The Melody Makers finally got their big TV debut on Christmas day when they performed in the Christmas Eucharist broadcast on BBC One, which went out to over 50 countries. They treated us to a beautiful rendition of Michael Head’s Little Road to Bethlehem, prompting a further rise in the moisture levels of many an eye in that Abbey on that emotional morning.
As predicted, the children did themselves proud in their three minutes of fame, as well as Mr Bowers and all of the Melody Makers staff. They were also featured in the Bath Chronicle’s write-up of the day too. Not bad for a morning’s work.
In case you weren’t aware, their performance is now on YouTube, so any grannies and granddads, aunties and uncles, or long-lost cousins who missed it the first time around can go and watch the choir in action, while the rest of us can relive the magic whenever we like…
Last night the Melody Makers, along side the Bath Abbey Boys, Girls and Men arrived at the Abbey for their first rehearsal with the BBC.
We sang through our piece, making sure everything was well prepared in time for the full run through just over 12 hours later.
Here are a few pictures:
Don’t forget to tune in – 10am on BBC 1 tomorrow or we look forward to see you there if you’re luck enough to have a ticket.
Thank you to Gareth Eynon for writing about Carols for Choir & Audience here…
Now some photographs to add to that lovely text.
Our Melody Makers once again took the stage to stand-proud and sing their hearts out in front of a full Abbey last Saturday for the annual Carols for Choir and Audience concert. Relishing their chance to sing alongside the Girls’ and Boys’ choirs, the date is always a highlight in the Melody Makers performance calendar, and this night was no exception.
The choir competently sang us Child of the New World and Little Road to Bethlehem, followed later on in the evening by Nativity. At the close of this piece it was lovely to see Jools Scott, the composer and Sue Curtis the librettist, welcomed onto the stage. Hopefully there will be more to come from this successful collaboration — you may recall that Extraordinary Creatures was also by the same composer.
The evening was rounded off by the three choirs singing together and then the usual rousing rendition of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, which in typical form attempts to take the Abbey roof off.
It was a wonderful evening of festive songs and entertainment and – being a week closer to Christmas this time – the concert really left the audience feeling excited about the coming celebrations.
The next outing will be live on Christmas Morning for the BBC One broadcast of the Christmas Morning service. That will be a real feather in the choir’s cap, and our choristers, staff and parents are all very much looking forward to it.
Apologies for the late posting of the final day of our Liverpool tour photographs.
On day three we rose early and walked just down the road from where we were staying to visit the Albert Docks.
After a wonder round we went to the Maritime Museum, which had an exhibition about Titanic, where we had fun learning about how the vessel was connected with Liverpool (and some of us even tried on lifejackets).
The Next item on the itinerary had many of the adults stomachs spinning – a trip on the ‘Big Wheel’.
… but the views were spectacular.
After a very well timed lunch (thank you to Pizza Express for being so accommodating) we sped up to the Metropolitan Cathedral for evensong followed by our second concert.
Sadly this was all we had time for and we hopped straight on the bus after the concert and headed home. There were a lot of tired and sleeping children (and adults) on the bus.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make the trip so special, especially to Mr Bowers and the team of helpers for Organising and implementing such an enjoyable trip.
We are really looking forward to the next trip!
We concluded our time in the Anglican Cathedral with a tour of the building and an organ demonstration given by Mr Bowers’ Ex choir master and organ teacher, Professor Ian Tracey, Organist Titular at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
First we were split into three groups and given tours of the Cathedral. The Melody Makers listened intently, and questioned thoroughly, knowing that many of the facts about the building (and organ demonstration) could be included in the evenings quiz.
Our day in the Anglican Cathedral was brought to a close with a demonstration of the majestic Cathedral Organ, given by Professor Tracey. We were then all treated to Mr Bowers performing on his ‘home organ’ – we could all tell he thoroughly enjoyed it.
After an exciting day, we all clambered back on the coach and went back to the Hostel for supper, the quiz, and down time.
All in all, a fantastic day, and one we will all remember for a long time.
Day 3 pictures to follow soon.
After a quick re-fuel at lunchtime, the Melody Makers were ready to warm up and give their lunchtime concert.
They took their place at the front of the nave, where a large crown gathered to listen to them rehearse, with some tourists even joining in their warm ups.
The Melody Makers quickly returned to remove their fleeces and receive their last instructions from Mr Bowers, before taking the stage to great applause and excitement.
Their performance was, as ever, beautiful, poised and energised. Sadly though, we said goodbye to ten members during this concert. All our year six children have been great examples for the younger members and we are very sad to see them leaving. We aren’t losing them altogether though, as we have leavers taking up places in both the Abbey’s Boys’ and Girls’ choirs.
A huge thank you must go to David Poulter for accompanying both concerts so beautifully.
After the concert had finished, we moved to the high altar for a photo opportunity.
The final part of our day at the Cathedral will be rounded up in the next post.
We woke to see the Cathedral tower engulfed in a cloud of mist. The less than ideal conditions weren’t going to stop us from having a wonderful day, so we set off for the Anglican Cathedral after breakfast.
As we approached the Cathedral, the children’s jaws began to drop at it’s sheer size (100m tall), just about visible through the fog. The amazement only continued once we stepped inside, with all the children marvelling at the sheer scale of the building. The first part of our day in the Anglican Cathedral was spent watching a film about its construction and taking a trip up the tower – which consisted of two long lift journeys and 108 steps.
On the way down from the tower, some of us stopped off at the Embroidery Gallery at Level 3 (there were 10 lift levels). Here there are two platforms giving the most wonderful views down into the cathedral, both of the East end…
and of the West end with its modern stained glass.
Next it was lunchtime to help fuel the children for their concert. The day’s activities continue in the next post.
So here we are, the first of the Liverpool photos.
After a successful and uneventful journey, we arrived safely in Liverpool.
Taking a slightly round about route to the hostel gave us a good opportunity to show the children some sights through the coach windows.
Once safely arrived at the youth hostel we had a quick turn around before hitting the bowling alley. Intricate team tactics were in evidence, as were celebrations and a few commiserations.
Dinner was followed by an awesome piece of birthday cake in celebration of Annie’s birthday.
A very happy birthday to you Annie!