Well, what a weekend! Ever since 2010′s BABS Convention in Harrogate, May Bank Holiday Weekend 2011 was written in the diary in heavy pencil and the NBYC have been working hard towards developing a fun and cheeky showing on the big stage.
First up was the small matter of the BABS chorus finals on the Saturday, where a large proportion of competing choruses had either a current or one-time member of the NBYC – Mum nearly shouted herself hoarse cheering her boys on all day! Special mention should go to those NBYCers who helped their choruses into the medals – there was a NBYC presence in all of the top 3 choruses.
After many a tag in an extended Saturday night after glow, NBYC were asked to meet bright and early at 9am on Sunday to start rehearsing, and to say there were a few bleary eyes would be a bit of an understatement. To this end, an extended warm-up was called for, and it was done with the usual inventiveness and good humour which is quickly becoming NBYC’s trademark: My personal favourite was a twist on an old favourite when we took a visit to ‘Llandudno Zoo’ to visit the penguin and shark enclosures…
Then the real work began – all three of the performance songs had been learned in a relatively short space of time, so a good thorough working over was required to make sure we were all singing off the same hymn sheet, as it were.
We were afforded a break in rehearsal to watch the BABS quartet finals, and it was well worth a watch! Special mention needs to go to gold medallists Crossfire and Duncan (one of the founding members of NBYC) and bronze medallists VOX with Rich Fisher (long serving NBYCer).
Eventually we thought it was our time on the big stage… but not yet: there was even more waiting! We were held in the corridor behind the stage for about 10 minutes, in which time Tim received a strange request: however, when none other than Fred Farrell, Tenor from international gold medal-winning quartet Crossroads, asks to borrow your shoes, you consider going onto stage in your barefeet I tell you! There was a definite feeling of being starstruck, but many people feel like that when they meet NBYC…
Tim got us off to a flyer with his Usain Bolt pose, which set up the tongue-in-cheek arrogance of our first number, Star Medley. A particularly fun song to sing as we get to talk about how great we are!
Next up was Full Time Job which again displayed us at our cheekiest best, making a great sound with a relatively small chorus.
We then had the opportunity to thank those members who have made the NBYC what it is today, but given the definition of the youth chorus have since become too old and decrepit to sing with us anymore. So, we sent off to the ‘Shiny Badge Factory’ (Antoine, what were you thinking?!?!) to get them a souvenir ‘Alumni’ badge to remember us by – hopefully you will have seen some floating around on Sunday evening, proudly displayed on some puffed out chests.
We then had a chance to end our spot in style with ‘Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair’: an old classic which is absolutely beautiful, especially given that it was dedicated to someone special.
We all had such a great time, and want to extend a huge thank you to BABS for inviting us onto the performance stage for another year, and to everyone who saw us throughout the weekend – your support was appreciated as ever. And as for whether we enjoyed ourselves? All I can say is well, what a weekend!
(Taken from the summer edition of ‘Harmony Express’)
Note: BABS are the British Association of Barbershop Singers, and are the national body that represents men’s barbershop in the UK. For more info on them, visit their website.