18 singers from Bristol Gasworks Singers came to Manchester this weekend (24/25 March) for two days of singing, mutual learning and other larks with Manchester Community Choir. A group of our singers had thoroughly enjoyed a visit hosted by them just over a year ago.
We had a high (and alto, tenor and bass) old time! There was splendid food – Saturday lunch of motley salads provided by MCC members; Saturday night curry and hotpot in Didsbury’s Saints and Sinners Scholars; Sunday lunch was Armenian.
And there was terrific singing. Our leader Liz taught the audience and everyone Tedumela and Ipharadisi; we sang to Bristol, and Bristol sang to us, a marvellously eclectic range of songs. Their leader Dee Jarlett’s beautiful song for grandchildren ‘Who Will You Be?’ moved everyone; there was the politics of ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘I Can’t Keep Quiet’; and among many others, an outstanding rendition of the old Zombies’ number ‘She’s Not There’.
Plus we raised money. Saturday’s cakes raised £373.50 for ‘Growing Together’, whose representatives also gave us a short talk about their work. And on Sunday we busked together at the Peoples’ History Museum in aid of the restoration of a historic banner used by suffragettes 100 years ago.
Getting together to sing together gives us ‘The Sweetest Kick’ (a Stephen Taberner song the Bristolians brought along). We’ll be at StreetChoirs Brighton and Llangollen later in the year meeting many other choirs. But there was something special about sharing time and songs with the people from just one other group a bit like us.