Last week all of my choirs performed together along with 10 other choirs at the Swindon Festival of Choirs in aid of the Open Door Charity.  The event was being held at the Old Town Gardens Bowl in Swindon. I.e Outdoors!   Regular readers of my blog may remember a post I wrote on 4 May this year entitled ‘Singing in the Rain‘.  Quoting that article, I said “In my experience, putting an outdoor concert on is never a wise plan”.

I don’t like to be the one to put a damper on proceedings, (pun intended – it’s the best I can do I’m afraid), but I did warn everyone involved that my track record of attending or performing at concerts outdoors isn’t that good.  In fact every outdoor concert I have been part of in some form, has always been affected by poor weather.   About 10 years ago, I travelled to Suffolk to hear Jools Holland – we heard one song then the heavens opened, the electrics blew and everyone went home!

So fastforward to last weekend and there I am in Swindon with all my choirs ready to go on stage.  And yes, everyone is sheltering under their umbrellas on what was quite possibly the wettest day of the year so far!  Worse than that, the rain seemed to be confined purely to that small corner of Swindon, whilst the rest of the country was bathed in sunshine.  However in the true spirit of the Great British Summer, the show had to go on and despite the weather we had a pretty decent audience!

In order to escape all this bad weather, particularly now that schools have finished for the Summer, a lot of us will be seeking sunnier climes as a venue for our annual Summer Holiday.  It once again raises the question in my mind: ‘What should I do during August?’.

Of my 4 choirs, currently 2 meet all year round regardless and 2 take a break during August. Obviously various choir members will themselves be on holiday during August so rehearsals may not be quite as well attended. However, I have always taken the view that provided a reasonable number of people are able / willing to turn up then choir should go on.  Id be very interested to know what people think about this. Does your choir break for the summer or are you happy to keep going to rehearsals during August?


Jules Addison is Musical Director for The BlueBellesThe Pewsey BellesCirencester Male Voice Choir, The GWH Trust Choir and Transeamus Chamber Choir

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