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December Concerts

We sang at St Francis’ Church, Heartsease, on Saturday 7th December, including our first presentation of our ‘Pirate Package’, which went very well. This is a regular concert for us, and it is always a good start to the Christmas season. Usually, chorus members do very well in the raffle, too!

On Tuesday 10th, a reduced chorus made our way over to Barford and Wramlingham’s WI to entertain them. We ended up being able to do a grand reveal of ourselves in our piratical costumes, from behind large wooden folding doors! The concert went very well, and we were delighted to share a very good buffet supper afterwards.

On Saturday 14th we sang at The Forum in Norwich for an hour. A surprising proportion of the audience was canine, as dogs from all over the place were washed, brushed and festively dressed in order to have their photos taken with ‘Santa Paws’. The presence of so many handsome dogs was liable to distract the audience, but we sang our Christmas repertoire plus Bohemian Rhapsody and This Is Me. There were some people from The Hamlet Centre, who joined in with the signing. When our hour was up, we were pretty much frozen, and dispersed in search of warmth!

This Is Us

We are delighted that the video with The Hamlet Centre is now up on YouTube. You can view it here.

Recording at the Hamlet Centre

We have been involved with a very exciting project lately, and November 10th was a big day.

For some months we have been learning This Is Me, one of the songs from The Greatest Showman. Back in September, we recorded the song, because it is to be used as the audio track for a video being made in collaboration with and support of The Hamlet Centre. Two of our chorus members work there with the children who have learning disabilities and/or complex health needs of various kinds, and the song puts across a very clear message.

On November 10th, we went to the Hamlet Centre to participate in the video part of the recording. There was a crowd there already, with the staff, the children and their families. We sang a few fun songs for them to get everyone comfortable, and then sang This Is Me, and were delighted by the number of people who joined in, singing or signing or both. After a while, many of them joined us on the risers, while the cameras kept rolling, and we finished up by singing very gently to one young lad who didn’t want to enter the room with us, but watched, listened, waved and plainly enjoyed the experience from the other side of the glass. He had learnt a new sign language, in fact, specially for this song, and signed along with great enthusiasm.

We are very much looking forward to the release of the video at the beginning of next month. Watch this space for links!

Convention 2019

Or, A Wet Weekend in Llandudno

As usual, we set off before the sun rose, piling ourselves and our props into the coach for the long journey westwards. Not that we saw much of the sun beyond the rosy fingers of dawn, as it rained all day. The journey in fact went quite smoothly, although when we arrived at our hotel, not all the rooms were yet ready for us.

Members went to Venue Cymru, or to look around the shops, or in some cases stayed in their rooms to avoid the rain! The evening saw us watching the Quartet Finals and the evening show, Make Your Own Kind of Music, with Irish Quartet champions Lady Barbalade, BHS Mixed Quartet Champs Scramble, LABBS Quartet Champions Avalon, and international guests The OC Times.

It was still raining on Saturday morning when we smuggled our Treasure Chest into the Centre, to hide it backstage until our performance late that afternoon, and still raining as we assembled at the hotel where our rehearsal room was booked. Unfortunately the hotel had also managed to book the space for another chorus, but our MD has Connections and secured for us a lovely rehearsal room within the Convention Centre, and as we assembled in there, the sun came out, and we had a fabulous view of the bay and the distant horizon (with wind farm).

We were second-to-last on the competition stage, and our Pirate package was very well received—we even had to fight off audience members who were interested in the contents of the Treasure Chest!

To our great pride, we continue to be a 70+ chorus, having achieved a score of 70.7%, and coming in twelfth of the twenty-eight entrants.

That evening was the Handbags and Gladrags show with 2019 Quartet champions Sound Central and Chorus Champions Amersham Acappella, plus the LABBS QC Chorus, BABS Chorus Champions Hallmark of Harmony, and The OC Times. The party theme was ‘anything Welsh’, and although most of us decided that Pirates could be Welsh, we did also have a Sheep and a Daffodil amongst us!

