We did our bit …

Earth hour, marked by communities throughout the world, was at 20.30 last Saturday … right in the middle of our concert! It was a little unrealistic to do a whole hour in the dark ( without a lot of forward planning anyway ) but we did manage to perform one song with the chapel lights as dim as possible. It wasn’t much but at least we did mark the occasion in our small corner of Cornwall.

We’re back!

Our first concert of 2017

We had a lovely time at our first concert of the new season. Our friends from the Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir ventured across The Bridge to join us at Carnon Downs Methodist chapel and sing for Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group. The gentlemen from Devon gave us some excellent performances despite being only half their usual number, the dreadful winter illness that many of us have succumbed to having taken its toll. We commend them on their fortitude under very difficult circumstances – thank you chaps, Proper Job!

The Ladies too were in fine form performing two of the new pieces we have been learning, along with some of our recent repertoire. And to top off a lovely evening there were scrummy refreshments for all ( yes .. enough for two choirs and a large, enthusiastic audience! )

During the evening Sandy from The Cornwall Down’s Syndrome Support Group explained what life can be like with a Down’s child in the family, using a heart-felt, emotive analogy which touched us all. Hands delved deep into pockets and money was raised by ticket sales, donations and a gigantic raffle. Very soon, when all the money has been counted, we will be able to say how much we are able to donate to this hugely worthy local charity and we look forward to handing over a sizeable cheque. So many good people gave generously of their time, talents, energies and expertise and we thank them all for making a thoroughly enjoyable evening. This was only the first of a whole series of concerts that the choir is featuring this year – click HERE to read about future events.

And while we wait for the amount raised to be finalised here are a few photos of the evening.

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Upcoming concerts

Tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June, we have a concert at Gwennap Church as part of their summer evening concert series. It starts at 7.30pm.

Later in the month, on Saturday 27th, we are at Budock Church, and will be joined by The Beatroots from Oxford. They are an a cappella group of nine Oxford University postgraduates who sing their own imaginative arrangements of pop songs, combining harmonies and vocal percussion with a splash of humour.
“Wicked blend…a professional and entertaining performance”
Clare Wheeler, The Swingle Singer
“Totally captivating… stunning sound, awesome groove and beautifully precise tone”                                                                                   
Dominic Peckham

More about The Beatroots can be found on their Facebook page, along with some newly uploaded videos if you fancy a preview. 

What happens in Cardiff…

A warm welcome

We had a great time in Cardiff – a very enjoyable weekend.

It began early on Friday morning as the coach picked everyone up en route to the A30, slightly delayed by some scenic detours caused by a couple of road closures – and that was before the coach even arrived in Stithians!

Despite the usual half term traffic we made it in good time to Cardiff. It didn’t seem the mad panic rush to get ready and out of the hotel as expected (maybe that was just my perception!). We got to the concert venue, St Teilo’s Catholic Church, Whitchurch, with enough time to run through our pieces with Becky, one of Cardiff Male Choir’s accompanists. (We were grateful for her help, and very impressed with her playing, especially since she hadn’t had the music long or played with us before, and pieces such as Weep No More can be tricky.)

The choirs join to sing Trelawny

The Cardiff MD is presented with flowers

The concert was very enjoyable; I think the Welsh anthem went ok and everyone remembered the words. I particularly liked the men’s arrangement of the theme from tv’s Band of Brothers, done by a former MD. I heard that at one point members of the audience were moved to tears only a few bars into ourĀ The Lord Bless You and Keep You (hopefully in a good way!) Afterwards we were invited by Cardiff Male Choir to a local rugby club for something to eat, which was quite a spread, and it was great to meet members of the choir.

Saturday provided us with free time for all sorts of activities. For those who wanted there was a coach trip to the Physic Garden in Cowbridge, which apparently took in some of the sights of Cardiff (several times!). For others it was a chance ‘to shop till you drop’… (if anyone’s got anything to add about the Saturday trip please write in the comments below – I went shopping…!)

Before heading back to Cornwall on Sunday we visited St Fagans, which was lovely. It was very interesting to explore the old buildings, particularly impressive was the 1520s church with biblical wall paintings; in the Last Supper it looked like one person was holding a Cornish pasty! In a 16th century farmhouse, while talking to some costumed guides the subject of music came up and someone mentioned we were in a choir… half the group scarpered leaving two of us to be asked to sing something – being put on the spot we panicked and chickened out!

The return to Cornwall was uneventful and the coach was quite quiet after a busy weekend. Thanks to everyone who was involved in the organisation of the trip and concert. There’s already plans afoot for another trip next year, so we may have to brush up the Welsh anthem again in future!