It’s over

IMG_20181031_145528_452.jpg

After 5 days and 6 performances we finished singing with the play Beautiful thing tonight. We did two performances today and I’m shattered. We have had a great time though. The choir was accepted by the cast and crew of the play and the New Vic theatre staff. I think we had a wonderful welcome and great support throughout the run.

Now the play is off to Lancaster to run for a week up there. They will be joined by a new community choir. It would be good to go up and see the actual play (we only saw the bits when we were on stage). It had come up from Bristol after a run down there.

So what next? Back to normal. One of the choirs I’m in (Loud Mouth women) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two musical workshops and a party. Then normal choir practice with Clay chorus the following night.

I’m staggered at how much singing we have done. But it’s been a blast.

Review

DSC_0208

Well we are doing it. Singing to accompany the cast of Beautiful thing. Clay Chorus and some of Loud Mouth women led by Greg Stephens and Kate Barfield. Here I am with the cast members playing Jamie and Ste. I have to say we are having a good time now people are getting over their nerves. We are half way through a run of 6 performances so that’s why I’m not on social media as much. Here is a link to the review of the play .

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife/review-beautiful-thing-new-vic-2167300

I hope you can follow it.

It’s on at the new victoria theatre, Basford¬† Newcastle-under-Lyme until Saturday.

Tech rehearsal…

DSC_0202

We got here today and have been busy sitting around for a lot of the time, interspersed with standing around on the stage being set in position, then singing as loudly and brightly as we can for our songs. I’m shattered, I hope I can keep my energy up for the performance.

To be honest I’m actually enjoying being fitted for a costume (a tee shirt). I brought my own silly blingy jewellery to wear. I’ve actually got some stuff from the 1990s which I was given one Christmas.

The play is called Beautiful Thing at the New Vic theatre at Basford, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Performances run till Saturday and start at 7.30pm.

The play is about the blossoming relationship between two teenage boys. It is set in 1993 and we are singing music by Mama Cass and hits from the 1990s. I hope I don’t break my leg

X

Awake

IMG_20181028_222139_831

I went to bed two hours early (the clocks changed on Sunday night to Greenwich mean time). So now I’m awake…it’s just after 5 am. I was shattered from rehearsing for two seperate things I’m in (only a choir member in one, and three lines in the other as well as singing in the chorus) nothing impressive, but it all takes time to learn. Somehow the rehearsals ended up on the same day, one an hour after the other. So came home, grabbed a sandwich and went out again.

Rehearsing for things can be boring, a lot of standing around if you have a minor part, or full on if you are singing to accompany a show and also going into the acting space. At one stage we have to try and intimidate the audience!

So…..I’m awake and buzzing. I’ve just had a decaff coffee, oh for the joys of cocoa..I will have to buy some. The songs we are singing are spinning, spinning, round in my head oh what a poor soul.

I’m going back to bed and hope to Dream a little dream…sounds like I still have a bit of teen spirit despite my age! Then of course I might shoop in my sleep instead of snoring as I still have this cold ? I would write some more clues to the songs we are singing, but I have forgotten…..a bit if late night/early morning amnesia I think…

Rehearsing again tonight for this weeks show..oh joy!

Singing

IMG_20180929_000004_293

Oh heck, it’s almost time for the first rehearsal at the theatre tonight. We have been practicing as a choir over the last few weeks, but we are not perfect yet. I finally got a CD with the songs on it and I have been trying to learn them as I drive my car…..

Nerves are kicking in and my throat is dry with the cold I have had for the last few days.

The production runs from Tuesday to Saturday including a matinee. I really do want it to go well.

X

Choir

IMG_20180617_131433_540

I sing in a couple of choirs, one which is all female and the other which is a mixed choir. Both of them are acappella, which means unaccompanied by a musical instrument, except perhaps to give us our starting notes.

Summer time is when we do most of our gigs. Both choirs have things coming up. The mixed choir is singing locally this weekend, we will be singing for about 50 minutes, so we need to know a variety of songs. The gig on Saturday will be mostly Summer songs, for instance, “Summer is a coming in”. Some of us know the songs off by heart, and others will be using song sheets.

Both choirs repetoirs are very varied, the female choir knows more international songs like “Meliswe” which is Hoza I think? We also do Maori, French, Creole, Croatian, among many other songs.

I have to say singing in a choir can be wonderful when we get it right, and sometimes a real struggle while we are learning a peice. Recently we sang with another choir (a lung health choir) at a production of a play for four nights. We were singing to add atmosphere to the play, and we sang an arrangement of “cloudbusting” by Kate Bush, over and over again. 12 times on one night! This was while the audience were being led round the auditorium and getting the spooky, cold feeling of the place (we were at an old chapel that is being restored and it was probably the coldest May for years).

The female choir is doing a walkabout in a few weeks round the town centre, singing and then moving on. Our normal choir leader is away on that day so some of us are taking responsibility to lead the choir. It’s not something most of us have ever done. So if you see some confused women singing out of key….it might be us!

Singing aloud

IMG_20180527_002212_450

I sing with an all women a cappella choir and today was our annual trip out to sing in a little country village which holds a music festival every year.

My partner wanted to come along too, which is great,¬† I don’t like leaving him behind, but then he had a massive sneezing fit which lasted 20 minutes!

After getting him to take a hayfever tablet, we set out knowing that I was really late. But it was a beautiful sunny morning. The hedgerows as we headed out of the city were full of blossom. The sky was slightly overcast and the air felt heavy and humid.

We got there just before the choir started its set. We were outside on the canal bank, with a small audience sitting outside the pub on the wharf. We were well recieved despite it being a bit breezy which made it difficult to hear the other singers. Then a short break and off to the local church to sing again.

Memory takes a big part of a capella singing. Remembering the words of songs from around the world isn’t easy. We sing Maori, Hoza, Latin, French, Croatian and other languages. We learn by repetition. Sometimes it can be hard to remember the words. But as soon as you start singing they usually come back. As a low voice I often sing bom bom, or other backing noises. It can be a bit boring, but then we will start something else.

Singing with about 20 women is fun. We are a bit older but that just means people have a wider experience of life, are quietly confident, and dont worry too much if we make a mistake.

I guess its all part of being creative. I get a kick out if singing with the choir. We have another singing session soon. I’m looking forward to it.