Last night I stood on a box. Two boxes in fact; one balanced precariously on top of the other. Apparently this was distracting for some of the choir members stood in front of me. But it did at least have the positive effect that most were watching – even if their primary interest was to see if, or indeed when, I would fall off the box. Whether they gleaned anything else of use from the hand movements I was making, remains to be seen.
To be fair, the choir had problems of their own. The main one of which was a distinct lack of space. It seems that when the church of St Peter at Milton Lilbourne was constructed in the mid 13th century, the architect failed to consider the implications of putting on a concert involving a 40 strong Choir. This is clearly very remiss of them. After all, most Cathedrals were planned to include Cafe’s and adequate space for parking. Some even went as far as putting in convenient pillars to allow televisual screens to convey the goings on at the high altar to the great unwashed masses residing by the door at the West end.
Nevertheless, the British are renowned for making the best of a situation and just getting on with it no matter what inconvenience is put upon us. The ladies were squashed into the available space and it actually didn’t look too bad from atop my box! Immediately, however, there was a problem. The opening song of the concert is called ‘Sway’… You can see where this is going. Everyone in the middle suddenly worked out the reason why the idiot on the box had, in rehearsal, been trying to achieve consistency of direction when ‘swaying’. As for the people on the end of the rows, they discovered that walls which have withstood the test of time since 1290, tend not to suddenly get out the way because a random choir decides to wobble about a bit.
Despite that, the concert with The Pewsey Belles was a great success and we had a decent audience too. 85 people turned out on what was a typically British, slightly damp Summer’s evening. The moral of the story is when planning a concert always check the numbers of people in the choir against the available space in the venue. Last night, we got away with it, although it was probably a good thing that quite a lot of the choir were AWOL.