We sang our songs

Today’s guest picture is another of the fine city of Bruges taken by my brother on his recent visit.


It was a beautiful morning again when we got up today, ideal for gardening….

The garden at half past eight in the morning

…or cycling or indeed, photography but all these potential delights had to be put to one side as we had other fish to fry today.   It was the day of The Choir of the Year Audition.

I decided to live in the moment today and not to mediate the experience through a lens so I left my camera behind. (The true reason may have been that  I didn’t want to leave it lying around in the bustle and lose it.)

As soon as I had taken the garden picture above, we jumped into the car and went to Carlisle.  Here we met the other members of our choir and piled into two coaches which took us up the motorway to Glasgow.  The organisers had taken some trouble to keep us entertained en route and provided us with a very good quiz to help to pass the time.

We arrived in Glasgow without incident, had lunch and a vocal warm up in a college lecture room and then moved on to the venue for the choir auditions.  There had already been one set of choirs in the morning and there were nine in our segment in the afternoon.  As well as our choir from the north west of England, there was another from the north-east of England, one from northern Ireland and three from Aberdeen in the north of Scotland as well as some more choirs from the Central Belt of Scotland.  This showed the enthusiasm choirs have for this event.  It is a great motivator to make people try to improve their singing.

We got settled in and then were ushered out again to a warm up room where we had a short practice before going on stage and singing our two songs.  It is hard to tell when you are singing how the choir is doing but the judges made some poilte remarks when we had finished and we went back into the hall to hear the other competing choirs.

The standard was very good and we enjoyed some excellent performances, with the highlight for entertainment coming from the Edinburgh Police Choir who really knew how to put a number over.

After a cheerful singing workshop while the judges considered their verdict, we crossed our fingers and waited for the results.

There is no winner on the day in these auditions.  All the choirs are recorded as they sing and what happens is that choirs of a good enough standard are chosen to go forward to a judging panel.  This panel will go through the recordings of  all the selected choirs from the all the auditions from around the country and choose which ones will appear in the semi-finals.  The choirs are entered in different classes, youth, school, open, adult etc so several choirs are selected at each audition.

As I said, we thought the general standard was high this afternoon and three choirs in our class were selected to go forward.   Happily….

choir of the year

…we were one of them.  We now have to wait three weeks to see if we are going any further.

We finally got back to Langholm twelve and a half hours after we had set out and it was a long and tiring day for a few minutes of singing but for all that, we all enjoyed it a lot and would certainly do it again.  (An added bonus was that Mrs Tootlepedal and I came second and third in the morning quiz and received some little prizes on the way home.)

Being midsummer day, it was still just light enough for me to take a picture of a white campanula in the gloaming…

It is keeping its fingers crossed for us too.

…before going inside and collapsing.

In recent years I have played in many concerts, sang in a few, made speeches and given dozens of talks but the importance of this occasion to me as a small part of such a large team was shown by how very uncharacteristically nervous I felt when we walked onto the stage.  I must make sure that I keep my singing practice up during the summer break for both our choirs as I would like to feel much more confident next time we sing.

Although I didn’t have my camera with me, I did use my phone to take a non flying flower of the day picture when the bus stopped for a comfort break at a motorway service station on the way home.  It was a rugosa rose adding a little glamour to the mundane service forecourt.

Abingdon rose

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “We sang our songs

    1. You are getting ahead of yourself there. We have merely been selected to be considered for moving into the semifinals. But thank you for the good wishes.

  1. Congratulations to both of you, I hope you progress further. You have conveyed the atmosphere of the occasion very well. Both my father and eldest brother used to sing in choirs and your descriptions evoke many happy memories.

  2. Well done! I’ll bet you were glad to climb into bed after such a physically and emotionally draining day.

  3. I loved the recording, however imperfect the sound, moving up a key in the middle was a master stroke and I very much enjoyed the final few bars with the rich harmony. Your choir director is clever and got the very best out of you. Good luck for the next step. I am not surprised that you got prizes in the quiz though.

  4. Very well done to you, Mrs. T. and to your choir. Sudden nerves can be extremely disconcerting and distracting. The slow build-up of the day probably added to the nerves. You have to think positive about it when it happens – adrenalin is necessary for a good performance! Concentrating on one’s breathing usually helps. Congratulations on managing to take a couple of lovely flower photos too!

  5. I enjoyed the performance very much!! It brought back a lot of memories for me as my daughter sang in choir all through elementary, junior high, high school and college. I sat through many a concert and competition. Years of driving her to and from voice lessons were some of our best mother/daughter times.

    Congratulations on being chosen one of the Choirs of the Day and best of luck to you and the choir in moving forward in the competition!

    Nice guest picture today, as well. So many beautiful sights in Europe.

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