Today promised to be an eventful day as 23 choirs were scheduled to arrive to compete as well as take part in a series of workshops at the Choir of the Year Choral Academy. Warwick Arts Centre – what a fabulous venue, without a doubt the perfect surroundings to inspire choirs both young and old…
Today it was time to welcome Lucy Griffiths as presenter for the day; very quickly she worked her magic in the warm-up, combining humour with simple techniques for the choirs to help their voices relax. Mango, mango, tapping chests…fantastic to see the male voice choir sat nearby challenging themselves to coordinate their movements with sound! Great fun for all.
Mission accomplished and it was time to crack on with the competition.
Wellbeing Community Choir started the day off on a high note! The mood is instantly lifted with a repertoire that you couldn’t help but listen to with a huge smile on your face. This group promote their rehearsals as an “uplifting and friendly experience,” and it was quite apparent why. This choir is proof of the fact that singing plays such an important role in their lives, and on so many different levels.
The day progresses and it’s great to hear the feedback from the judges, advice that all choirs are able to take on board. “Round of final consonants, increase your sense of movement, singing silently is a challenge and a reward…” – the advice continues to flow following each and every performance.
The Four Oaks Cluster Choir nurture rapturous applause from the audience – This Old Man providing evidence that the “good old favourites” always go down a treat!
In contrast to this, the Howling Wolves Chamber Choir and their beautiful soloists take to the stage to show the judges just how good an a cappella choir can be. Quite a breath-taking performance!
Next it’s the turn of ‘the boys!’ Warwickshire County male voices, all those manly tones creating such a wonderful atmosphere. Their singing, their command of the stage, and quite simple body language I am sure left every member of the audience experiencing tingles running down their spines.
The performances continued throughout the day, with the standards again being extremely high. So what will we take away from today’s auditions? For me it is the fact that the experience of competing in Choir of the Year means so much more than a single day of competing, or indeed the hours that have been spent in rehearsals leading up to the event. It’s about having the opportunity to show how tightly these individuals work together as a collective to showcase their shared passion, present their friendships and on the day, push themselves to the limits, to show off how very proud they are of what they have been able to achieve. Fantastic!