The Sunday morning show featured the Bronze and Silver quartets and Choruses (Spinnaker and The White Rosettes), Youth quartet champions Neapolitan, BABS Quartet champions Sound Hypothesis, and of course the OC Times. After which we piled ourselves back into the coach, sang cheerfully and got back to Norwich for about 8pm. And it wasn’t raining!

Appropriately in this year of many cakes, we had another celebration cake on the Thursday following Convention, then we buckled down to get on with our Christmas repertoire.

To see our Pirate performance, go here.

A Taste of Acappella, 31 August

We were delighted to welcome to Lionwood several lovely ladies who joined us for A Taste of Acappella. After a gentle warm-up, they sorted themselves into voice parts, and all went straight for the bass and baritone sections! Some of the Norwich Harmony members took the opportunity to play with a different section, too.

We sang a couple of tags together, and then plunged into “Let Me Be There”, learning it in sections and all together, and made such excellent progress that during the afternoon we spent an hour or so working on the latest LABBS Polecat, “Make Your Own Kind of Music”. None of our visitors was expecting anyone to come along and see/hear what they’d learned, so instead of a mini showcase we just kept singing until it was time to part.

Celebration Barn Dance

Many of us got together with our partners and friends for a celebratory knees-up in Tasburgh Village Hall on Saturday 29th June. It was the hottest day of June, but we were luckily not too hot inside the hall, where the Bacon Butty Band played for us and kept us dancing, and Nelson’s County Catering fed us—supplemented, of course, with a magnificent array of desserts made by various members of the chorus. Including a most magnificent cake:

…which tasted as good as it looked!

Mid Summer Melodies

Saturday 15th June
at Poringland Community Centre

We were delighted once again to support The Nook Fundraising Committee by presenting a concert in the Poringland Community Centre. There was a full house, and we were joined by our own quartet, Follow The Dots, and by the mixed chorus, Mosaic, as well as a choir of school children who closed the first half. We not only enjoyed singing, we were very interested to learn how well the fundraising has been going, and that the new facility will be opening very soon.

In addition to the concert tickets there was a raffle (the expression of the little girl who won a giant hamper of chocolates was a thing of beauty!), and the evening raised the grand sum of £1,176.

Coaching with Liz Garnett

We were delighted to have Liz Garnett back once more on Saturday 1st June to coach us on our new Convention package, and impart her usual wisdom on so many different aspects of barbershop harmony singing (“Lean into the Phnerts!”). It was a fun day for all, and of course also a lot of hard work, but we always benefit from Liz’s coaching.

Performance at Upton Church

We were able to rehearse at the church on the Thursday before our concert on 18th May, which handily gave us time to put the risers up, to get used to our slightly reduced stack, and to hear the accoustic in the church (which was lovely). It also gave us the chance to shiver… it was cold in there!

On Saturday 18th, however, it was a lot warmer, and some of the precautions we’d taken to keep warm were not necessary. However, we had a lovely concert. The church was quite full with an appreciative audience. We sang a good selection of our current songs, and included ‘We Are Family’ with a bit of a dance down the aisle at the end, to get the audience clapping. In addition to the chorus numbers we had oboe playing from Christine and clarinet from Ruth, Follow the Dots sang, Victoria sang and played the ukelele, and we had a performance from Mosaic (the new mixed chorus) of their two convention songs. With, of course, the excellent MC skills of Sioux, whose dad it was who had asked us to perform there.

Harmony College, Nottingham, April 2019

More than half of our chorus members attended the LABBS Harmony College in Nottingham at the end of April! Most were participating in the Chorus Stream, learning the new polecat song, Make Your Own Kind of Music, and also Auld Lang Syne. Follow the Dots went on the Quartet stream, and there were three members doing the Personal Development stream.

It’s such a great learning experience, whatever stream you’re in, and those who went are looking forward to sharing what they have learned with the rest of chorus.

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