Now, I just needed a few more songs to pad out my set; we began searching for more upbeat Christmas songs, to give it a little bit of variety. One of them was “It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”, which is my Mum's favourite Christmas song. Another one was “Let it Snow”. I love this song, because that's what I wish would happen; living in the south of England, I have seen proper snow only three or four times, and I have never seen a white Christmas, so “Let it Snow” is my like my own personal wishing song.
I also wanted to put in “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” as it's a very fun song to sing, and I rarely hear it played anymore, so I set about finding a backing track, which turned out to be surprisingly difficult, but we managed to find one in the end.
Finally, my last song in the set was “Walking in the Air,” from “The Snowman.” I found a really nice backing track backed up by a choir; I liked imagining that I really was singing with a choir, haha!
Now that the set list had been arranged, we got to practising, and finally, the day arrived. My Nan and my Granddad took me to the venue. I had my new red-and-white dress with me. It looks so Christmassy, that I had to wear it for that night. I arrived early to help set up; one of the things I helped to do was to set the tables with crockery. Because the name of the charity was called the Mad Hatter Tea Party, everything was deliberately mismatched, for someone so neat and organised as myself, I had to really think in order to mix the plates, cups and saucers up. It ended up turning out wonderful looking.
When everything had been set up, and after a quick sound check, Becki gathered the performers around the piano and we warmed up together, and then it was show time!
1940's music played in the background as the guests filed in and took their seats, and then Becki, along with one of her students, Seb, opened the show with “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast.” A very appropriate song. After they had finished, all of the performers, plus Becki, gathered on stage to sing an acapella Christmas-themed medley. Originally, there were supposed to be four sopranos and four altos, but two of the sopranos couldn't make it, so Becki and I had to really work hard to make ourselves heard. You can tell how difficult it was from the serious expression on my face. I've never sang a medley before, but I really enjoyed it.
Up after him were a cello quartet consisting of four lovely ladies, who played very nice arrangements of pieces like “Memory” from “Cats,” “The Entertainer,” and the like.
After the quartet, it was my turn. I stepped onto the stage, and introduced myself. The guests were tucking into a delicious three-course dinner while us acts were performing, but I didn't mind. I felt like I wasn't under pressure, which felt good, and it was a very nice, relaxed atmosphere. Of course, it did mean that I had to really listen to my backing tracks, but that was true of all of the performers. My first song was “O Holy Night,” and I performed with the microphone in the stand. Unfortunately, I had sound checked with a wireless microphone, but before the show could start, it had run out of battery, and there was no time to do another sound check; but the show must go on, as they say.
For my second song, “It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I walked around the stage a bit, trying to convey the happy mood of the song with my voice. I'm very glad to say that I did not trip over either my dress or the cord, so I was very happy about that.
My third song was going to be “Let it Snow,” but at the last minute, we changed it to “Panis Angelicus,” because I had only recently received medication for my allergies (turns out that I'm allergic to grass pollen and house dust mites) and I couldn't pronounce 'snow' with an 'N', for it would come out as 's-dow,” so we changed it.
After that came “Ding Dong Merrily On High,” the backing track that we found also had a choir singing along with it.
After that, I again took the microphone out of the stand for “Walking in the Air.” I found it ironic that just a few blog posts ago I was talking about how technical problems happen to every singer, and how, when it would eventually happen to me, I hoped that I would be able to remain calm and carry on. Well, that's exactly what happened. My microphone cut out, but I carried on singing. I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, but I am quite pleased for carrying on; my grandparents told me afterwards that they could still hear me, which was good to hear. Now that that little technical difficulty is out of the way, hopefully I won't have any more microphone mishaps!
After the song had ended, Becki quickly gave me a different microphone, and I launched into my final song for the night, “Silent Night.” I was originally going to have the microphone in the stand, but the petticoat of my dress kept making the stand wobble! It was very funny, so I thought it would be better to hold the microphone.
After her set, the lovely cello quartet came back on, and played some more beautiful music.
We were sat at the same table as one of the performers, a young man called Ernesto.
After the quartet, Becki sang another set, including “Que Sera Sera;” everyone sang along to the chorus, it was amazing; I love it when the audience does that.
After Becki, it was Ernesto's turn; he sang a few songs, including some Mumford and Sons, whilst playing his guitar. He has a very good voice, and he plays the guitar well.
After him came the final act of the night, Rohan. She sang some songs with a microphone, and some while playing the piano. She's only young, and yet she can play the piano really well!
After that, it was time for the raffle. My Nan and Granddad had purchased some tickets, and the best thing about this raffle is, when your number was called, you could take any prize you wanted, which was amazing.
Well, we were lucky enough to have our number called, and I ran up there (“go on! You've got young legs!” joked my Granddad) and I saw a voucher for a free recording session! As you can imagine, I grabbed that right away. There were more prizes such as free guitar lesson (Ernesto got that, of course. Not that I think he needs it), and a pet photography session, but we have four cats, and I can only imagine trying to get them all to sit still for the camera!
That concluded the events of the evening. I milled around for a little while, chatting to people, before we headed home. As soon as I got in my Mum made me a nice hot cup of tea; she knew I needed it!
I'm very glad to have been asked to be part of such a great event.
I did decide against posting my whole performance on YouTube, as I wasn't really happy with the way it sounded, but I did upload my performance of Panis Angelicus; please excuse the weird way my voice sounds; as I mentioned, I was having new medication, but I hope you enjoy it just the same.
Until next time