Claygate Village Hall - Saturday 20 February 2010, 7.30 p.m. - Charity – Tesco Muscular Dystrophy Campaign
Elmbridge Ladies Choir first half - Elmbridge Choir second half
This was the third time that the Mixed Choir had sung at Claygate Village Hall, having given 2 performances on 9 December 2006 and another 2 on 15 December 2007. At all these performances we had queues of people clamouring and saying Let Me Be There. So what went wrong this time – 2 big choirs, only one performance, no queues and no sell-out!
Have we peaked in Claygate, a breakdown in communications or did people just want to stay home in the warm and watch the Winter Olympics!? What a shame for our charity and what a shame for those who missed a great concert! Don’t get me wrong, don’t you get me wrong, only want you to know that most of the seats were, in fact, occupied but there would have been some empty ones if members of the choirs had not sat in them.
After a delayed start because of parking problems, at last it was Here Come the 55 Girls of the Ladies Choir looking like Angels in their glittering blue scarves – pity they weren’t gold then I could have said it looked like a Field of Gold! It was a cold night and they were not only gripped in the Hands of Winter but were in the very energetic and capable hands of Ramon Davis who guided them All Through the Night covering various moods and many of his Favourite Things. Some of the girls were not there – they had Gone Abba whilst others were suffering with Fever and there was much finger snapping so much so that Ramon even had to sing 2 solos himself!
The audience were asked to join in with Wim-oh-wey but I think some were Wimbing when they should have been Waying and others were sleeping tonight. As several of the Sixties Chicks were going to be joining the audience for the second half of the concert, they rounded off with the first half saying to the audience I Only Want To Be With You and they were warmly received!
TESCO provided refreshments which were enjoyed during the Interval and the many raffle prizes were drawn which helped to raise over £200 for the charity.. The Interval became somewhat extended as a result of the tricky logistics of getting about 100 singers of the Mixed Choir on to the stage without anybody noticing! But slowly, gently, they drew back the curtain to unfurl their splendour looking dapper with the ladies with pink sparkles and the men wearing silver scarves twinkling like rain drops over their shoulders but they were not Too Too Wet – in fact, they were not wet at all!
Cliff was now getting into the swing of things. I think he had been watching Ramon’s balletic conducting saying Save the Last Dance for Me. Brendon, who was in charge of the sound system, wasn’t too keen on that idea saying Let Me Be There! Next there was a lot of action in the sky – Over the Rainbow and believing that we could fly but then we came down to earth with a bump with He Aint Heavy He’s My Brother then soaring back up again with Hallelujah.
Then Cliff went to great pains to introduce more hallelujahs in The Battle Hymn of the Republic only to be told by some choir members coming to the edge, thumbing through their music, saying we, the great and small stand on the stage and think we’re singing Let the River Run. Cliff, all on his own, looked up wryly thinking - they’re multiplying and I’m losing control ‘cause the power you’re supplying its electrifying! He looked across at Brendon at the sound controls and said you’re the one that I want quickly find ‘Let the River Run’ – which he did – eventually – poor Brendon, he was trembling, shaking! After that little battle was fought, we were able to trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath were stored and go marching on and on with the glorious and rousing Battle Hymn.
Finally, Cliff announced that the Music of the Night would come to an end with an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley followed by an encore (whether the audience wanted an encore or not!) of You Raise Me Up. That all went well – so well that at the end of the encore there were shouts of ‘Encore, encore’. We had obviously raised them up so much that they didn’t want to get home before Midnight and they wanted to sit a while with us.
So requests were taken from the audience as to which song we should reprise and, glory hallelujah, Hallelujah won the vote so we did our best, it wasn’t much and I think we felt it all went right and that what we had sung had pleased us all and, as well as raising up the audience, and judging by the warm reception that they gave us, it has raised us up to more than we can be – so onwards and upwards with rehearsals for the next concert!
The Ladies Choir sang: Da Doo Ron Ron; My Favourite Things; The Hands of Winter; All Through the Night; Girls Gone Abba; Fever; Fields of Gold; The Lion Sleeps Tonight; And So It Goes; 60s Chicks
The Mixed Choir sang: Two Too Wet; Save The Last Dance For Me; Let Me Be There; Over the Rainbow; I Believe I Can Fly; He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother; Hallelujah; You’re The One That I Want; Let The River Run; Battle Hymn of the Republic; Andrew Lloyd Webber Medley; You Raise Me Up.