I always look forward to each and every one of our performances, no matter how large or small. The next one is no exception! Today we will be making a return trip to Cornwall to take part in the bi-annual International Male Voice Choir Festival.
This will be our second visit to this amazing event and I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the last time we were there.
In 2013 we decided to take the plunge and get involved in what was to be our first male voice choir festival AND singing competition. Needless to say the pressure was on a little bit, but it didn’t curb our enthusiasm at all; in fact, the organisers were very excited about the fact that we were to be their first openly gay male voice choir!
As a late entry into the event we had limited time to prepare, but in true SWGMC fashion we pulled out all the stops and got cracking with some challenging music choices along with a few of our less serious pieces (in particular the Star Wars song based on popular movie themes by John Williams – sung on May the 4th – accompanied on stage by our very own Wookie – the force really was with us!).
One great part about the festival is the opportunity to sing at some fairly iconic Cornwall venues. My particular favourite was the amazing Eden Project where we sang to a massed crowd in one of the domes; our voices filled that huge space and seemed to pull in a large crowd of people who thoroughly enjoyed our performance! It was also a brilliant opportunity for us to bond as a choir. It was one of the first real opportunities for us to do so as a group as it was the first time we had spent a whole weekend together! We had a really fun time and probably way too many post performance drinks back at the hotel!
It was also a great opportunity to mingle with other male voice choirs, one of which was staying at the same hotel as us. (Hopefully we didn’t keep them awake too much with our late night singing in the hotel bar!). They were very keen to talk to us about our wide selection of music choices and it was very touching when one of them suggested that we were ‘the future of male voice singing’ (*blush*).
As for the singing competition… well I won’t dwell on it, but needless to say it was an interesting experience and gave us lots of food for thought in terms of our performance and cohesion as a singing group. And of course, I couldn’t let it go without mentioning Tony Bevan’s spectacular debut in the choir and equally spectacular entrance onto the competition stage with a virtual triple salco over one of the floor speakers! (sorry Tony, couldn’t resist).
All in all, our last trip to Cornwall was a resounding success on so many levels. It was above all a fantastic bonding opportunity for us all, away from the rehearsal zone we usually find ourselves in. As we make the final preparations on our coach journey down for the May Bank Holiday this year I’m hoping we have a similar, if not better, experience and I’m sure a future blog will fill you in on all the details!