Monday 21 May 2018

Off to the 24th World Scout Jamboree - fund-raising concert 12 May 2018

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It's all starting at Brunswick parish Church. Folk dressed in black start arriving and carrying what must be cake, mustn't it? Mysterious boxes, and plates covered in foil.

We have new flowers. Roses or carnations. We opt for the roses today. Some people sniff them. They're so convincing you'd expect a scent.   

The sun is shining so brightly now that we have to shut the blinds so that the tenors don't have to wear sunglasses. It sets the mood. 

We complete our run through and the audience starts arriving. They're so warm and friendly that we relax too. 

We knew it would happen, of course:  "I always like to get them to have a go at a song we've only been working on for a short time," says Jeff.
We do two in fact: Sway, with its strong rhythms and increasing speed and Everything I do, a pretty, relaxed song. We bring back an old one, Deep River; it's been requested for tomorrow's concert.
Our forty minutes is soon over. During the interval there are lashings of homemade cake and perfectly brewed tea. "I'm going to pop, I think," says one choir member. The rest of us have no sympathy. He's has four different pieces of cake on his plate.
Yes, not only do we sing but we bake cake as well. There is more than enough for all of the audience and all of the performers. In fact there's even some left over for the next day.   
It is so nice to sit back after the interval and enjoy the fabulous performance of the Nim Quartet from Chetham's School of Music. They play individually and as a quartet. The pianist who accompanies the soloists also plays an impressive solo. They may be talented and have the right aptitudes for the instruments they play but that would never be enough. It's clear here that these young people have also worked hard and that they love what they're doing – and I expect despaired of it now and then but come back to it. It is lovely to see them quietly confident but not at all ostentatious in their relationship to their audience. A fine range of pieces, too.  
The concert has been arranged by one of these young people.
All proceeds go to sending a scout to the 24th World Jamboree and will also help scouts from third world countries. A substantial proportion of what is needed is raised today. We feel so privileged to have been asked to help with this.                                          

Concert at St Mary and St Philip Neri, Radcliffe, 13 May 2018

Concert  at St Mary and St Philip Neri, Radcliffe, 13 May 2018


Another afternoon of singing and cake. 

We gather in the car park. It's almost too nice to go inside. 

"I did ask Father if we could roll the roof open but it was no go," says Jeff. 

There are the usual questions: will we get an audience, will there be enough cake, will we sing all right? 

This is such a lovely building to sing in. It's beautiful even when you're standing at the front looking towards where the congregation sits. Hopefully we look fine as well. We're wearing the roses again. 

During the warm-up we try out The Blessing. "Just because the acoustics are so good," says  Jeff. "We won't sing it later."  

It does sound good in that space. It'll be nice when that's firmly in our repertoire. 

Well, there is plenty of cake. In fact a few people are able to take a little selection home yet we don't to take back a huge pile that is left over. So just right in fact. The church is almost full of appreciative people.  We must be singing all right because our audience clap a lot.

Oh yes, and we sing Sway, Everything I Do and Deep River of course. As well as many more.

There is a raffle with many lovely prizes as well.       

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.