The Trafford Centre
My, we’re busy. Two events on one day and two more to come before we finish out year!
Sunday 14 December found us singing for one hour outside the upper level of Debenham’s in the Trafford Centre. The big worry had been “Will we be able to park?” It wasn’t a problem in the end. A tip off from someone in the know told us where we could get in easily, get out again afterwards and only have a few yards to walk in order to get to our rendezvous. Getting there early helped. In fact, it didn’t get really crowded until we were about to leave and other drivers hovered around our parking spots.
It was festive, what with our Christmas repertoire, our normal repertoire, purple hats and tinsel and enough footfall to create a buzz without it getting manic.
We were singing to raise money for Helping Hearts. They and we know very well how good singing is for you and choirs are invited to sing at various venues. So we had an audience – some friends of friends and the next choir up. Plus a smile or two and a few coins in the buckets from Debenham’s customers.
Kiss the Girl seemed to go down well with younger people. Deep River and, appropriately, Carol of the Bells seemed to ring out despite the fact that the Trafford Centre isn’t the easiest place to sing in – you constantly feel that you’re the only one there. It’s difficult to hear others. Nevertheless Holly Jolly Christmas and Wat’cha Gonna Bring for Christmas were indeed very jolly
Light up a Life – St Ann’s Hospice Little Hulton
A totally different atmosphere at this moving ceremony that we’ve now taken part in for four years. No tinsel or purple Christmas hats this time but maybe hats, scarves and gloves for the ceremony itself; it’s usually cold or wet and we’re outdoors. It chose wet this time.
We sang indoors in the reception area of St Ann's Hospice for about thirty minutes – again a mixture of our Christmas songs and our normal repertoire.
Then, we were out into the rain. We were under a marquee so no great problem. There are a few readings, prayers and carols. One of our roles is to help the participants sing along to the carols accompanied by the brass band.
“Belt them out,” says Jeff. “In unison.”
It’s a good job we know the words. There’s not enough room to hold up a copy.
Our other role is to sing a special song whilst the candles are being lit, the tree lights go on and everyone thinks of a loved one who cannot be here at this time. This year we performed Tears in Heaven. We do feel very privileged to be asked to contribute to this event in this way.
It’s a busy time of year. Not everybody could be there or even at both events. Fortunately we now have enough members and we’re becoming more confident that we can normally put enough voices together for events we’re invited to.
I was one of the lucky ones: I could do both. What a great way to spend a Sunday.
And Helping Hearts are right: singing is definitely good for you.