!

In truth, Ruth (struth?) has already written one or two concert reviews for the Echo when I  have been too busy, so it shouldn't prove too difficult a transition. Indeed websites and publicity do go hand-in-hand so the two of us working together should work quite well. I am now on a steep web-design learning curve but hope to have the new look LMVC website up in a few weeks in some shape or form.

As for actual singing, we are rapidly approaching our first concert of the year with a return visit to the Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton, where Enchanted will again be our guests with the addition of the Stanton Vale School Choir. It should be great providing the somewhat iffy weather relents a bit, allowing Joe Public to tear himself away from Dancing on Ice! 

We chaps are making a slow transition to a different repertoire for 2012-13 which will bring a few songs from the back catalogue back to the fore. For example a song called Swansea Town was apparently sung by the choir quite a few years ago and has been reintroduced for the next season or two. Be warned though - if you are apt to suffer from sea-sickness, you may be well advised to leave the hall for this one ;-) You will know what I mean when you hear it.

Meanwhile, the choir continues to enjoy an extraordinary surge in membership with Derrick, Peter, Jeff, Barry, Dai and Tim all hopping aboard the good ship LMVC. I'm not entirely sure why it is happening but long may it continue. Peter's addition has been particularly welcome as it must have slashed the choir's average age by about 20 years! Hopefully it will encourage other younger guys to come along and have a go too.

And so to the Caroline Sharpe Singers. This eclectic mix of souls goes from strength to strength and following the triumph of the Woodhouse Eaves concert, the Caz-meister has lined up some exciting new stuff for us such as the wonderful Masquerade from Phantom of the Opera. In the stage show it requires a big choir to give it plenty of 'welly' (technical singing term), but given our magnificent rendition of I Believe, I think we will be fabulous. And masks are a must I think!

Saturdays first rehearsal of 2013 also saw us have a crack at a piece called Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner. This couldn't be more different from Masquerade that's for sure so I'm looking forward to seeing how this one develops over the next few weeks.

But what plans for Al the soloist I hear you cry? Well, in March I have ABRSM Grade 5 to 'look forward to'. At least I now know what to expect after last year. Fingers crossed I don't get Mr Grumpy this time. I'm fortunate in that in two of the categories I am able to sing songs that I've covered before: Where e're You Walk and On the Street Where You Live. This takes away some of the donkey work out of learning words. I could also try Pleasant and Delightful for the unaccompanied folk song, but the jury is still out on that one. The one song that is completely new to me is Like to a Linden Tree Am I by Dvorak, which is a lovely little song. So I have about eight weeks to perfect that little lot, plus the dreaded aural questions. Eeeeeck!?!

So it's busy, busy, busy at Chateau Knightthorpe right now. See y'all in Long Eaton next Saturday? Miss it if you dare!

Cheers for now,

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