Another amazing Inspiration year over and, after “the glorious season” of the Christmas concerts, a new one is beckoning with 29 (thanks Gary!) “Sensational Stage and Screen Spectacular” songs waiting in the wings.
But before we start our spring Showboating, rewind with me, past the New Year and “Christmas joys all around me” and “Somewhere In My Memory” I can see the “precious moments, special people, happy faces” of concert day…
As ever, our time on stage sped by faster than a Rudolph-guided sleigh but listening to the mesmerising carol medley of the BSO’s harpist, Eluned Pierce, I had a passing thought for all those un-credited contributors to our performances. Of course the programmes list the key leaders, players, soloists, and all the singers of the Inspiration team. Backroom boys, and girls, get a mention too but outside the immediate, God Bless Us Every One box I was thinking how many other factors go together to make a concert happen.
What about the tattooed roadies who set up the stage, the sound and lighting guys who tweak their sliders and faders, the truckers who drive the BSO pantechnicon and the staff at the O2 Guildhall? Or Anthony’s shimmering red, tinsel backdrop curtain? All play their part. Then, for every singer on stage there are as many stories of individual inspiration which led to us being there at all – personal contacts, newspaper ads, reports, Facebook messages or harmonious serendipity which Let The Song Begin for each one. In addition, we all have a musical heritage of parents, teachers, friends who have been instrumental in our vocal voyages.
How about the singers who make those o-so-helpful rehearsal recordings (there’s a great interview with one, Sharon Durant, on the website). How many times have those tracks been played in cars, at home, on training runs, in the gym or in the shower? And who transcribes all the lyrics for the website downloads? Where would we be without posters, flyers or the concert day programme? Then there’s the website: Penny keeps it all beautifully updated but did you know there are currently 27 photo contributors listed?
Week by week in Southampton we enjoy our half time rehearsal refreshments so thanks go to Marie for teas, coffees and tracking down 120 reindeer antler headbands!
One final thank you: others pay homage to Potters Pastilles or swear by Strepsils but I would personally like to acknowledge the debt I have to Fleetwood pharmacist James Lofthouse whose company now produce over 5 billion lozenges a year. When it seems the voice is on its way out, his Fisherman’s Friends somehow soothe my sore throat and rescue my scratchy vocal chords for another “magical, lyrical, annual miracle”!
Alan Matlock 2nd January 2017, Inspiration Choir Southampton member