January 29, 2019

Underneath the Stars Festival 2018

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In true BYC style, when it came to the Underneath the Stars festival this year, we didn’t do anything by halves. After the wonderful experience that Children’s Choir had in the previous year, Intermediate and Senior Choirs just had to get a piece of the action!

It was such an exhilarating event; the sheer scale of it… enormous stage, a huge tent with capacity for over a thousand…not to mention the fact that we were sharing the stage with Kate Rusby herself! This year easily lived up to the previous one. Despite being somewhat of a logistical headache, the dream team that is the red shirt brigade pulled it off without a hitch. When I think back to that day I have visions of queues and queues of choir members, in a variety of different colours, waiting to go on stage / cheering the other choirs on.

The choirs took it in turns to perform, with overlaps that featured at least two of the choirs (something never before attempted with Children’s and Intermediate Choirs), and we were a little concerned that there may be too much time spent moving from one piece to another.

Mat filled the gap at one point by training the over 1000-strong crowd to sing the chorus for Hallelujah This proved to be one of the most moving moments, as the whole tent was united in song. The audience didn’t disappoint! The performance culminated in the piece Bold Riley that I had bravely arranged in 8 parts, which we sang with Kate Rusby and some of her band members. As there were so many choir members on stage by that point, Senior Choir stood amongst the audience, which added a magical dimension to the sound.

Once again, the crowd was huge and seemed to be pouring in all the way through. Accompanied by the magnificent band, the choirs performed brilliantly. Mat was also asked to deliver ‘pop-up’ vocal workshops throughout the weekend, which proved to be a great success. We are so grateful to Joe Rusby for inviting us to be a part of the festival once again, and hope this partnership will continue for many years to come.