Last Choir Standing

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Production Diary 8: The Final Countdown

28th August 2008

James TaylorSo, this is it. We’re on the eve of possibly the biggest choral competition the country has ever seen and we’ve got 3 amazing choirs, all vying to be the Last Choir Standing and hold the prestigious title of “Britain’s Favourite Choir”. Personally, I can’t believe that we’re here already - it only seems like yesterday that we were sitting in the office on a fine Spring day and the first application and audition video arrived in the post.

We’ve had every type of choir you could possibly think of, from all 4 points of the compass on the British Isles. I always say one of the benefits of working on this type of show is that you get to meet so many interesting people from all walks of life and boy, do choirs have people from every background possible - from the choir who were missing an MD Dreemz to the Filey Fishermen’s Choir who want new members to carry on their tradition. From the razzamatazz of the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus to the more traditional Basingstoke Ladies Choir.

Sadly those choirs have come and gone, but the overwhelming feedback is that they benefited from being part of Last Choir Standing even if they didn’t make it as far as the final. But, onto our Final 3 - they sure are pulling out all the stops this week and each of them came home to a rapturous reception…

ONLY MEN ALOUD! made a spectacular arrival to their home fans and were overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who were there to see them. After a few words from MD Tim, the choir sang and received an ovation from the happy crowd. The very next day the boys were asked to do the honor of performing at the Welsh Assembly to welcome back the Welsh Olympic athletes. Wyn and Tim even managed to grab a few bits of advice on winning from Gold medallists Geraint Thomas and Nicole Cook!

YSGOL GLANAETHWY came back to Bangor to a warm welcome from their friends and family. They received a personal message from the Mayor, who greeted them and said that Bangor were behind them and they gave a spontaneous performance to their fans outside the school, despite being tired from their early start and the 2012 party the day before. Later on that night, they performed at Faenol, a North Wales music festival laid on by local hero Bryn Terfel to their home crowd. They had all grown up as revellers at the festival and to perform there was certainly an honor for them.

REVELATION performed to a large crowd on the South Bank. They were greeted by fans offering support and asking for autographs before being whisked off to their East London rehearsal venue in an extra special way - they arrived to cheers and clapping from hundreds of waiting friends and family. The venue was decorated Revelation’s trade mark pink and black and performed a special set for their supporters to say thank you for getting them this far. This was followed by a party to celebrate getting to the final.

All these events were in addition to the choirs’ rigorous rehearsal schedule - this is crunch time and MD’s Tim, Cefin and Nick are making this quite clear to their groups. This is perhaps the most important week in their choir’s history and it goes without saying the amount that the individuals have sacrificed to be in the show - most importantly time with loved ones who have hardly seen them due to late night rehearsals!

It’s been quite a journey and I’m sure that no one in Revelation, Only Men Aloud! or Ysgol Glanaethwy would have expected what’s happened in the last few weeks when they turned up to their first audition at the start of May in London’s Cadogan Hall.

After seeing people literally come up to choir members in public and say how much they enjoy their singing and pledging their support and votes, it’s fair to say that choirs are once again taking their rightful place in the centre of the nation’s heart. I can’t wait for Saturday - it will no doubt be an epic final and a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog over the last few weeks - it’s been such an honour to bring you the latest news from Choir HQ, I’m going to miss it!

So, what’s next for me? I think I’m off to join a choir…

James

Tune in on Saturday at 18:00 on BBC One to watch the final. Or if you missed the last show, watch it now.

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