It's tonight, the Vocal Harem Annual Gala Concert 7.30pm at Tavistock Parish Church, tickets available on the door, for a couple of hours of good music from the non-auditioning women's community choir of which I am one of about ninety members, and how I wish you could all be there.
Because this has involved...
...a whole winter of schlepping out to choir practice on a Tuesday evening.
...a whole winter of trying to park my car at Tavistock College in the dark and the wet when every football team in the south west seems to be playing a match.
...a whole winter of saying 'I wish I didn't have to go out tonight' when actually I know the minute I walk in the door I will wonder how I could ever have thought that.
... a whole winter of trying to remember the words.
... a whole winter of much mirth in the back row of the sopranos because we are singing Wherever You Are as per the Military Wives Choir, so surely this means Gareth Malone will be knocking on one of our doors with his organ under his arm to do some extra practising. Our soloist (not from the back row) is stellar, she actually needs no help.
... a whole winter of singing all the way home, because I am sure the evidence now shows that music gets to a part of your brain like nothing else and after two hours my brain can't stop.
And the last few weeks have been busy with two practices a week but have seen all that hard work coming together ready for the performance.
We have some great music to sing, some really beautiful pieces like The Peace of God by John Rutter and May it Be (from Lord of the Rings) and My Guy and My Love, good old sixties numbers which we can get some real swing into, and You'll Never Walk Alone with The Sultans ( a group of the Harem's Significant Others, Bookhound currently searching out his fetching jade tie and black shirt) and once we get up to the rafters with the top notes we stay there. Rosemary our MD tells us to 'save some' or we won't make it to the end, and I always forget and then think 'Oops' with a repeat and the coda to go, so that by the time I am singing 'Walk on through the wind...walk on through the rain...though your dreams be tossed and blown...' for the second time I am already seeing constellations.
...and then we have Fever.
Well we do all love Fever...now.
But that hasn't always been the case...it's not as easy as you might think in three part harmony.
But it will all be alright on the night because we always rise to the occasion, and we all love singing, and the Parish Church here in Tavistock was made for big singing, and tonight our guests will be the Liskerret Male Voice Choir who are bound to sing big too. Afterwards we all fall across the road for the party and we say goodbye to each other until our next season starts again in early October. Except this year we have a summer engagement, so for the first time we will regroup in July for the wonderful Port Eliot Festival.