Tuesday 29 October 2013, 11:38
After seeing an advert for volunteers to take part in a special community orchestra to celebrate BBC Radio Cumbria' 40th Birthday, I decided to go along and broaden my horizons with a new challenge. Initially I roped in my best friend Gill for the taster session, and then my daughter Lydia. I personally haven't sang since I was very young and so felt a little apprehensive as to what was ahead!
At the taster session we met Barry Russell the Musical Director who advised us we would be making a piece of music to be performed alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra ('wow'). The choir was introduced to Anna Flannaghan, our vocal coach, who inspired us all with her fabulous enthusiasm and energy that she portrayed. After completing the taster session I was buzzing, felt exhilarated, a great sense of achievement and pride in myself and definitely wanting to do more. I looked forward to the next sessions, there being 3 in total. Each session left me with an ear worm of the music we had made and practiced through the day. It was surprising how fast the piece came together working alongside the orchestra.
D Day arrived on Saturday 19th October at Whitehaven Sports Centre. We arrived at 11.30 ready for our final practice and meeting the other half of the orchestra from Dalton in Furness who also had been working on the piece - it was lovely to finally come together and meet. I have to say in our final rehearsal with us all together whilst singing I was left with goose bumps, the feeling was electric.
After rehearsal we had a chance to sit and listen to the Philharmonic Orchestra warming up and it wasn't until then that I realised just how big the night was going to be!The choir performing alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
The night was absolutely amazing, I have to say very emotional and the sense of pride and achievement I felt was overwhelming. It had all come together in such a short time, sounded fantastic and left me with some lovely new friends along with a once in a lifetime experience which I would love to do all over again.
I am so grateful to Radio Cumbria for giving us the opportunity to perform and Nell Gordon for coming up with the fabulous idea, The Philharmonic for giving up their time to come to the sleepy town of Whitehaven and putting us on the map. I am proud to be Cumbrian.Audience watching the choir performing alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
*BBC Outreach works to connect the BBC with audiences around the UK in new ways. The aim is to extend our reach to diverse audiences, particularly those who may not have traditionally been engaged by our broadcast content. This project was an opportunity to work in partnership with BBC Radio Cumbria and the BBC Philharmonic, creating an exciting event in Whitehaven, Cumbria and reaching a target audience.