This year started out very positively on Saturday February 1st with a big rehearsal prior to term starting that we dubbed The Big Note Bash. We had two fantastic rehearsals with a very delicious lunch and a good catchup break in the middle.
The idea was to set us up for a year of singing musical repertoire for Women, by Women. We had a wonderful turn-out including new members who were not put off by the intensity of the day as the music was new for all of us.
Our Musical Director Christine Storey warmed us up along with our regular accompanist Annabelle Clucas. We then had the privilege of two talented guest musicians, Dean Sky-Lucas and Sam Hartley, join us. We are fortunate in our rehearsal space that we could divide into three groups, each with piano or keyboard to learn the individual parts before coming together to sing as a choir, albeit a very scratch performance.
Dean entertained us with tongue twisters in English and French which helped us with the French pronunciation of text of Les Sirenes by Lili Boulanger and I not sure that we sounded at all like sirens as we attempted the chromatic six part sections!! But much laughter was had and that is good for the diaphragm too.
The first term started with a range of music from Anne Boleyn to Dolly Parton as we began to settle into the repertoire and then cast aside things that just didn’t work for us!
End of Term One
Just as we were getting ready to finalise our venue for the June 2020 performance, and the jitters of learning a whole concert of new music was finally settling down, we encountered the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a spanner in the works……… as we had to acknowledge early on that singing is a germy business. We made a decision to cease rehearsals even before we were urged to do so by the Health Department.
Our farewell to Cloud9 accompanist Annabelle Clucas has had to be postponed due to social distancing guidelines!! She announced her resignation from the choir effective at the end of term one and we are very sad. She is returning to her roots in Qld and to a different work life/ balance perhaps?
We have been so lucky to have had the company of this talented woman every Thursday for the past 20 years. She had been integral to the glue that binds Cloud9 together and we thank her sincerely for her skill, patience and musical ability and for the hours of beautiful music making we have enjoyed – or was that endured – together? Annabelle will be deeply missed and details of the final farewell function are yet to be decided.
When we will resume is at the moment unknown, so our challenge is to keep connected and engaged vocally with Dropbox files, Youtube videos and emails. We are looking at online platforms for learning and sharing choral music and will reorganise our program for concerts this year when the situation becomes clearer.
Stay well everyone and be kind to each other.
Remember to quarantine Thursday night 7.30 to 9.30 for singing!