A healthy group of 12-14 of us were able to make it to the Hamlet Centre in Ella Road (the centre for young adults). It was a very noisy occasion! Some of the audience members came to introduce themselves to us, and they sang along, and during the lively numbers, danced with some of us! In addition to our regular Christmas songs, we also sang We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells, which they had been taught to sign as they sang. Afterwards, mince pies and treacle tarts!
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We were invited to sing in a charity fund-raiser at The Forum, and made our way there in our splendid new red jackets and scarves, taking a few moments before we got going to have photos done on the handy staircase.
There was a gratifying crowd to hear us! We stood in front of the splendid Christmas tree singing our Christmas repertoire with a few non-seasonal favourites thrown in. At one point—Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree—an elderly couple danced!
We were very pleased to know that we’d helped to collect over £260 for the charity.
The was the concert set up to raise money for our chosen charity, BUILD, at the United Reformed Church in Princes Street, Norwich.
There was a great flurry of organisation, with risers being taken to the church, raffle tickets sold and hampers put together, and mince pies and mulled wine set to warm in the kitchen.
The house was nicely full by the time we began the evening, and the audience had the chance to enjoy dancing from Street Mogs and gymnastics from the youngsters of Circus Chermond, as well as Fine City Chorus, and mixed quartet Fine Mix and our own quartet Follow The Dots. The new mixed chorus, Mosaic, also made its debut during the evening.
Everything went splendidly to plan, and the evening raised more than £750 for BUILD, which was extremely satisfying.
The sound in the church is so warm and rewarding, it’s always a pleasure to sing there. We had a full house, and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.
We started off with a Zing! and went on to our second convention number, When I Fall In Love, both of which went very well. The audience seemed to enjoy our choreo in Sha-Boom and (especially) I Will Survive. Follow the Dots made their public debut under their new name, and sang very well.
Our chorus made out like bandits in the raffle, bringing home the Hamper and a great procession of lesser prizes!
This singout gives us our first chance to sing carols to an audience, and in a lovely atmosphere. Mavis lightened it delightfully with her rendition of a Pam Ayres poem set at the zoo, and Follow the Dots presented Christmas in three and a half minutes (with a succession of sparkly props), awarding a small prize to the audience member who guessed they had included twenty-two songs. We nearly hiccoughed in our final number, going into the wrong verse, but all eyes were on Alison so we were neatly steered back on course.
A very enjoyable concert, and the new curate described it as ‘breathtaking’, which was lovely.
We headed up to Harrogate on Friday 26th for this year’s LABBS Convention. The coach was filled with singing, as was the service station where we stopped for coffee on the way. And we all looked very smart in our new red jackets and scarves!
One of our members was participating in the quartet semi-finals, and we arrived in good time to see the DeciBelles sing. They reached the finals, and came eighth overall. The evening quartet finals were very enjoyable, as was the show featuring The Locksmiths, SoundHouse and GQ.
Saturday was the chorus competition, and we were drawn quite late this year, so didn’t get to see many of the other choruses. We were warming up from 12.30pm and on stage mid-afternoon, which left us time to see the last two or three competitors and the mike-coolers, the Youth Chorus (who were adorable) and the White Rosettes, last year’s champions (who were splendid).
We scored 70.3%! Our best score yet, achieving an ambition set a while ago to break the 70 barrier. And we moved up to eleventh place. So there was much rejoicing at our chorus dinner on Saturday night, and we sang very merrily in the hotel bar afterwards.
Our Dress Committee have worked very hard and obtained for us handsome new red jackets, fleece-lined, shower-proof, and equipped with pockets. The new Norwich Harmony logo is on the front, and our name is across the back.
They were given out on Thursday 18th, so that we will all look smart at Convention.
Liz Garnett came back to us for another Coaching Day on Saturday 8th September. As usual it was a wonderful experience, teaching us a lot. We worked very hard on the emotional story of our numbers, learning more about the details of the music in the process. It was exciting, exhausting, emotional and energising.
Liz has written about the day on her own blog here.
A handful of chorus members, led by Maureen, went for a lovely walk from Holkham along the seaside to Wells-next-the-sea, where we had (excellent) fish and chips and discovered that we’d arrived in time to see the carnival floats. We walked back in the welcome shade of the woods.
As part of the general Norfolk Day celebrations, there was an all-day event in Norwich Cathedral, featuring a number of different choirs and other musical acts. Fine City Chorus sang at 6pm, and we were scheduled to be the last performers of the evening, starting at 8.30pm.
We warmed up in the Priors Hall—although as the weather was still un-British in its heat, some of us were trying quite hard to cool down! Then we processed into the cathedral, where we heard the tail end of the ukelele players’ performance before taking our places.
What a magnificent building it is! The sound shimmers in the air, and it is a most exciting experience to sing there. We had just half an hour, but we came away hoping that we will get the chance to do it again.
As we retreated to the Priors Hall to change back into cool civvies, a sinister gentleman who was conducting a Ghost Walk around the city congratulated us on our singing. Another first for us!
During this unusually hot and sunny summer, we were lucky enough to be invited to perform in the Plantation Gardens in Norwich.
What a charming venue! It’s like a little pocket of Victorian paradise, a garden in what was once a chalk pit and is now bright and colourful. We also added a new warm-up venue to our collection—we’ve never warmed up next to a compost heap before, and once in a while the local, er, pungency was a bit startling to the singer’s throat.
Singing outside can often be very hard work as the sound tends to float away, but because the garden is shaped like a giant bath, and we had a wall at our backs, the accoustic turned out to be rather good. There were lots of people enjoying the gardens in the sunshine, and they seemed to enjoy us, too. And none of us actually melted, though it was very hot! Our singout was followed by very welcome cups of tea and slices of excellent cake, and several of the audience members complimented us afterwards.