Sunday, 2 March 2014

Masters of Show Choir 2014

This year I was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of the competition group for Sussex Show Choir who would perform at the annual competition Masters of Show Choir. 

Here is the story of that day...

We woke up at the crack of dawn to get on down to campus, where we would be picked up and chauffeured to London like the stars we were.  

In the spirit of the day, I tied a gold ribbon in my bun (Sussex Show Choir colours are gold and black).

Soon, the lemon bus arrived!

If you don't know what the lemon bus is (like I didn't), it's an environmentally friendly alternative to regular, non-yellow buses, which runs on used cooking oil. So not only were we off to share our talent with the rest of the United Kingdom, but we were also saving the planet!

The competition was held at Royal Holloway, University of London (about an hours lemon ride from good old Brighton). Once we arrived, we were escorted to the 'Green Room', where we all huddled in our circle of chairs and began to eat food and have a little sing-a-long, along with quite a few hours of warm up and rehearsals in between.

Wonderful committee members hard at work...

So important. 

Luckily, I managed to get a few snaps of the stunning surroundings while we weren't singing our hearts out.

Royal Holloway is truly stunning, especially in the early evening.

After a technical rehearsal and a few run-throughs with our musical director, we went on a journey outside of the university to find a pub which wasn't overrun with members of other show choirs in order to fill our bellies!

Sadly, the first pub was completely full to the point where there was an hour and a half wait on food! So our adventure continued...

We finally came across The Happy Man, where we indulged in all sorts of yummy pub grub. Clara went for sausages and mash, a true British classic!

While I opted for a semi-healthy option of jacket potato with chilli con carne. 

By the end we were well and truly stuffed so we rolled ourselves back to campus in order to do our hair and makeup, which I knew would take a lot longer than the time we were given. 

We clambered into the cramped room where we were presented with the challenge of getting our hair, makeup and costumes on in the same room as about 60 other people. 

It was a challenge (especially trying to put my makeup on in possibly the tiniest bathroom in the world), but we made it. We all ended up looking pretty amazing in our black and gold attire.

In the likely event that you would like to buy the dress above, because you obviously want to aspire to look just like our amazing team, you can buy it from Boohoo here.

We then moved on to our final warm up, only 30 minutes before the show was to start. We ran through our classic hits such as 'Sweet Chariots/Oh When the Saints/I Wanna Sing', and '1,2,3,4,5', which I'm sure you've all heard of. 

Before belting out a round of 'Something Inside So Strong', a song we sang last term.

 We then received a heart-warming motivational speech from our brilliant President, Hannah.

As well as from our amazing musical director, Evie!

We were ready for anything!

We were on second in the line up, against five other show choirs from all over the country, all of whom were amazing! We stood at the side of the stage shaking, waiting for them to call the name of our choir to come on. As the MC did, there was an echoing war cry of "SUSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEX!" which boosted our confidence.

I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I often forget how much I love performing and being on that stage and singing with everyone sent a rush of adrenaline through me. I managed to do the whole routine without any of my normal mistakes, which cheered me up immensely. 

Not did our set go brilliantly, but the judges (who were West End actress Lottie Mayor and Out of the Blue member Nick Barstow) gave us incredible comments. We couldn't be faulted!

We were allowed to sit in the audience and watch the second half of the show which included some extremely tough competition. We were hoping to simply go away with a special recognition award.

After all the show choirs had performed, we were called on stage to announce the winners. 

We all held hands as they began to list off the special recognition to Voices of to to Swansea. I was beginning to lose hope. Until.


Everyone screamed and began to jump up and down. It was a moment of pure joyous chaos as everyone began to hug and cry. I immediately began bawling, feeling such an immense sense of pride that all our hard work hadn't been in vain.

But, it was no time for tears. We had to perform one final song again as the winners song, so we all wiped away our mascara in order to sing 'Unwritten' by Natasha Bedingfield. It was truly a moment to remember when the lights went up on the audience and everyone was standing and clapping.

Me with our awesome looking trophy!

It was honestly a night I will not be forgetting soon. It still hasn't quite sunk in if I'm honest. I am so grateful that I was able to take part in such an amazing experience and am now happy to say that I am in the Number One Show Choir in the country! How cool is that? 

Sadly, going back to work today lowered the tone a bit, especially when customers you serve haven't even heard of Sussex Show Choir, they just want to ask where their food is. Um...we're the national champions? 

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UPDATE: You can now watch our performance on youtube repeatedly here! You will not be disappointed!

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