So, it was another day of musicality for me yesterday (I do do other stuff, honest). It was down at the church in the day for a national music festival. I spent the day clarineting, singing, ukuleleing, and waving my arms around, ironically, I came with my brass band and didn’t find time to whip out the old euphonium. After busy rehearsals the evening before and a bit of late night transposition for a friend with both the brains and memory of a goldfish we were just about ready. I say ready, but as always, there was still music being distributed on the day, a couple of sight read entries and accompanists found about five minutes in advance. A great day nonetheless, kicking off with woodwind classes followed by voice and percussion before lunch then going on to mixed instruments, keys and brass before building to a crescendo finishing with the bands. This was when I waved my arms around a bit and ended up acting out most of the drum part until it might as well have been called ‘brass band with interpretive dance’, but after weeks of practising and arranging, I was happy to be a part of it and proud of everyone in it, it all went ahead with minim-al stress and we even won a medal.
But of course that wasn’t all, I went straight onto to sing in a concert in the evening which was like a whole other game of charades. The conductor there, well, he was a big fan of improvisation. He was particularly eccentric with grand flamboyant gestures until at one point he held up four fingers with each hand in a kind of sideways bear claw fashion with quite a scary roaring expression on his face and was disappointed when we didn’t sing anything because apparently this obviously means sing “ah” in four part harmony. My mistake. Then there was the finale which was A major confusion. Along with his random actions and shouting non-corresponding lyrics there was a point when I literally had no idea what I was doing, I guess I was just trying to B natural, and admittedly it was a medley but at the end I looked around and everyone around me was signing different parts of different lines to different songs and I realised, I could sing literally any song at this moment and it would be okay. Clearly improvisation isn’t my forte.
But that’s not all I was doing at this concert. Oh no, I wasn’t just a choir member, I was a runner. Nay, the runner. I was the one that made sure everyone was there ready to go on and pretty much just making the concert happen. No one went through that stage door without my say so. A teacher with a couple of primary school children came down without my calling and wanted to get through to the auditorium, not on my watch. In fact, I would go as far as to say, if it wasn’t for me, the concert simply wouldn’t happen. Although I can’t say I was the best runner in the world, I did lose one of the conductors until the jazz band just went on without him. But these kind of jobs carry so much responsibility and stress, you’ve got to be pretty sharp, like the poor page turner in one of the piano solo’s in the festival running circles round the pianist and throwing shapes trying to keep up with the pages, but remember, if the pages don’t get turned, the music doesn’t get read and nothing gets played. It’s a lot to Handel. On a high note, of course we couldn’t pass up any opportunity for a cheeky cake sale, making us another £158.63 between us from the concert, all adding to the Kenya fund.
So, just a massive well done to everyone who participated in any part of the day, it was brilliant on all accounts 🙂