Christmas is coming!

Tomorrow is our first Christmas event of the year. We’re singing carols at The Coppice Inn, Lanner, as part of the village’s Christmas lights festivities. The lights are being switched on at 7pm in The Square, and we’ll be starting about 7.30, to give people the time to wend their way down the long length of Lanner to The Coppice.

First performance of Ocean World tonight!

The day is finally here! Tonight’s our first performance of Ocean World.

Here’s some photos from the dress rehearsal on Tuesday.

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The 15ft whale arrived in the church on Wednesday wrapped in cling film, but before long was looking pretty with lights but will have to wait until later today to see it hanging up in all it’s glory.

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Two weeks to go!

Only two weeks until the first night of Ocean World!

Tonight we had the final rehearsal with members from Stithians Male Voice Choir – next week we meet again but rehearse with the band for the first time.

Tickets are selling well – in fact they are very nearly sold out. The remaining tickets are available from the Stithians village shop, and a few are still left via choir members.

September rehearsals

Rehearsals for Ocean World are back in full swing now, as the performance dates approach. There were a few little lapses in memory after the summer break but we’re back on track now. This week, we’re looking forward to a rehearsal with our crew of fishermen hauled in from around Stithians.

We are delighted to have received funding from FEAST to help with putting on the production of Ocean World. FEAST is a programme to make great art happen across Cornwall. FEAST harnesses the talents and energy of Cornwall’s artists and communities, generating new opportunities for everyone to enjoy the arts. The focus is on bringing people together to share experiences as audiences or participants, and on animating local celebrations and cultural life. Investment in FEAST comes from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council. The programme is managed by Cornwall Arts Centre Trust.

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http://www.feastcornwall.org

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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!

A new look – summer has arrived!

The concert on Saturday with Tamar Valley was very enjoyable, with some lovely and moving performances by both choirs and the soloists. The evening included some amusing stories by Adrian Wilton, the compere, who had the audience in stitches on a couple of occasions.

It was also the first outing of our new purple uniform tops – our summer look – which is a bit cooler than the red and black worn in the winter. We received several compliments on the new look and also on the singing, which Bea has described as some of the best we’ve produced.

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Our next concert

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Our next concert, in Okehampton on Saturday 12 April, with Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir, fast approaches. It’s in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I.), which provides a lot of support for farming communities. We’re looking forward to an enjoyable evening, and although it will be a little strange without George on the piano, we are privileged to be joined by our good friend Roger Wills as accompanist.

Our part of the programme will include – Whenever I’m here with you, As long as I have music, Across the skies, Bring him home, Where is love?, Lord bless you and keep you, Weep no more, Alexander’s ragtime band, You’ll never walk alone.
Alongside our pieces, there will be various (as yet unknown) items by TMVC, soloists, a duet and a joint performance of Morte Christe at the end.

The concert starts at 7.30pm in Fairplace Church, Okehampton (directions to the church can be found here).

Links to find out more:
Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir

R.A.B.I.

Ocean World rehearsals have started!

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Rehearsals for Ocean World are underway. The Choir has started going through several of the pieces, mostly from early on in the show, including the scene-setting The Enigma of the Deep and the lively Angels and Butterflies.

Two of our soloists, Anne-Marie and Curtis, have been practising the catchy duet between the mother whale and the dolphin, called Cousin Dolphin. It has one of those tunes that gets stuck in your head, and is going to be brilliant by November (it’s already really good). We’ve had a run through of Dolphin School, which Curtis sings the lead with the Choir joining in for the verses.