Merry Christmas, Everyone!
At this time of year Bristol Fashion would normally be singing up a Christmas storm in all manner of places from churches to shopping malls, from manor houses to show homes. But of course, this year has been a little different. Covid-19 has seen the singer’s world shrink to the size of a small screen as we zoomed our way through the best part of 2020.
December started with two advent calendar events. The British Association of Barbershop Singers launched their daily advent calendar on Facebook with snippets of choruses and quartets, messages from the board and details of coming events. At Bristol Fashion, I started my usual calendar but this year with a little twist, and introduced the chorus to Joe, a barbershopper lost in the wilderness trying to find his way home. I am having the best time coming up with new adventures for our intrepid traveller, I can tell you!
Many choruses, both national and international, have hosted Christmas Shows via a variety of social media. Many of our members have ‘attended’ concerts by the White Rosettes, the Vocal Majority, Masters of Harmony, Ambassadors of Harmony, Zero 8 and a joint collaboration by Meantime and London City Singers. We will all have spent time with many of our fellow singers at Convention, and it was good to see them and share a drink or two, while we wait for the time when we can see them in person again. And as I write this there are still shows to look forward to from Ringmasters and the AIC, a fabulous show of international quartet champions.
But back in the BF stable our members have been equally busy. Debbie T has been busy auditioning for the BF Nativity, while Sally has been singing carols in the street with her neighbours. Debbie Nics ran another Song Club with a Christmas theme complete with crackers, Christmas bingo and a fabulous selection of songs that got everyone talking. Jenn has been putting together a montage of the chorus singing a well-known Christmas Carol, and Janis has been popping up visiting folks with a welcome mince pie and a chat on the doorstep. The MPT dragged ‘Mariah’ out of the archives, and we were all reminded how beautiful Craig’s arrangement of Silent Night is.
The Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers ran an event last weekend with a festive feel, and tonight the Great Western Chorus have their Christmas party for the guys and their families. I am reliably informed there will be a quiz so have been swotting up on a few encyclopaedias. And tomorrow night Bristol Fashion will be enjoying their own Christmas Zoom Party complete with a bit of singing… and a bit of drinking no doubt.
It’s been a strange year and no mistake. My sons asked me if I’d ever known anything like it in my lifetime, and I realised that I had not. I also realised how much I looked forward to seeing the faces of my beloved chorus every week. OK it’s not the same as actually being with each other in person but then truth be told, it’s not really the singing that has kept us together. It’s knowing there is always our BF family nearby, just a zoom call away.
So Merry Christmas you horrible lot! Eat, drink and sing your hearts out. Until we are all jabbed-up and back in our world again, take care and see you on a zoom call soon.
Vonny Flowers, Bristol Fashion Chorus