An even better, wetter concert

1 Apr

A concert to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic

Hi everyone

Hooray we did it, what a concert!

We all sang our hearts out to Nan on the iceberg and managed to bring together a dramatic, sad and poignant concert interspersed with elements of fun hopefully all in the right places. It was an X-factor rollercoaster of emotions from the goosebumps of ‘Shenandoah’, to the excitement of the orchestra’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, to the fun dancing and hilarity of learning the words in ‘Under the sea’, and of course the bum clenching terror of being a right minger in ‘The Sea Symphony’.

As there was only one performance the day started a bit later than usual. We spent the morning listening to the choir in the foyer, drinking coffee and preparing ourselves for the big sing ahead. Our preparations included resting our voices talking non-stop, taking care of ourselves running around ripping the house apart to look for a 40p eye patch, and taking it easy screaming at taxi drivers to turn back to pick up the forgotten eye patch. As consummate professionals we practiced our ‘Dear mother of God – iceberg’ faces, first to each other, then later in the mirror whilst standing in the toilet queue.

Trying a bit too hard ........

Better but still not right ..........

Perfect!

A large part of the morning was taken up trying to book Seth Lakeman tickets (18th October if you fancy joining us), a process which took longer than learning ‘Lady of the Sea’ for the concert. It was the surge of 9 people trying to book at once that caused the problem 🙂

Before we’d even had time to confirm our Seth bookings we were called to the dress rehearsal. We lined up in our places and silently did the conga onto the stage. The rehearsal started quickly and with little faltering. The Northern Sinfonia added a new layer to our performance with oomph and versatility. I had to keep pinching myself as a reminder to take part, rather than just being mesmerised by their playing. We had to sing ‘The Sea Symphony’ twice to correct some late minging, but other than that everything seemed to go to plan. We came, we Sea’d saw, we conga-d.

Before we knew it the dress rehearsal had finished and we were sailing towards the start of the concert. A quick check on Seth proved fruitless, so we went to eat and do our ritual concert preparations:

  • Drink plenty of alcohol, coffee water – CHECK
  • Look for eye patch – CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN JUST TO MAKE SURE
  • Eat lots of chocs – CHECK
  • Go to the toilet at least 5 times (even if not required) – CHECK
  • Check out patch not a euphemism and definitely not related to the above point – CHECK
  • Change knickers into performance gear – CHECK
  • Lose/find eye patch – CHECK
  • Superglue eye patch to your head – CHECK

Then the concert started for real. Gary’s pre-concert talk helped us connect emotionally with the words and brought home the scale of the loss of life in the Titanic’s sinking. It did pack a punch when he told us about the 1,500 passengers and crew who lost their lives, and equated this to the numbers in the concert hall. Emotions were ramped up further by Gary’s Nan sat up in the rafters with two of her pals, did you notice them?

The first half was very energetic and we all gave it some ‘welly’. Captain Birdseye Lawrence helped us to ‘Hail Poetry’ and we at last got to don our eye patches. Although they lightened the mood, the patch distribution was a bit ‘patchy’ as elastic broke or patches got stuck in hair clips (tenors we warned you not to wear too many accessories). But one of the basses who shall remain nameless but is called John Emmerson managed to balance it out by wearing two eye patches!

Did you notice him just before he fell off the stage? 😉

In ‘The Sea Symphony’ I didn’t ming at all as I got my ‘see’ and ‘steams’ muddled. After all that rest-2-3-4-1-2-3-ming malarkey I missed it. Isn’t it annoying when you do a brand new mistake in the concert and it comes out of nowhere. At least all of my other mistakes had been well rehearsed.

In ‘Eternal Father’ I could feel the emotion building up, it’s the ‘to those in peril on the sea’ words that do it. The lone violin in ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ was heart breaking and made the reading by Julia all the more poignant. All that wringing of emotion in one concert – not a dry eye in ‘Nearer My God to Thee’, many a damp patch in ‘Hail Poetry’ and many a damp gusset laugh in ‘Under the Sea’. Not forgetting of course the paws pause for the ‘Titanic the movie’ moment with Feline Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’.

Fleaonardo di Catnipo & Kit Whisklet

All in all it was a fabulous concert and I am very proud to be part of it. I loved having a sneaky look around at my friends enjoying themselves and belting out the songs. We seemed to respond to Gary the maestro’s every signal. Well every signal except the dirty dancing 😉

It is great to see and hear our improvements. I think we are going from strength to strength and often shock ourselves. Who’d have thought a few months ago we’d manage ‘The Sea Symphony’ give or take a minger.

The concert ended with a rousing rendition of ‘Bridge over troubled water’ and we all left the stage waving not drowning.

What a great term this has been. A big thanks to Gary for making rehearsals such good fun and memorable.

For next term I’ve found a Super Hero’s song with some excellent choreography. What do you think?

Well done everyone! See you soon.

Look forward to another thrilling concert and being part of another Inspiration experience.

Lorraine x

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