Social evening

Mulling over the quiz questions

TUESDAY 18th February was our spring term social evening.

I’ll only add a short post for this event to have the record of it for our members.

This year we decided against fish and chips and, instead, everyone brought contributons – providing chili, baked potato, salad, quiche etc buffet. We also enjoyed some bite size rocky road to finish off with – yum. As usual, on the food front, the girls did themselves proud – and I’m happy to say there was far too much delicious food for us to eat!

Being a foodie – I’m so glad we’re as good at cooking and organising a spread as we are at singing. 🙂

Joy provided a marvellous quiz with picture, lyrics, addresses and potluck rounds. There was much hilarity when one of our team shouted out the first answer rather than writing it down,  all adding to the light-hearted ambience of the evening. Still, we were all in the same boat and we soon got the hang of it! It was a good mix of questions – so everyone managed to get a fair few right while still having challenges with some.

Many hands make light work, and with everyone washing, drying, putting away, clearing furniture and vacuuming soon there was no evidence of the wonderful fun evening with our lovely friends in the choir.

Thanks to everyone for their help and contributions, and especially to Brenda for organising us and Joy for the quiz.

Vocal Workshop evening – resounding success

TUESDAY 21st January, the choir hosted a vocal workshop attracting 12 new faces.

Julie Aherne our talented and inspiring musical director put together a fun evening of rounds and chants interspersed with 2 songs we will be singing in the concert.

Everyone was fully engaged, and we made a fantastic sound together. While practising the rounds we experienced singing differing tunes at the same time, preparing the ground for singing in parts for the concert pieces.

By the end of the first half we were able to tackle Va pensiero, by Verdi – better known as the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. An operatic piece which, with Julie’s excellent explanations, we were able to tackle the words and annunciation reasonably well. Soon after learning the notes we sang the piece through and Julie pronounced our singing as really lovely. A fantastic feat for our newly formed group for the evening.

We repeated the same format for the second half and were able to finish the evening with a rousing rendition of Bring him home, from Les Miserables. Which everyone was very pleased with.

Mention must be made of several cakes which we happily enjoyed in the break and added to the special feel of the evening.

Our thanks to Julie for her hard work, Camilla with her expertise in accompanying us, the choir for making everyone so welcome (and bringing cakes providing tea and coffee), and of course our amazing guests who were brave enough to join a strange group of people and sing out loud! – Well done everyone!

A Postcript –  50% of our guests came back – and joined us.

A Ceremony of Carols – Christmas concert review

Our Christmas concert lived up to the expectations of the choir and the audience with a wonderful programme spanning from the atmospheric classical Britten piece – A Ceremony of Carols – to popular songs and traditional Carols.

We opened with the Britten and with the help of the amazing Cecily Beer, accompanying us on the harp, and soloist Camilla Jeppeson, gave a thoughtful and characterful performance. There was a real feel of a wintry Christmas and times past as we progressed through the piece.

Turning our attention to the ubiquitous Rutter the audience were delighted with the better known Nativity Carol and Star Carol pieces.

We were all treated to a sparkling duet by Camilla Jeppeson, Soprano (usually our accompanist) and Cecily Beer, Harpist (resident harpist at the Waldorf Hotel). Two songs: A hymn to the Virgin and Jesukin, and in the second half Camilla performed the delightful piece ‘Ah! Je veux vivre’ from Roméo et Juliette, this time accompanied by our own Musical Director Julie Aherne. Working with our choir their responsibilities are the other way about, so it was lovely to hear them together in roles they are better known for (check out their websites to see how lucky we are to have them).

It was wonderful to experience these top-class musicians performing at our Concert, topped off with a solo, in the second half, from Cecily Beer on the harp. An intriguing piece Clair de Noël – Christmas variations on Clair de lune.

The concert also featured audience participation Carols and these were enthusiastically attempted by everyone. A complimentary supper provided by members of the choir, and our popular hamper raffle were both enjoyed in the interval.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the John Lewis Adverts so we gave suitable service to three of the charming songs used in recent years. Your song, Somewhere Only We Know, and The Power of Love (Frankie goes to Hollywood). These were enthusiastically received and our splendid renditions, no doubt stopped John Lewis profits from plummeting even more this year!

The choir offered solo performances: White Christmas beautifully sung by Sue Campbell, Karen Ballard, Connie Pierre and, by Rosalind Taylor joining with the choir singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. These popular Christmas standards were rapturously applauded by our appreciative audience.

With a light reading from Brenda Frost about a little lamb’s experience of the first Christmas and finishing with a magical version of O Holy night the choir once again gave a concert we can be proud of, with something in it for everyone. A varied programme we felt able to tackle due to the tireless encouragement, skills and patience of Julie Aherne.

Don’t miss our next concert on Saturday 28th March 7:30 pm when will be exploring the idea of Home and what it means to us near and far.