We all had such a good night at our charity concert on Saturday, 8th July in Bridgwater to raise funds for Ups and Downs South West. The theatre was an amazing space to be in and the staff, especially technical team, were second to none. Ticket sales, along with a spiffing raffle and some very generous match funding from Barclays Bank gathered over £1,000 into the coffers of this excellent cause.
We were thrilled with the debut performance of ‘Titanium’ quartet who sang Billy Joel’s ‘Lullaby’, and a Spice Girls medley. Our ‘in-house’ quartet ‘Free Range’ also did a fantastic job with four songs in each half.
Mixed voiced a cappella group Planet 24 enjoyed the experience though with a touch of sadness as it was the last gig for their amazing beat boxer Henry; this master of timing will be greatly missed.
Fascinating Rhythm closed the first half with the very emotive song ‘Fix You’ and an inspiration DVD about the work of the charity playing images on the screen behind – not a dry in the house, including some on stage!
All groups combined to close the show with ‘Happy Together’ with the six gentlemen taking part getting nice and cosy right in the middle of 50 women – brave lads. Our truly professional MC John Shipley, who is a Trustee for Ups & Downs, was supported effortlessly by new FR member Erica Smith as Stage Manager – her first time in the job (with all of two weeks notice).
Some comments from the audience: “so professional, a real pleasure to see”; “really impressed by the focus of Fascinating Rhythm on the MD and just how animated they all were – they looked like they were really enjoying every minute of it”.
Our lovely Emma Richardson who sings Bass with FR plighted her troth on Saturday, 24th June to Mr Steve Beale at the Hare and Hounds in the stunning location of Westonbirt. Fascinating Rhythm were invited to the wedding en masse and sang a set of five songs at the reception – the first being ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You’ that Emma dedicated to Steve. Steve then stepped up to join her and Mr & Mrs Beale delighted everyone by singing to each other. It was a truly lovely day, and we all wish them the very best for a long and … no apologies … harmonious life together.
We were delighted to be able to present our charity for 2016 – local RDA group Patchwork – with a cheque for £890 recently to help this very worthwhile, dedicated group who do such a wonderful job with the youngsters.
We had a great time at our joint concert with the Mendip Male Voice Choir on Saturday 20th January, raising funds for the beautiful venue we sang in – Christ the Servant Church in Stockwood, Bristol. Lovely feedback from the MD and PRO of MMVC re our two sessions …
‘Great concert, wonderful evening. I thought the ladies were outstanding, and particularly enjoyed FR’s renditions of “Pie Jesu,” “Pachelbel’s Canon” and “And so it Goes” – absolutely brilliant. Please convey my thanks to the ladies for coming. I will inform you of the amount made for the Church as soon as I have the final figure.
We must get together again sometime in the near future. Thanks again, Terry (PRO).’
‘May I echo Terry’s compliments for a great concert and, considering both choirs were down on numbers, I think the Church were very grateful for what we did to raise very important funds for their use. The Men were asking me to dig out “And So It Goes” from our music library to sing again – it is such a wonderful piece! Best wishes, Jamie Knights (MD).’
The venue acoustics were excellent (always a help!), the gentlemen looked very smart in spotless white shirts with red silk ties and, to bring everything to a blissful conclusion, we were treated to a wonderful selection of home-made cakes.
Our much anticipated first coaching session of the year with Sally McLean in April was the usual mixture of mayhem and brain scrabbling hard work when our embryonic convention songs were tossed about like so much chaff in a hurricane, then slowly nursed back to some semblance of life, followed by a long, long list of how to care for the patient. As ever, we were encouraged to go beyond what we think of as ‘our limit’ in the best possible way – much laughter, much encouragement, a bit of stern and quite a lot of cake. Both our MD Jo Dean and Sally were in fine fettle bouncing ideas around and we just about kept up with their quick wit and energy. Always exhilarating, we look forward to our next session in July.