Posts Categorized: Competition

Convention 2019 “Lovin’ Llandudno”

We were thrilled to improve our score again this year. Competing at this level and gaining on last year’s marks makes the graft absolutely worth it. No-one ever said it was going to be easy!

As tradition dictates, we took two more bespoke arrangements by the wonderful Dr Liz Garnett to the stage and we were delighted to receive so many compliments on the beauty of them, especially City of Stars from La La Land.

Singing by the seaside is always a pleasure and it’s safe to say that even if it was a tad blowy and the local gulls participated in some hotel room raiding for sandwiches(!), Llandudno was lovely.

Bring on Bournemouth 2020!


Convention 2018

Many apologies for the lack of our reporting on the LABBS Convention 2018…. time has flown by since our return so here is a snap shot of the weekend back in October.

The majority of members travelled to Harrogate by coach early on Friday morning and we enjoyed supporting the quartet competition on arrival, with special mention to go to ‘Avalon’ who performed so well in the semi-finals and made it through to the finals. Karen, who sings baritone with Fascinating Rhythm also sings baritone in Avalon so we were particularly keen to support them.

We had been drawn to sing first in the competition on Saturday, which meant a very early start for us to get warmed up and prepared for our 11am performance on stage. This did mean that a lot of us had retired early to bed even before the quartet competition results had been announced! Many watched the live stream from our beds…. but it was worth it to hear that Avalon won GOLD, we were so proud and excited for them – Congratulations Avalon!

Saturday came and went in a flash…. those 6 minutes on stage go so fast, but we were delighted that so many were able to support us in the audience. Again we brought 2 new bespoke arrangements to stage, thank you to Dr Liz Garnett for another amazing job with 2 songs that we all loved performing. We left the stage with a great feeling and so many lovely comments from the public who had seen us. We are so pleased to still be ranked 5th in the country – it really is testament to our hard work to stay there amongst the other best choruses in the land.

Then we move on to our afterglow party (what happens at convention, stays at convention!)…. suffice to say we had some hilarious party pieces and always witness hidden talent amongst our members.

Here are a few pictures from our time on stage…. we really did have a blast!

WOW Rehearsal

We were absolutely delighted to have a full house at our dress rehearsal on 14th October.

The audience were full of enthusiasm for our Convention Package which we performed twice and sang a few of our repertoire songs for their entertainment.

We had great feedback and now we cant wait to get on stage in Harrogate!

We wish all other competitors the best of luck and of course will let you know how we get on.

JFR Success!

Thornbury Eistedfodd 2018

This year, we were determined to get things 100% right – so lots of plans were put into place to make our journey to the competition the best it could be.

Solos – 6 Junior FR girls decided to take part in the Thornbury solo competition this year.
Music was sourced and chosen and tweaked to match every girls’ vocal range. Teach tracks were made and private lessons began. The girls also spent time with Kitty on presentation and Ali on vocal excellence and Charmaine (our piano accompanist), to get as fully prepared as possible.
The girls were also given some performance opportunities, and came along to FR on Thursday 8th March to perform in front of FR and on the 9th March to all the parents from Junior FR.

The competition began at 9.00am on Sunday 11th March (Mother’s day).
Lily Howse sang “Let’s go fly a kite”, Anna White sang “Somewhere out there” and Edie Wong sang “Tomorrow”. All in the under 11 stage and screen section.
It was a Junior FR hat trick! Anna scored a massive 89 marks and won the trophy. Lily came second with 88 marks and Edie came third with 87 – distinctions for all.
Hannah Sharp had a tough section singing “On My Own” against 9 other competitors in the 14 and under stage and screen section. She came a very respectable 3rd place and gave a very moving performance.
Ella Carrick had an amazing day. She sang “I’m not that girl” from Wicked in the 18 and under section. Competing against 6 others, she gave a very emotional performance and took the first place trophy.
Our last singer of the morning was Jessica Page – singing about “a windmill in old Amsterdam” in the 11 and under folk song section. She gave a brilliant performance and was given 88 marks (another distinction) and came 2nd.

