O Holy Night
O Come All Ye Faithful
Walking in the Air
I tried my best to choose a variety of songs, and I'm happy with the selections that I made.
Now that that was over with, it was time for me to choose a dress, which was a task in itself, haha. I eventually decided on a simple red dress with a white fur wrap, something Christmassy that reflected the season.
Time was running out, so the next thing I did was put my face on, and do my hair. I had only a few hours left, not including getting to the venue, so I got into my dress, and warmed up my voice.
It's very important that I warm up for at least thirty minutes before I sing, making sure I cover all of my range to avoid any cracks in my voice.
After warming up, I gathered all of my stuff together for the journey; my water, my phone with the backing tracks, my camera, and my grandparents arrived at seven o'clock to take me to the Meridian Centre.
Once we were inside, we made our way to the middle of the centre and I found Rob, the organiser, to let him know that I had arrived. The concert was already in full swing with a childrens' choir performing lots of Christmas songs, and a large crowd watching and cheering.
While I waited to go on, I got chatting with an acapella group who were also performing that night; The PitchPipers. They were all very friendly easy to talk to, and I was looking forward to their performance.
All too soon, it was my turn to perform. I plugged in my phone, and introduced myself, and my first song. I really like introducing the songs, rather than letting the audience guess what they are, and I especially like telling them a little bit what the song is about, more so when it's a foreign piece; I think it helps them to understand what I'm singing about, and hopefully they enjoy the songs even more.
After my first song, I got a great big round of applause, and cheering, which made me grin like a Cheshire Cat.
I'm really happy whenever I perform “White Christmas,” which I sang next, because it's a song that sits in my lower register. I have never really been comfortable in my chest voice/ lower register, mainly preferring to sing up in the rafter, so Becki and I have been working really hard on this, and the fact that I can sing this song is amazing for me; I would never have able to sing this last year, not without transposing it up several keys. I am proud of myself for reaching this obstacle and challenging myself. I really want to be good, and I know that will never happen unless I push myself and strive to be the best that I can be.
To add a little bit of variety, I put “Jingle Bells” in, as everybody knows that song, and the version I chose was a little bit more upbeat. It's a little bit jazzy, and I really liked it, as it gave me a chance to loosen up a little bit, and have fun with the song. The crowd really enjoyed this one as well, especially the children, who were smiling.
As I continued with my set, I was very happy to see that lots of little children were sitting and watching me; in my experience, most young people aren't fans of classical, opera, and classical crossover music, but they looked like they were really enjoying it.
A few of them did get up a little while later, and were playing and running around, but I didn't mind because that's what kids do.
The audience were very appreciative, and applauded loudly after all the songs; they seemed to be really impressed with “O Come All Ye Faithful,” the first verse of which I sang in Latin, and “Ave Maria,” because I don't think they were expecting the Latin, and so they cheered very loudly when I had finished.
Of course, no set of mine was complete without my signature song “Pie Jesu;” I put this in practically every set I perform; it's gotten to the point where it feels strange to not sing it, haha! I love performing it as often as I can, as I like to be able to tell how much I've improved.
My last songs were “Silent Night,” and “Walking in the Air,” I love singing “Silent Night,” because I love the old traditional carols; I think they are so beautiful, both to listen to and to sing. These carols always make me stop when I hear them, because they remind me of when I was very little and the magic of Christmas was in the air and you would get so excited for it. I still feel like that now, but hearing that music just takes me back to being a little kid, and that's why I love it so much.
I finished my set with “Walking in the Air,” another crowd favourite. I don't know if it's the same in the US, but in the UK, every Christmas “The Snowman” is shown on TV; which features the song, which was made famous by Aled Jones. I don't think there's anyone in England who doesn't know this song. So, the audience were listening intently, and they all looked very happy at hearing the song.
After I had finished, I thanked the audience for listening, and then sat down with my Nan and Grandad to watch The PitchPipers. They sang a selection of Christmas songs, including “Mary Did You Know,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Mary's Boy Child,” “Winter Wonderland,” among others. They sounded great, with amazing harmonies; I especially liked “Mary Did You Know,” and “Hallelujah;” the arrangements were gorgeous.
After that, it was time to go home, where Dad took a few pictures of me, and Mum made me a cup of tea. Being British, I live on tea, and cannot function without it, haha!
I made a montage of my performance, which I have uploaded to YouTube, and you can view it here:
Until next time,