The Spirit of Bristol Fashion
Wow! What a busy month January is on the Bristol Fashion calendar. The first week of the year started with the Bristol Fashion Awards Night which has become a prestigious event. An evening of fun, laughter and entertainment. In a year where everything has been far from normal, where we have spent over 41 weeks joining together virtually, missing standing tall and close on the risers singing in 4-part harmony, it was important to keep some continuity. The planning for our awards night started back in the November. As a committee we agreed that some of our usual awards wouldn’t be possible, but we felt it was important to still recognise chorus members after all there have been many achievements this year. Just getting through the day to day of life in lockdown has been an achievement in itself!
So this year, rather than presenting the usual chair lady award, I launched the Spirit Awards to members of the chorus who have gone ‘above and beyond’. We could have given Spirit Awards to many of the chorus, but we narrowed it down to just a few, it was a pleasure to present these on the evening to:
- Vonny, to say a huge thank you to our resident researcher and writer, who must by now have encyclopaedic knowledge of Christmas songs and Barbershop tunes.
- Helen, our one-woman cottage industry! This lady has relentlessly continued to make a huge amount of money for chorus funds despite us not being able to meet in person.
- Craig, whilst there might not have been any “arm waving”, our musical direction has continued to flourish and is a key reason why our chorus is still in as good a shape now as it was back in March. A HUGE debt of thanks is owed by all for our amazingly talented and dedicated MD….
- Caroline has put herself “out there” every single week guiding us through a multitude of different warm ups. She has sung live to us all
- Debbie T has raised our profile keeping the energy high across all social media platforms and directed the ‘Notivity’
- Debbie P our Post card angel who has kept us going with her thoughtfulness and mental health wellbeing
- Sara T ALWAYS works relentlessly hard for our chorus and 2020 was no exception.
- Janis for her unending enthusiasm and devotion to all things BF. She made it her goal to keep us creative and competitive!
There are many people this year that have worked hard, beavering away in the background helping to keep BF afloat. It has truly been a team effort.
“great things, are never done by one person, there are done by a team of people” Steve Jobs
Awards evening over, our energies were focused on the AGM, rallying the troops to get nominations in for the committee posts. Our nominees wrote a short statement of intent on what they will bring to the role to help us as a chorus vote for the new committee. We were lucky that many of the current committee were happy to stand again in the same post. We used the polling function on Zoom to vote our committee in, with a little nervous energy around the Zoom screen. I’m pleased to say all ran smoothly. In fact, it was the fastest we’ve counted the votes in and with a blink of an eye, our 2021 committee was voted in. Congratulations to all our nominees and thanks to those who have filled posts over the last 12 months.
During the AGM we had even more to celebrate with long service awards and we were delighted to present Jenny Wood with her 25 years with LABBs award. Debbie T and Vonny celebrate 10 years of singing in harmony with Bristol Fashion. Special thanks was given to Sara T for serving 16 years on the management committee in various different roles.
Special recognition was also given to Jill who retired from her role on the Music team, Jill has played an active role in Bristol Fashion over the years and for her hard work and commitment the committee decided that she well and truly deserved to be awarded Life membership. There was not a dry eye in the house as a video of heartfelt thanks was played.
During the AGM, we also managed to present to the chorus their new BF logo pin badges which I am sure everyone will wear with pride. January certainly has been a busy month and we have achieved so much in a virtual world. Who knows what the rest of 2021 has in store. What I do know is that we are strong, we are a community, we are BF!!
Fliss Proctor, Bristol Fashion Chair