It was a fabulous morning; the adjudicator was brilliant and has given us lots of advice. I am hoping to book her to come and do a workshop with the girls in the future.
To top it all, Lily has since been asked to represent the junior sections and perform at the Eistedfodd concert on the 23rd March. What an honour, and of course we said yes.

Choirs – We decided to split Junior FR this year, as our numbers are growing and we have 9 very competent secondary school girls, who we thought needed more of a challenge.

Song choice has always be key to these competitions – finding songs that are challenging but that can be sung well.

The Juniors (directed by Wendy Howse) and supported by Nic Page, Claire Bevan and Melanie Edwards sang “The midnight Tango” from Roald Dahl’s Cinderella musical and “The Little Sandman”, a poem set to music by Brahms.
The girls really benefited from the same performance opportunities as the soloists on the lead up to the competition.
They seemed fearless as they took to the stage (in St. Mary’s Church – Thornbury) and delivered their package perfectly. They even managed to sing in 3 part harmony, unaccompanied and stay in pitch. They competed against 5 other schools in the 11 and Under competition; Crossways; Tockington Manor; Christ the King; Frampton and Manorbrook.

Whilst all the other performances were lovely, no-one delivered like Junior FR and we took first place and a trophy.
On top of that, we had so many lovely compliments for other schools and Eistedfodd staff, which was the icing on the cake.
Junior FR have never won this competition. Each year they just miss out and we are delighted that our perseverance has paid off and Junior FR finally get the win they deserve (after 5 years of competing)

The seniors were entered into a new competition this year. 18 and U (small choirs) – against Tockington Manor and The Castle School Chamber Choir. Our girls sang “The Winter Carol” and “Sing”. Directed by Kitty Davies and supported by Chloe Roberts, Ali Jack and Joan Josey.
The girls gave a solid performance – the adjudicator was highly impressed when one of the songs went into 5 parts. – especially as there were only 9 girls in the choir
The Castle school choir also gave a solid performance, and the adjudicator found it very difficult to decide who should come first. We were just beaten by one point (but still scoring 87 – distinction) and so were awarded 2nd place.

We are so immensely proud of both choirs and incredibly grateful to Wendy Howse (MD) and the whole JFR team.
We are also so very fortunate that Valerie Shelton, gave up her time to accompany the girls again this year and once again played the piano beautifully for us.


This weekend (17th March) see’s the soloists (plus Alice Grubb), compete in the Bristol Eistedfodd.
28th April we will be taking to the stage as we have been invited to sing in The Frampton Male Voice Choir’s concert – in aid of Cancer Research.
May Day will see us on the side of a lorry (stage), as we entertain the crowd.
And we hope to be involved in The Thornbury Carnival – we are just waiting to hear.

Wendy Howse has said “It’s such an honour being the Musical Director. Obviously winning trophies is nice, but seeing the journey that these girls go on from when they first walk into our rehearsal room, to now, is so rewarding. Being part of Junior FR has made quite a big difference to so many girls in terms of confidence and self esteem, that every second spent on rehearsals, admin, learning songs etc is so worth it.”

JFR – Junior Choir with their trophy

Convention 2017

We had such a great time beside the seaside, beside the sea…. in Bournemouth at the LABBS and European Chorus Competition in October.

Fascinating Rhythm are delighted to have retained our 5th position in the country but were so pleased to be ranked 4th in the singing category this year.

Singing late in the afternoon gave us time to focus and be together all day which was a bonus of course as we just love spending time with each other.  The only sad part of the day was that we were not able to watch many other choruses perform.

Congratulations to The White Rosettes, Cheshire Chord Company & Crystal Chords on their medal winning performances in the Chorus competition and to Sound House, Barberlicious and Avalon for the quartet competition. The standard was high in all the competitions this years so well done to everyone!

There are a few pictures below of our stage time which we hope you enjoy, and thank you all for your continued support