Concert Day – Snow, Snow ….. quick, quick ….. Snow

11 Dec

Hi everyone

Hooray we did it! We gave 2 wonderful performances of our Happy Holidays concert, both to rapturous applause and a standing ovation.

We got through all those words, stood up, sat down, stayed still, and sang in all the right parts.  We ploughed through snow, snow, snow and didn’t once become adrift. Wow we were fine and dandy, weren’t we?

 

Hallelujah! Weren't we good?

The men couldn’t resist being fine and dandy too

 

It was a long and fully packed day at the Sage, but we managed to pull through fortified by coffee and eating our own body weight in Mince Pies. Some of us tried to be good with the daytime treats, not because we are dieting (that doesn’t happen at this time of year) but more so that we needed to leave room for a Christmas Meal between performances. At the end of the day, those of us still left standing even had room for a few drinks with friends and family.

 

"I'm only staying for one drink"

“I’m only staying for one though”

 

The orchestra rehearsal started before lunch (about 10am Inspiration-time). We marvelled at the orchestral numbers, ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the strings, and became transfixed by watching the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Gary at work. I had to keep reminding myself to participate and not just sit their dumbstruck.  We quickly rattled through the rehearsal with no hiccoughs.

Getting on stage was our only worry as at the end of our row the step was missing, causing a rather large drop to be negotiated down to our places. This was sorted for the performances, but in the dress rehearsal we ended up having to weave in and out between rows to avoid abseiling into place. Our worry was that we wouldn’t know for definite that the step had been added until the real performance itself, by which time we would be committed to filing neatly on stage and not able to avoid the drop. Secretly I was so glad that we weren’t doing ‘Carol of the Bells’ this year, as this meant I could clamber down the drop without having to worry about knocking my clapper and inadvertently letting out a tinkle 😉

The rehearsal was so slick and smooth that we didn’t want to jinx it continued straight into Act 2 without a break.

 

We remembered not to adjust or fiddle with our clothing during the concerts

We remembered not to adjust or fiddle with our clothing during the concerts

 

The lovely soloists in ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ did us proud; well done Sara, Katherine, Denise, Susie, Laura and Angela. My back was really hurting by this point, so I closed my eyes to listen to the orchestral ‘Christmas Fantasy’ and was transported away for a short while. It’s made me vow to come to see a classical concert, anyone fancy joining me on a sophisticated night out?

We discovered that in ‘Jesus You Are Him’ we wouldn’t be able to look at one another, as it was a definite ‘lip wobbler’. Then before you know it we were onto singing Hallelujah with a Geordie inflection, followed by our conga line practice for going on and off stage. We were then free to roam and eat more chocolates.

 

There was time to practice keeping ourselves together

There was time to practice keeping ourselves together

 

We refuelled with our 2nd lunch of the day, and started to get ready for our performances.

Preparations for the concert began in earnest.

  • Change knickers underwear – CHECK
  • Pick the bits of cake off the Christmas Cards you had spent hours writing and go off to deliver them – CHECK
  • Fill out Weight Watchers tracker. Is Vodka and Orange classed as 1 of your 5 a day fruits? – CHECK
  • Drink medicinal Port – CHECK
  • Go to the loo five times just in case – CHECK
  • Wrestle discreetly into your stockings whilst still sitting in your seat  – CHECK
  • Step into high heels for 5 seconds (some of the women did this too) – CHECK
  • Discard high heels in favour of walking boots or slippers – CHECK
  • Apply lippy (see earlier sarcy comment about high heels) – CHECK ………. READY

 

The Wendy Wagonners arrived safely for the matinee

The Wendy Wagonners arrived safely for the matinee

 

Just before the matinee performance started, behind stage there was a bit of a panic as we couldn’t remember the order of the line up. So there was lots of arm waving and stage whispers of ‘I’m sure I wasn’t standing next to you’, but we got there in the end and filed onto the stage correctly. Luckily for us and the audience the big drop had been fixed, and we were able to step neatly into our places.

 

Gary gave the universal sign for big breath and we were off

Gary gave the universal sign for big breath and we were off

 

Both performances went without a hitch. The highlights for me were ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, surviving the faster ‘Snow’, and for once getting the right notes in ‘White Christmas’. I absolutely love ‘Believe’ too as the words get me every time.

Between concerts there was enough time to quickly recuperate, rest, and change shoes. I tried to beg some food off someone who hadn’t eaten theirs at 10am, then remembered I was going for a posh meal in the restaurant.  It was a real treat to have a proper meal, rather than the squashed sandwich, 3 mince pies and box of chocolates I would have normally had. I even managed a little wine, though some might say I had been managing a little whine in some of my dodgy notes in ‘Christmas Day’.

The evening performance seemed bigger and brighter. I was flagging a bit at this point, but managed to get through. Again I wandered off in the orchestral pieces, but this time I was daydreaming and trying to remember what a Cor Anglais was. It was something I remembered from school, but I wasn’t sure if it was an instrument or part of a Great British Bake Off dessert challenge set by Mary Berry.

Then in a flash it was all over. We were patting ourselves on the back and rubbing our feet (although not at the same time as that would be silly).

After settling into the shock of an early start on a Saturday I enjoyed both concerts. It’s a marathon day, but I enjoyed singing with everyone, watching the orchestra, and being part of Inspiration. This term has flown by and I can’t believe it’ll be Christmas soon. Thanks to Gary, Sue and Mark for all your hard work; plus of course Santa’s little helpers Mallory, Sheila, Jill and Lindsay.

Good luck to everyone singing in the Echo concert, and of course a big wave of support for Leeds Inspirationers.

For anyone who may not have seen this recording here is a clip of ‘The First Noel’ – it’s a bit of a sideways view but it is still lovely – enjoy!

 

Happy Christmas and see you soon.

Lorraine xx

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2 Responses to “Concert Day – Snow, Snow ….. quick, quick ….. Snow”

  1. bob gladwin December 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Dear Lorraine Thanks again for the lovely blog which will be missed tremendously over Christmas. I hope you have a lovely one and that you are going to New York with us next April. Kindest personal regards and Christmas wishes. Bob Gladwin Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:57:34

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  1. Christmas Time: Rehearsals and Rennies… | Beth Margaret Taylor - December 13, 2013

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