Planet 24 have won their first class of the day at the Bath Music Festival with 88 points and a distinction, singing ‘Lonesome Road’ and ‘Moondance’. The adjudicator particularly liked their free singing, sense of rhythm and performance!
Nice piece of silverware to polish for a year.
In the second class entered (Show Songs), out of a class of 12, P24 came joint 3rd with 84 points, were commended, and congratulated on the delivery of two very complex arrangements – ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’. We’re very proud of them, especially as five of the singers are from Fascinating Rhythm, including MD Jo Dean.
We’re thrilled to bits to have improved our score again this year by a whole 2 points and hold on to our 5th place. We’ve still a way to go before scoring high enough to get into the top 3 but we’re more consistent now and improving year on year. Two points may not seem like much, but considering there was only 0.6 between us and the 4th placed Chorus and 0.4 for the one biting our ankles you can see just how tight the competition is. We’re judged in three categories: Music (the arrangement), Presentation & Singing; looking at the scores, we were actually 4th in Presentation, so we dun good getting the interpretation of the songs across. Our new dresses looked good under the stage lights too, very sparkly. We had both of our songs especially arranged for us again this year by Liz Garnett: ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby’ and ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’. Apparently, we’re the first chorus to bring two totally new arrangements to two consecutive conventions; hope this sets a trend – there’s so many great songs out there just waiting to be arranged and sung in the barbershop style. We’re aiming to make it three in a row and bring two ones to Eastbourne in 2017.
During 2016, LABBS (Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers) are celebrating 40 years of glorious harmony and, as with every Convention, all the clubs are sent a song to learn so we can raise the roof together. As this is a special year, we were sent no less a challenge than … Bohemian Rhapsody! If you’d like to hear what it sounds like sung by 2,000 women, led by multiple gold medallists The White Rosettes chorus and their MD Sally McLean—visit www.labbs.org.uk (scroll middle column just above White Rosettes).
At this point, we’d again like to say a huge Thank You to all Friends of FR and to our families for the support you give us throughout the year; we had over 200 guests at our dress rehearsal and it really makes such a difference to have you there.
Update from Free Range:
So, Prelims 2016 came and went in a blur of excitement and fun!
When you are competing against 35 (yes 35!) other quartets, you appreciate there is every chance that it’s going to be tough to qualify as in reality you have to beat 19 of them. Our performance felt good and this year we decided to watch our recording straight after we had come off stage. Having made the decision not to watch any other quartets prior to our own stage time, we watched the final section of the competition and waiting for the results… it was a very long day for the judges!
For those not aware, the process is that if you qualify, your name goes into a hat and then randomly selected, which gives your place to sing at Convention. Very nail biting stuff; when “and singing 12th…” is announced and you have not been mentioned…. With each further place your emotions start to sink and we had that look between us all thinking that we had not qualified… . Then – “and singing 16th…… FREE RANGE!” Well, there were a few whoops and screeches as you can imagine!
When the score sheet was produced we were absolutely thrilled to have been placed 13th, with a score of 67.5 which was a lovely jump from 62.9 at convention 2015 (and 63.3 from Prelims). We are delighted of course, but also appreciate that we need to work even harder to continue to improve so Convention will be a big focus for us (once our holidays are all done of course!).
We’d like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to our family, friends and coaches for all their support and help, plus a Big Shout Out to Fascinating Rhythm, whose support and enthusiasm is immense.
Dot, Di, Lesley & Mads
Harrogate – Spring Bank Holiday, 30th May 2016 and the last day of the British Association of Barbershop Singers annual convention saw the inauguration of the very first Mixed Chorus class. Very proud to report that no less than six of the 24 singers in the group were from Fascinating Rhythm, including our two gold medallists – Ali Jack and MD Jo Dean – with Chloe Roberts, Hanna Davies, Emma Richardson, Brenda Roberts and Julie Morgan. Other members of P24 came from The Brit Pack, Black Sheep Chorus, The Great Western Chorus, Jigsaw Quartet and a special guest from Zero 8! There’s something rather marvellous about this combining of voices from different choruses which also fielded 3 sets of couples. Harmony indeed.
Overcoming the almost impossible job of getting tight diaries lined up, the group had just five rehearsals to pull it all together, with only a full number at the last rehearsal. The songs offered were ’My Foolish Heart’ and ‘Undecided Medley’ which saw them romp into 3rd place, with a Highly Commended.
Rehearsing before the ‘off’.
It’s a weird fact that every time FR have a whole day somewhere, be it workshop, coaching, competition, etc – the weather is always glorious while we’re warbling away indoors. We did manage a quick half hour in the sun for lunch at our rehearsal hall before She Who Must Be Obeyed gave a discreet cough, then it was back to polishing the three songs for our first class, Songs from the Shows. We were pipped to the post by the excellent Wessex Male Voice Choir (who also won Male Voice Choir and the Gold Cup) but we got a ‘Highly Commended’ and some good comments from the adjudicators.
Always a careful balancing act …
Back to the rehearsal hall for a recap on our next three songs and perhaps a nibble or two of cake, then returned to the Town Hall for our second stint in the Female Voice Choir category. This session (now running well over an hour late!) was very well supported by the Barbershop fraternity, fielding 5 of the 6 entries so a big Hurrah! for Black Sheep, Harmony Inspires, Bristol Fashion and Cleeve Harmony who competed alongside community choir Take Note – and we’re very pleased that our sister chorus Bristol Fashion gave a great performance and came away with the trophy. Fascinating Rhythm had a wonderful audience reaction to both our performances and many, many nice comments afterwards; we may not have bagged any silver, but we certainly entertained!
And well done to our two new baritones Sue and Carolyn who joined us just a few months ago and got all 6 songs under their belts to a high standard in record time. Welcome to the madness …