(Blogger: Meg Farmer)
Held at the rather lovely Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot, this was the second time a group of us from the choir have attended this annual workshop.
It’s the fifth year that the event has been running and it’s a well oiled machine. Shortly after online registration closed, I got an email with a link to the learning tracks (A mix track, plus each of the voice lines with the others quietly underneath) and pdfs of the sheet music. The onus is absolutely on you to learn the two pieces before you get there – and we all did!
At the start of the day, roughly 120 of us were gathered in the auditorium for the biggest choir warm up I’ve ever taken part in! There were lots of stretches, shoulder rolls and windmilling of arms and apologies as we bash into total strangers, followed by some vocal exercises that we’ve never done before. We then arranged ourselves into our parts and sang Happy Together, then note bashed a couple of sections per part. It sounded brilliant! I would have loved to have been down on the stage to hear it.
A group of people had, prior to the day, put their names down to take part in a flash mob performance of the ‘flash fest’ piece at lunchtime (which we had all learnt in advance) – that group didn’t include any of us! Jo, who was leading that session, thought we were so good in the first run through that we should all take part, if we wanted to.
We did join in and it was quite entertaining!
We can even prove it, but in true Where’s Wally style, you’ll need to look for us!
A number of classes were run throughout the day, culminating in all of the groups performing their pieces to the others in the auditorium.
Between us, we attended classes on rhythm, directing and extreme dynamics [have I missed anything?]. In terms of pieces learnt, we covered Contemporary (I Hope You Dance – Teresa, Lourdes, Aggie and Jenny), Classical (The Blue Bird – Laura) and an a cappella sextet piece (Evening Rise – Carey, Deb and Meg). We all learnt the flash fest piece (Happy Together) and between us we’ve already got three of the four voice parts learnt; if any of the basses would like to pick up the fourth part and join us for a small group performance then let us know – please please please.
We all picked up a few hints and tricks that we’ll be bringing back to our weekly rehearsals!
Spring Fest 2016 is due to be on the 13th March, so get it in the diary