Thursday 18 December 2014

Last performance of the year – Football Museum with mulled wine and mince pies

What did I say yesterday? We’re more secure now and usually have at least three for each part? Ah. An early start at 5.30, some terrible weather conditions that caused equally terrible traffic and a few sore throats and coughs reduced us to one soprano and two female tenors. At first at least. Then a few more folk arrived and we had a respectable three or four for each part. A certain temporary male tenor who has also been known to sing bass and even soprano was very welcome and kept us in check. Well he has to keep us all in check anyway. That’s his job.  
All in purple and black with added tinsel and hats.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Ordsall Hall Family and Friends Concert

“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.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Double- Gig-Sunday

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.

Friday 5 December 2014

Singing amongst the books

A Tuesday evening not long before Christmas. A steady stream of customers pass through Waterstone’sDeansgate, Manchester. They have extended opening hours. It’s good to see people buying books as gifts and for themselves. A group of people gather on the first floor near the escalator. They’re dressed all in black and each wear a smart purple orchid. Some have a purple Christmas hats as well. 

Yes, that’s right. It’s Tuesday, so it’s Ordsall Acappella Singers’ night. Except this week we’re at Waterstone’s instead of our normal rehearsal venue. We perform all of our Christmas songs and some of our normal repertoire. Two songs about bells. Two lullabies. Why can I remember the German words to Still, Still, Still more easily than the English ones?  Did I learn it once before in German?  And two holly jolly ones. Amongst others. And in addition Kiss the Girl, I Got Rhythm, Joshua (including scary eyes) and Deep River. Amongst others.
Waterstone’s is housed in a good old Manchester building with the type of high ceiling we love. We hope we are singing in “merry measure” like the song says. We enjoy ourselves, anyway. It’s always good, singing together.  
We have a small but appreciative audience and some people we’ve not met before take photographs. Others, normal book browsers, don’t seem to object. We’re there from 6.00 until just after 7.30. Then many of us go out for a meal together.  What a lovely evening!