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inChoir inConcert

The concerts seem like a distant memory already, but what a fantastic weekend it was.

 

I had the privilege of being part of both concerts, as well as helping beforehand, and therefore met a lot of singers on their way in and on stage. In the foyer, there was an air of excitement as inChoirers gathered in groups, catching up with members of other branches and finding someone to sit with. Everyone was looking forward performing to an audience; for many it was their first inChoir concert and they didn’t know quite what to expect (beyond being assured many times that it would be great fun and that it would be appreciated if they could laugh at Mark’s jokes!). When registration opened, they made their way to one of three desks; one for each vocal part. 

 

Sitting on the registration desks is the easy part, really. People arrive in droves and wait patiently for their turn (we do love a queue!), then we point in the direction they need to go. Those stationed along the corridor and by the stage request all personal items are stored away, and then the fun begins. Once on stage, Karen and Jude (assisted by Hannah on the Sunday) then have the mammoth task of seating the sopranos and altos, and Mark (with help from Jon on the Sunday) the baritones...working around a few specific needs, and so everyone could see the conductor “within reason”! Thank you all for the patience shown and a huge well done to Karen, Jude, Hannah, Mark and Jon for getting everyone organised as quickly as they could. 

 

We ran through the full set - minus the leader’s songs - so the singers could hear the band for the first time, the sound levels could be checked and Karen could remind us all that “oh”, “ooh” and empty bars do not need reading! 

 

I had Mark’s camera so I could take a few photos during the day, and couldn’t resist sneaking off stage during ‘The Prayer’ under the guise of taking photos...but really to listen to this powerful, beautiful piece being sung by 300 people. What a sound. You were breathtaking. It really is worth being in the audience sometimes, so you can hear what we hear. We aren’t lying when we tell you how brilliant you sound!! 

 

As well as being able to sing each song twice, with two different sets of choirs, Alys (also there for the weekend) and I were fortunate enough to hear all of the leader songs at least once. Altos at heart (although both sopranos for the weekend!) twice we laughed all the way through Jude’s ‘Alto’s Lament’; cried through Karen’s ‘Caruso’; loved Mark’s song about 10 years of inChoir, head banged to their ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ trio (I genuinely injured myself from head banging with a bit too much enthusiasm!), and on Sunday were also treated to Jon and Hannah’s brilliant ‘Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off’, and inChoon & inSync. 

 

Now, I love being on stage and I would be lying if I said that performing isn’t one of my favourite things, so I was extremely excited (and nervous!) that Alys and I were singing a duet on the Saturday night. Paranoid we wouldn’t have time to change, we ran off stage at the end of ‘Georgy Girl’, giving us a whole song to change through. Half changed, I heard Mark talking to the audience and suddenly remembered the script he had sent round. He was about to introduce us. I finished getting dressed in 0.5 seconds flat and ran to the stage right wings as I heard “...and Kirsty and Alys!” *silence* “Where are they?” Doing the only thing I could, I shouted back “We’re getting changed...” and waved, while also trying to stay hidden. Mark, ever the pro, moved quickly on from this. We nervous danced in the wings by the Altos for the entirety of ‘SOS’ (apologies to any Altos who saw us) and afterwards Mark introduced us again, gesturing to stage right, as we walked on from stage left. Seamless. (Sorry Mark!). We sang ‘The Closest Thing to Crazy’ and loved it. We’d only sung it together a couple of times but we both sang the right words, the right notes and even sang them in the right order! It was so much fun and it was such an honour to stand up there and sing, especially with my Mum and sister in the audience that night, who I hadn’t told in advance. 

 

Both concerts were absolutely fantastic. A testimony to the amount of effort put in by singers, leaders, band members and the tech team alike. Well done to everyone. Mark also deserves the hugest of applause for joining the band last minute and managing to compere, play, sing AND [break] fix the keyboard all at once. Well, the keyboard incident was only on the Saturday, but it was a special/memorable/slightly nerve wracking moment nonetheless! 

 

There were many highlights of the nights, but I’ll try to pick out a few (in no particular order). 

Bring Him Home’ (Saturday), ‘You Raise Me Up’ (Sunday) - for the audience waving their phone lights. It was magical to see from the stage. 

Amarillo’ (Sunday) - the soprano side was particularly raucous that night and we added in a little choreography! Chiming the bells, lots of marching and waving. 

Sanctuary’ (Sunday) - inChoon and inSync sang all of their songs beautifully, and with great moves and energy, but this is a song I particularly love anyway. 

Cake by the Ocean’ (Saturday) - I have loved singing this and it’s been no secret in my choirs that I’ve joined in the men’s “huh”s because it’s such fun. On Saturday, I forgot the concert probably wasn’t the place for my extremely street (not even a little bit cool) moves and continued them on my own at the edge of the sopranos. 

This is Me’ (both nights) - this song speaks to so many people and it really comes alive in front of an audience. Karen had them joining in too, and everyone gave it their all. 

Not now Dad’ (both nights) - Poor Peter. Was there ever a better sport? Continually sent off the stage by Mark, Karen and Jude, he was FINALLY allowed to clash his cymbals right at the end of the concert, and the audience - quite rightly - went wild both times. 

Really, I could list every song because they were all fantastic. All of the singers sang from the heart and it was a joy to be a part of it. 

There are many photos from the two nights, and they can all be viewed by following the links below. Thank you to Martin Oxley and Andrew Holloway for the beautiful photos and for sending them over to us so quickly (as always). 

Saturday night - Martin Oxley

Sunday night - Andrew Holloway 

Member photos from both nights 

A huge thank you again to Mark, Karen, Jude, Sue, Sally and Peter, Nicholas Owen for our introduction each night, a special mention to Ruth and all of the helpers each day, and to everyone who made the concerts possible.

- Kirsty, inChoir admin/leader