Echo Leeds – What a term!
28 March 2014
So what did the Echo Leeds singers get up to during rehearsals for this term’s concert The Good, The Bad and Echo? Read the following report from singer Wendy Knowles to find out.
Du du du dum… du du du dum…The Pink Panther theme started us off on a new Echo Leeds term in January. Here we all were again, back with dynamics, swinging, swelling, odd rhythms and even odder stage directions! This is what we come to Echo Leeds for, it's not just the singing it's the hard work and concentration of learning new styles and mastering new rhythms. Oh, and the sheer fun of it all when we get it right!
January was a month for “Oh, I love this song”, “I'll NEVER be able to master that!”. Then, “Should we sing this last part in Italian?”. Also, the solo/audition workshop which, although serious in its intent allowing Andy to sort out who can do what and when, is also a game of bashing rhythms, bouncing doo dahs and bop-de-bops and the general breaking down of barriers to solo singing.
February started on a ‘none’ note. Due to a power lead failure we sang the first rehearsal a capella – strangely satisfying though. After this Andy decided that Moon River should always be sung a capella (no pressure there then!). We also made a decision to have our Christmas Dinner in March – we buck the trends in Echo Leeds, fought the abysmal weather conditions, mastered Italian (mostly) and drowned out the line dancing beats coming from the room downstairs from our rehearsal venue!
March was our month of polishing, and polishing, and more polishing! We heard the new performance script for the first time – such a change from previous concerts, much more informative and fewer Andy jokes (!). We heard our wonderful soloists incorporated into our songs and programme and prepared for our ‘taster’ performance in the Atrium at The Bexley Wing. It is always an exhilarating and very humbling experience to sing here. As we sung on through the set numbers with both patients and visitors stopping by for a listen, a sing-along (and a bit of dancing) we began to realise that we now really had a concert to go. It was going so well we added a couple more numbers before trooping off for our Christmas Dinner at Pizza Express.
It's a great feeling when, a couple of rehearsals ahead of performance, you feel that at last you have ‘got it’, and a concert is becoming real. Just fine tuning on rhythms, swells and… coming in on the right note!
Our concert performance at The Venue was one of our best yet – although I say it myself! We sang to a nearly full house and we had the band (Andy Booth, Matt Dabb and Emlyn Vaughan). We watched the audience laughing, (nearly) dancing and sometimes crying. It was alive, fun and SUCH A BUZZ. This is why we all try to sign up for the next term – Echo is so addictive, very hard work but addictive all the same.