• Sandra Smith

Autumn term - New singers and Show Of Hands Sanctuary Tour!

We had auditioned in July for new voices and we were really chuffed to have found 2 new basses to balance our expanding choir! One came from Buckfastleigh, the other travels in from Pewsy in Wiltshire, every week! How is that for dedication! We have been incredibly lucky with this intake - it really has been superb. They have worked SO hard to learn the set and the vocal techniques to blend into our sound. It was an exciting moment to hear us all together for the first time - I think we all had tingles when we heard the result - it was big, yes, but still recognisable our sound! They were the lift we needed, too. Doing so many gigs as a small choir, is very demanding on our singers - they all have day jobs and families. We do notice the gap, if a singer is sick or has family commitments. By being bigger we can all sigh and have a little breathing space again!

Again, we have been full on from November to December - and we've had to turn gigs down again this term, as we just can't do anymore! Getting 9 new singers ready, at the same time as running 2 sets of songs has been a juggling act! We've had extra sectional rehearsals to learn more quickly and use our group practice more effectively - which has really paid off! Every section met at least once and the basses met twice - with Mr Pewsey, joining us by mobile!

The new singers were only learning our choir set, not the SOH set- as that would be too much for their first term!

Basses in the kitchen!

Danger - Sops at work

The old choir started off by driving up to Wells Cathedral to sing with Show of Hands on their Cathedral tour - what a night that was! A long drive, of nearly 2 hours each way and really difficult acoustics! There was a 3 second delay on the ring in side the cathedral! Great gig though - and the lighting by Marcus Bartlett was inspired and earned him many rave reviews.

Next day, we were in Exeter Cathedral - and it felt like coming home to familiar acoustics! The crew and performers were all very tired - the Sanctuary tour had been a gruelling one! They all still manage to get a show on the road though - under very difficult conditions - Cathedrals weren't made for large equipment!

With Armistice day the week after - there was a beautiful display of knitted poppies as a backdrop to the concert.

There is often a lot of waiting around at gigs, as the setting up takes a long time. There is a set order of who sound checks, so whilst we waited - little pockets of singers chatted and a crossword group formed!

Warming up ready to go on - best bib and tucker! SOH asked people not to take photos of the gig as there will be a DVD out later, which will show the splendour of the occasion! It was special!

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