After the summer break I’ve just been looking at my photos from Whitby and they are very dull indeed. There are no pictures of the sea, of chips or seagulls, or of the other choirs (although I’ve got a tiny wobbly bit of video of Wrexham Community Choir singing Calon Lan, which always makes me cry), not a hint of how lovely this event was.
It is such a thrill being in a town with over 40 other choirs, sharing singing with people from all over the country. On Saturday lunchtime everyone sings together in a huge, giant, 1000-voice choir. On Saturday afternoon there are designated spots around the town and each choir does a 15-minute set in three places. In the evening there were THREE concerts, to fit everyone in. I thought it was an honour for us to be in the headline one, which started at 8pm and finished at 11.30. This was with each choir having a strict 7-minute slot. That’s how many choirs there were. We didn’t go on till 10.30. “That’s no good”, one member remarked. “Half the choir will be asleep and the other half will be drunk.” I can attest that nobody was asleep; and nobody was noticeably drunk. The performance was brilliant – responsive, engaging. and musically very satisfying. We performed “When My Ship Comes In” – which got a good response considering it will have been new to many people, and “Caravan of Love” which was a smash hit.
It’s fantastic hearing songs your choir sing, songs you’ve never heard, songs you know but never thought they could sound like this. It’s interesting to see what you notice – good and otherwise – in other people’s performances which can inform how we improve our own.