Llandudno 2005


Jauntiness of step, a lightness of heart, a full night’s sleep. Ever so slightly less pain getting up in a morning. Short term benefits of a weekend away. If you could bottle it, it would be the elixir of life. A moratorium on life’s darker areas.

Problems with orientation – a mirror crack’d.

We were light the first morning for the first rehearsal, light even of the musical director. Where were they we thought? Well Graham did in his role as ? They were in the downstairs ballroom, setting out the chairs and wondering where the rest of the choir was.

After coffee Elizabeth thought we’d have sectionals, so the ballroom would now come into play. Basses and baritones would stay on the ground floor. John had other ideas. Waltzed in without a care and sat waiting. Elizabeth disabused him, otherwise he’d still be sat there.

The new song was Red red rose or something. A scottish air. Funny, we’ve a new secretary from Scotland and two new songs from Scotland. Not connected of course.

Sheila Asquith stepped in as accompanist. Ann shopping in New York. She has an area for development in the button department. We were never entirely sure what sort of piano, organ, harpsicord, banjo or whatever was coming next. It was a relief to get the metronome. She did us proud in Bettwys.

Brian Higginbottom sung a solo, voluntarily – a message in itself. He sung it beautifully, with a twinkle in his eye and modestly accepted the rapturous applause. One bass I heard  withdrew from the Annie Laurie auditions.

Elizabeth’s conducting/direction/teaching or all of those things continues to develop. She’s singing all the parts now so we can get a sense of it. All except the top first tenor notes, which she freely admits are just out of her range. Out of their range too? She must spend huggins of time preparing. Maybe why we sing better and try harder. Very thoughtful about her jokes too.

Two questions

(1) Can we have two repertoires? A concert one we do with Elizabeth and do well. And a pub one, where Elizabeth is not involved and we don’t mind making a pig’s ear of? Could we transfer the good points from the concert repertoire – an agreed set of songs, how to pitch them, someone in charge, someone conducting?

(2) We’ll never top the Tsunami concert. Is it time to try somewhere different to Llandudno?

Rod Gooch sat and watched the Bettwys concert, with Alan Dalgetty. The rehearsal following he stood and gave an impassioned summary of how he was proud to be a part of the choir. I felt much as I used to prior to a big match. The longer we waited the more wound up I got. We used to be ready to rip their heads off – or in more politically correct terms, focused, in the zone. Well we did didn’t we? We nailed it.

David Hinchcliffe is a truly gentle person who has few dark moments. His best pal was a local gp, a redoubtable scot called Gordon Selby who couldn’t return to the place of his birth because his shoes were worn out, or his brother’s, I’m not sure which. Gordon always asked how my health was, even as his was failing. Reminds me of another quiet sound Scot – Alec Fiddes – who I had the pleasure of knowing in his later years.

Clive Hetherington and Jed Faricy resumed their free and frank mathematical discussion over the cow pie and kept it simmering gently during the weekend. Index fingers to the fore and robust dynamics or ff as we say con belto. This will run and run I guess.


An unscientific poll over the weekend suggests David Haigh got the newsletter just about right. His last edition was particularly well received. Thanks David – lets hope we can keep the standard going.