THURSDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER 2015.
‘BLAKE - SUPPORTED BY DO YOUR THING CHOIR’ shined over the entrance of the Plaza. I think for many, where the realisation hit and the excitement began … this was it!
As the choir congregated in the cafe a few of us remained downstairs to direct the members who were yet to arrive. We noticed a handsome stranger looking lost so of course felt more than obliged to offer assistance. Carolyn stepped up to do her thing since she was not only a member of the choir but a volunteer at the Plaza too. Next I knew we were having a sneaky photograph with Humphrey outside!
After the excitement of meeting Humphrey and him saying, “Bloody hell, never go on a rollercoaster after eating fish and chips, I feel sick”, it was soon time to move into the dressing rooms ready for the soundcheck. As we headed for the stage we wondered how we would access it due to the sheer size of the choir, would there be enough room? Panic not, with little room to spare we were on stage with Ollie and Humphrey and the soundcheck began.
Humphrey commented on the size of the choir and we were asked to sing Somebody to Love a cappella. We hit the boys with our first impression “Can”… throughout the piece we could see approving glances between Ollie and Humphrey and at the end Humphrey for the second time that evening said “Bloody hell”. They were impressed!
As we ran through the rest of the set we were asked to make changes to certain parts of the songs we had learnt. After months of practising they were engrained in our minds, surely someone would sing out at the wrong part?
We were lucky to be able to watch the beginning of the show from the gallery, the cue to vacate for our performance being the end of Chasing Cars. As we stood anxiously in the wings a buzz filled the air and as it was time to file onto the stage as Blake introduced ‘Do Your Thing’.
Our first song ‘You Raise Me Up’, immediately followed by ‘Hallelujah’ were over far too quickly. Our performance was seamless despite any changes. We’d nailed it and knowing this our confidence grew.
For the second act our solo piece ‘Somebody to Love’ filled the auditorium. Standing proud in the unity that is Do Your Thing we ended the song, arms raised to the rapturous applause of the audience. Later learning Blake had recorded the last few bars of STL from the wings, Blake then joined us on stage for the next piece ‘Up Where We Belong’.
Our last two songs were ‘Nessun Dorma’ and ‘Jerusalem’. Blake were clearly impressed by the eighty strong choir as more glances and smiles were shared between the trio. The last two pieces again went without a hitch and on leaving the stage could hear members of the audience shouting “more”.
During the evening a few of us had the pleasure of chatting with some of the trio between songs in the wings and I had the opportunity to chat to Martin the pianist and Humphrey on more than one occasion. Talking with Humphrey at one point he nearly missed his cue, all of a sudden he said “I should be on stage” and ran off. I’d like to think he was starstruck and in awe of the blue and purple sea supporting them!
Martin was a down to earth chap with his ‘keep calm and carry on’ t shirt and commented about Liz saying: “The enthusiasm oozes from her and I can see the passion in what she does” as I’m sure anyone in the choir will agree. It is down to that passion we were able to share such a valuable experience and although over far too quickly the memories we shared together that evening will last far longer.
Michael Franti once said “Music has the power to bring people together like no other art form” and on Thursday 10th September 2015 the eighty strong choir Do Your Thing with Musical Director Liz Taylor, we became one.