The final event of Withernsea Ladies’ Choir’s SING series took place at the Withernsea Methodist Church Community Room at the weekend.
With the snow and ice making travel hazardous on Saturday, December 2, organisers were not sure how many people would risk the journey, but they were pleasantly surprised by a good turnout, including a couple from Rimswell who were attending for the first time, another couple from Thorngumbald who were returning for the third time, as well as three new guests, some of whom had travelled from Scarborough.
After the ladies had another battle attempting to put the SING banners up, musical director Patrick Pearson messaged to say he was having difficulties getting out of Hull, so the event got under way with accompanist Paul Pike playing the tunes.
Choir member Jean took the lead in singing some festive pop songs such as Let it Snow and Rocking around the Christmas Tree, before asking guests if they had any requests, of which there were many, including Bring me Sunshine, Catch a Falling Star, Fly Me to the Moon, Smile, Moon River and Let’s Face the Music and Dance.
Choir spokeswoman Caroline Busse said: “Paul wasn’t playing from sheet music – instead he was busking the accompaniment to all of these tunes and many more. What a star!”
Patrick arrived before long and took the lead on a number of carols and other seasonal songs, which the choir and guests will be performing at the free Christmas concert at Withernsea High School from 2pm on Saturday, December 9.
Caroline added: “We finished the first half by singing some more golden oldies. It was while accompanying Those were the Days and I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing that I found I had a previously undiscovered ability to play the tambourine!
“We then paused for very welcome refreshments, when we served our guests with tea and coffee, biscuits and some lovely buns provided by a choir member who couldn’t be with us at the event. This gave us time to chat with our guests. I had been sitting with the couple from Rimswell who turned out to be a fantastic source of local knowledge, including various nicknames for those not fortunate enough to come from South East Holderness.
“After the break, Patrick led us through some more carols for which we had been rehearsing descants composed especially for us by our very own Paul Pike. This was a fantastic opportunity to allow our guests to carry the main tune for us, while the choir sang the descants around it.
“We finished off by rehearsing some pieces which were new to the choir, so members and guests were on the same level. All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth was great fun. We followed that up with Do You Hear the People Sing? from Les Miserables and Memory from Cats. Both these were quite a challenge to the choir and guests alike, but it gave our guests hands-on experience of the choir going through the process of learning a new piece.
“This series of SING events, which Jackie and Sue worked their socks off to organise, has certainly been an adventure for all involved. We’ve tried things which worked and some that didn’t. It was a steep learning curve at times, but we learned valuable lessons as we went along.
“Most importantly, we had fun, as did our guests. In a wonderful sign of the success of the events, feedback from one of our guests on that last day included the question, ‘Are you planning to do this again next year?’
“Well, you’ll just have to wait and see…”