Newcastle Under Lyme Music & Drama Festival

Type of post: Choir news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Phil Hammond
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 21 Mar 2022

It was a sunny morning on Saturday 20th March as we gathered in the car park at Clayton Hall Academy in Newcastle under Lyme to take part in their annual Music & Drama Festival.

A chilly wind greeted us but spirts were high in anticipation of the competition to come.

There were to be four entrants in our category, which was more than the last time we sang there. The rehearsal went well - we all agreed that we were in fine voice as we took our places in the main hall. We were slightly disappointed however that two of the entrants had pulled out, leaving a chorus from Stafford Grammar School and ourselves, but we were there for the experience, not the prizes (but quietly pleased that the worse we could do was second place!).

We were first to sing; our practised walk-on was good, and we started with ‘When I fall in love’.

From my position at one end of the stack, it sounded as good as in the rehearsal room, which is not always the case! Our audience, which consisted mainly of the Stafford Grammar School Chorus, was appreciative. Our second song was ‘Old me better’ and this went down very well; I saw a number of the audience smiling, obviously enjoying the humour.

When finished, we sat down to be the audience for the Stafford Grammar School; they sounded good, although they sang from copies of the music and had a piano accompaniment and we thought that that might be reflected in their judges’ score.

After both acts had sung, the judge stood up and gave her feedback; she had enjoyed both choruses but, predictably, commented on the Stafford Grammar School’s use of copies and piano accompaniment. She went on to reveal that there was one point separating both groups! And the winner was…! We had won a cheque for £120 and a huge shield trophy!

In celebratory mood, we then drove to Newcastle Ironmarket for our ‘sing out’, singing four songs including the first public performance of ‘Dance with my Father’ which went relatively well, considering. The sun shone, the shoppers enjoyed and the bucket was fed.

Finally we dispersed, some to find food others to rush home for the football but all having had an enjoyable morning.

Phil H