“Our spiritual home,” Jeff calls it. Quite right too: in fact, the day I joined the choir was the very first time it rehearsed in OrdsallHall. And haven’t we come on since then? In those days you worried that you might be the only one in your section. Now we think we’re hard done by if there are only three.
It’s a lovely place to sing in. It was beautiful before its renovation. Now it is gorgeous. It’s good to see the more natural colours of the wood. The displays are enticing and it’s clear that a lot of interesting activities go on for people of all ages. And there are the ghosts, of course. They didn’t seem perturbed by our performance. The atmosphere was warm and friendly.
This was a private concert. Guests were the friends and family of choir members. There was room for seventy audience members and there are over forty of us in the choir, most of whom were there last night. So, it was by invite only.
We sang a mixture of our Christmas repertoire and our normal repertoire, finishing with the three songs we’re entering for the MACC (Manchester Amateur Choral Competition) in February. For once, we were given a list of songs and an order. In the short interval between our warm-up and the actual concert, folk shuffled the contents of their folders so that their music was in concert order. Not that we needed folders all that much. Most of us prefer to do without them for a performance and we’ve had so many recently that, actually, we’re really learning everything.
At one point Jeff outlined for our audience all the things we’ve been involved in over the year. Goodness, what a lot – including some side events. Many of us were involved in Honour which in turn attracted more members to our choir. Then there was The Events and Wonderstruck. Yet, oddly, this year our Christmas repertoire is bigger than ever and we had even less time to rehearse than normal.
A little later, he outlined what is coming up next year. Goodness! Busy choir or what? But we all love it and isn’t singing good for you? We’d all agree we wouldn’t be without it.
Neither would we be without our cake. After the concert, we offered our guests homemade cake and biscuits, wine and tea and coffee. What a display! Not only can they sing, they can bake as well. Well, we are known for our A cappella and Cake, the name we give each year to the concerts at Buxton.
It was good to chat to our guests and three people told me how much they had enjoyed the concert.
“Those harmonies were so lovely,” said one.
“There was so much joy in it,” said another. “You obviously all love what you do.”
“Pretty good, actually,” said my own guest. Now, that is a result. He’s quite critical about anything to do with music.
I think we’re pretty pleased we put on this concert.