On the evening of 22nd October, Phoenix Voices put on our first full concert post-Covid. Despite the fact several of us were struggling with coughs and sore throats, we were all determined to put on a blimmin’ good show for (hopefully) a big audience. Myron had even cooked up some popcorn cakes to celebrate the occasion!
We were lucky enough to have a great audience accompanying us – it was wonderful hearing them warming up and took me back to wind band practice at school, aged 12, playing the clarinet. It was only when rehearsing with the orchestra that I became fully aware of the brilliant acoustics in Holy Trinity Church Hall, helped by the sterling job Adrian had done setting up the microphones. (Incidentally, Fiona told me ‘You have to eat the mike’ when singing a solo…Well, I didn’t go quite that far.)
It had been a slightly more stressful 24 hours than expected, as, just like a twist in a movie’s plot, the choir printer had died on us. So, a massive thank you to everyone in choir who rushed off copies of music for the orchestra. It should be noted our multi-talented orchestra were only presented with the music earlier that day, and had already mastered it! And it turns out some of them are great dancers as well, as they demonstrated when we were rehearsing ‘Shake A Tail Feather.’
After rehearsal we all had a breather and something to eat and drink. The Priddle Room was a lovely array of instrument cases, rucksacks, sandwiches, choir folders, and orchestra and choir members psyching themselves up for the concert. All too soon it was time to take our seats on the stage, and our hearts leapt to see how full the hall was already getting with audience members.
We then set off on our voyage of discovery, celebrating just some of the great movies, from this year’s blockbuster ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ to classics like 1969’s ‘Porgy and Bess’. As Gail said at the end of the concert, thank you so much Kris for pushing us out of our comfort zone – or, should I say, into ‘the danger zone’ – with such an array of songs and styles of music. My personal favourite bit of advice he gave us during rehearsals was: “The key to singing ‘Duel of the Fates’ is to pretend you’re angrily reading out loud an Indian takeaway menu.”
A huge shout-out to everyone who did solos or duets, both in the choir and in the orchestra. And a huge well done to Laurie for her composition ‘The Bullet Never Lies’, written with James Bond’s next mission in mind. We were all so sorry you caught Covid so couldn’t be with us tonight.
It was extremely moving to hear the dedication Paul Boase gave to his father after playing ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’.
We are all still living through tough times, and it looks like an austere winter is fast approaching, but that’s all the more reason to come together to celebrate the joy music and sitting down in front of a movie can bring. Thank you and congratulations to all who contributed to tonight’s memorable concert, in whatever way - do head on over to our Facebook page to see the fantastic photos of the evening!
May the Phoenixes continue to rise, spreading our wings to fly through the late autumn and light up the white winter skies.
Hope to see you at our Christmas Concert on Saturday 17th December!