Well we did it! With depleted resources, we managed to win the 'Grand Prix' as best choir of the festival!
It certainly was an eventful weekend as Friday Voices travelled over to the Isle of Man to take part in the Festival of Choirs. During the year we had lost a few of the key members of the choir and so it was with some trepidation that we set off across the Irish Sea.
After a 'Welcome' evening on the Friday night where all the choirs met up for an informal buffet and drinks, (and also to learn the Manx National Anthem!), the competition itself started on the Saturday afternoon. Friday Voices were taking part in the 'Mixed Choir' event and performed well to secure 1st place in this class. This was when the fun started because as 'class winners', we were invited to take part in the Sunday afternoon 'Choir of Choirs' Grand Prix Event. In this, we were competing against a first class ladies choir called 'Chanteuse Chamber Choir' and a mighty Male Voice Choir from Flint who had brought the house down on the Saturday afternoon with the power of their singing.
Chanteuse Chamber Choir had been extremely accurate, well drilled and performed very professionally to win their Ladies Choir Class.
So we prepared for the Final on Sunday afternoon. In truth, our Musical Director Chris Mallinson gave us a wonderfully motivating 'pep talk' on the Sunday morning and then proceeded to come up with an inspired programme for the 25 minute performance that each of the winning choirs had to give.
Of course, it is very difficult for an adjudicator to compare a ladies choir, a mixed choir and male voice choir. Chris knew we couldn't compete with the massive 'wall of sound' from the Flint Male Voice Choir with only 16 singers present in Friday Voices. So his excellent programming showcased the versatility, accuracy and indeed power from such a relatively small number of singers. Then it was the adjudication ........ the choirs waited expectantly ....... and, very swiftly, the adjudicator announced the best choir of the festival as .... Friday Voices !!!
Bedlam ensued with many mixed emotions ! Joy in the main but with a tinge of sadness as we reflected that this was the first competition that we had sung without one of our founder members, Alan Coxon who had sadly passed away earlier this year.
This win was for him !