I am very much looking forward to seeing all the different OTMB groups next week as we get going again for our new year of 2015/16. These are exciting times for Out There Music Bristol and I wanted to take this opportunity to write about our year ahead and some really positive changes we have made.
2015/16 – The Year Ahead for OTMB
From when I first started OTMB back in 2008, each year has followed a similar pattern with two big concerts each year for all the groups to come together and perform which has worked really well up until now. However, I feel now is the right time to freshen things up and to change the way the year is structured. So instead of having two major concerts in both the Winter and Summer, we will move to having just one big concert each year. In 2015/16, it will take place on Sunday 22nd May at St. George’s Bristol.
In addition to the one major concert for all of OTMB at St. George’s, each group will have its own event which will be fairly local to where the group is based. The North and South Bristol Community Choirs will have a Christmas performance, the Orchestra will have its own concert as it did last year but this time in February, the Chamber Choir will continue to have a Christmas Concert at St. Monica’s and the Children’s Choir will also have its own showcase. In essence, the year is now tailored towards the differing needs of each group. I’m excited about the new-look year which I think will work really well for everybody. The benefits include;
- Each group getting their own showcase in their local area.
- One more serious and formal performance at St. George’s and also something a little less pressurised.
- Hopefully striking a good balance between ‘some’ commitment but not ‘too much’ – in terms what is required to be involved in OTMB.
- Only being asked to sell a lot of tickets once a year.
- An opportunity to re-visit some previous repertoire, simply to just sing/play some old favourites.
North Bristol/South Bristol Community Choirs Christmas Shows
- North Bristol Choir – Elmgrove Centre, Saturday 5th December, 7.30pm
- South Bristol Choir – Southbank, Wednesday 16th December, 7.30pm
The background to this is that last December, the NB Choir had its Christmas Social in the Cambridge Arms on a Thursday after the last session before the holidays. I took my keyboard along to the Cambridge and all of the choir who were packed into the pub gathered around the piano and we spent a good hour singing some classic Christmas songs. Everyone I talked to afterwards agreed that it was an amazing night. It was really laid back and quite simply all about a group of likeminded people coming together and being swept up with the joy of singing, aided by some mulled wine and the spirit of Christmas! And it got me thinking, how could we try and at least partially re-create that night and bring some of that magic to one of our actual shows? So………
Our Christmas events will be at fairly informal venues which are also conducive to socialising – North Bristol’s will take place at the Elmgrove Centre, South Bristol’s at Southbank – and they will be Christmas parties as well as Christmas Concerts. The audience will be seated around tables with food and drinks – cabaret style. The choirs will perform a couple of sets of music – the first one made up of the songs we’ll have been working on from September including Life on Mars by David Bowie, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and some Mumford and Sons. The 2nd will comprised of some classic Christmas songs. In between the sets there’ll be food and drink and for the last few of the Christmas songs, we’ll invite the audience to join us for a (hopefully by that point of the night) well oiled festive sing-along!
In the New Year, the community choirs will begin fresh repertoire and will start working towards the big performance at St. George’s on Sunday 22nd May.
After the big concert in May, there will be a few rehearsals left of the Summer which could be called ‘Back-Catalogue Term’. The sessions will be an opportunity to simply come and have a good sing without lots of rehearsing and they’ll give us a chance to re-visit some older repertoire that we haven’t done for a while. We’ll finish the year off with a social for all the OTMB groups on Saturday 25th June, similar to the BBQ and bar we had after the Summer Show, where all the groups will have the chance to come together to sing/play one more time as well as eat, drink and socialise.
Orchestra Concert – Henleaze URC, Sunday 21st February, 7.30pm
In May 2015, for the first time, the OTM Bristol Orchestra staged its own concert at Henleaze URC which was a great success. Therefore the orchestra will again perform its own show this year in February with repertoire set to include some Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Romsky-Korsakov. After that it’ll begin working towards the St. George’s show on Sunday 22nd May.
After the big concert in May, there will be a few rehearsals left of the Summer where similar to the community choirs, rehearsals will be an opportunity to simply come and have a good play and give the orchestra the chance to re-visit some older repertoire that hasn’t been played for a while.
Chamber Choir Christmas Concert – Cote Lane Chapel, St. Monica’s, Sunday 13th December, 7pm
Chamber Choir Summer Soiree – Halo, Friday 24th June, 7.30pm
The Chamber Choir will continue to have its more formal Christmas Concert at St. Monica’s which was a wonderful event last December and where this year they will be performing music by Eric Whitacre, Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium, Love Bade Me Welcome by Tavener, some traditional Christmas favourites and much, much more! In the New Year the choir will begin fresh repertoire and work towards performing at St. George’s on Sunday 22nd May. And also towards its own Summer performance at Halo similar to the one we just had in June where our audience were seated cabaret style at tables and enjoyed the three sets of music accompanied by some good food and drink.
So that’s how the new-look year is shaping up and my thinking behind it. Although of course it’s different to what we’ve been doing for a while now, I’m confident this is a really positive change we’re making and should hopefully mean that being a part of Out There Music Bristol is even better than it was before!
If you want to feel inspired about singing, music or actually, just life in general, I thoroughly recommend checking out the videos below. Guaranteed to make you feel good and want to do some music. Just Google ‘PS22′ if you want to find out more about them. They have loads of songs on YouTube if you search for them, these are just two I particularly like…enjoy!Leave a reply →