YYC Summer 2014

Another end to another brilliant (if different to normal) week at YYC. Why different to normal you ask? Well, this week the choir had two concerts instead of just the usual one on the Saturday.

One other major change that occured this week was the lack of the wonderful Liz Wilde. Instead her role of organizer, carer and all round busy body was taken over by the equally wonderful Anne Thompson. This has been the first course that Anne has filled this role in and I'm sure every member of the choir would agree that she did a brillaint job.

The repotoire for this course has been one of the best I have experienced during my time in the choir. From a Rodgers and Hammerstein Medley to an amazing arrangement of 'O When the Saints' by John Rutter to 'Missa Cantata' by Bob Chilcott, I am hard pressed to name a piece that I did not enjoy singing or listening to during the concert. The Senior Girls Choir sang an arrangement of 'Somebody to Love' which was arranged by the Paul Ayres (the same composer who arranged the version of 'Holding Out For A Hero' that the girls did in Mallorca), which featured amazing solos from Sarah Moriarty and Katie Wilson (with Sarah masterfully singing notes that I wasn't aware were in the audible spectrum). Our accompianist, Paul Feehan, once again brought two great pieces for the choir to sing. Paul's younger group (refered to as 'Paul's Group') sang a brilliantly arranged and impressively choreographed arrangement of 'Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree' (one of my personal favourite songs of the night) whilst the Senior Choir sang Pauls arrangement of 'What Shall We Do?', (one of the choirs favourite songs ever). However, I think there was one song that blew the others away. A song of such great coplexity, subtly and hilariousity. With a beautiful solo sung by our very own JPJ (proving that you are never too old to hit a high C), this piece was of course, Manly Men.

As I mentioned perviously, this course was different due to the extra concert. The first concert of the week was performed at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre in York on the Friday night. The rehearsals for this concert started in a strange fashion, as the Mens Choir had to build the stage for the night, showing off their manliness before the concert had even begun. The audience may have been small, however every singly one of them looked to be enjoying themselves and sang wholeheartedly when directed to in 'O When The Saints'. The second concert took place at Dewsbury Town Hall, which is always a great venue to return too. The accoustics were wonderful as always and the sound produced by the choir seemed to be the best yet. Following the end of the concert, the choir recieved a standing ovation and as such decided to treat the audience to another listen to the final song in the Rodgers and Hammerstien Medley, 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.

However, the concert is not the only part of the course. As always the mentor team had arranged many different social events throughout the week ranging from a 'Masqurade Party' on the Tuesday night to a quiz on the Wednesday. Due to the concert on the Friday night, the choir were permitted a lie in on the Saturday morning (that's right, we actually slept in amongst everything else) followed by a relaxed morning, in which Hal Lavarty and myself arranged an 'Injustice' fighting tournament on the PS3's that are in the QE rooms. After many close matches, the tournament was eventually won by everyones favourite comedian, Henry Smith, who was treated to an only slightly damaged packet of bourbons. The newspaper challenge from the previous course made a return with a twist, as the the costumes that were designed had to be based on characters from a film. From Dobby (Harry Potter) to Darth Vader (Star Wars) to Davy Jones (Priates of the Caribbean) to a shorter than usual Gandalf (Lord of the Rings), the expert judging panel of John and Alison Pryce-Jones eventually named the Little Mermaid as the winner of the event.

Talent Night was a success as always, with acts ranging from an amazing a cappella group singing a great version of 'Don't Stop Believing' by Journey to a very well coreagraphed performance on 'Popular' from Wicked by Anna Marriott. Out of all the acts there were of course a couple of tear jerkers. Long time friends Rebecca Carr and Rhian Cairns sang a beautiful duet of 'For Good' from Wicked as their last song that they will be singing together for a while as the two go to university next year (they have been told however that they better be coming back next course). John Micklem-Cooper sang his first ever solo in Talent Night as well, which, to quote John himself, is 'quite an achievement' since this is potentially his last course. John sang 'The Parting Glass', and I'm not sure if there was a dry eye in the house. The funniest of the night however could have been Will Campbell-Burrell and Emma Offords genius act that just had to be seen to be believed. Following the amazing acts came a pantomine of this years annoyingly obsessed over Disney film, 'Frozen'. Whilst I am not a fan of the film or story itself, I think that it was an entertaining performance. Bertie Yates once again proved himself to be King of the Stage with his quick wit and over endulgence with lipstick. The younger members however did steal the show as they were on a roll as the Trolls in the story (thank you, I am here all week). And that incident at the end with Hal? Yeah, we won't talk about that...

Something different is coming your way after this course. Throughout the week the course has been filmed by Andy Featherstone and myself whilst the concert was filmed by Zachary Adams (my sibling). This is for a DVD that we are producing and that you can buy when we have finished. This DVD will have the entire concert on it for your collection, as well as interviews with members about the different parts of the choir and choir life, plus coverage of every single Talent Night act mixed in (and if you are lucky we may even slip in the panto too). Information about these DVD's will be sent out when it has been made and we hope you enjoy it.

To summerise: YYC Summer 2014 has been a great course. One of the best that I have been on in my now 5 years. And for this I need to thank every single member of the choir, John, Alison, Paul, Brian, Katherine, Emma and Anne, as every single person makes this group special. I mentioned before that we finished the concert with 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. I think that this song is an appropriate anthem for the choir, as no one is alone. Everyone in the choir is there for everyone else in the choir, no matter the age, the background, what goes on at school or at home, whether they have been through a lot before joining or whether they feel like anywhere else in the world they are alone. When they come to YYC, they are not alone. And as long as it goes on this will not change. YYC is a family. Long may it continue.


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