April 8, 2007

Liblog: The South Norwood Concert – Part 2

Hello! Josh here and ready to tell you about the amazing concert we did on 23rd March! I expect you have already read my Part 1 were you heard about the tension building as the concert came upon us. Well, now I'm going to tell you about how the actual concert turned out

          We arrived at the church on Friday 23rd March at about 6pm, which was an hour and a half before the actual concert. We all got changed into our mysterious white robes and I could see that the tension was building. Everyone, was getting really nervous, even the most experienced people, like me!

          We had to go through the normal procedures of getting radio mics on and checking that our pouches were tied up properly. Pouches are sort of belt things that hold our radio mics in place under our robes. We have to get them checked because if they fall down in the middle of the performance then we would be in real trouble!!

          After that, we had to do the usual sound check and the checking of volumes and then it was time for a big sound check with all the boys. A quick run through of some of the songs was over and we were then whisked back into our dressing room. It was 7pm and the doors were just about to be opened to the public. We were too nervous to express how we felt! I could hear my heart thumping against my chest like a mad drummer! 7:15. We were shown through to a back room where we had a light snack and a drink before the show.      

          Then it was really scary. We could hear the people filing in from outside. They were here!! It was time for a last minute toilet run before we were on. Luckily, there were no last minute catastrophes!! We were then taken back into the changing room for a little warm up. 7:25. We were taken to the wings on either side of the stage and got ready to go on stage. 7:30. The lights went down. There was no noise. Silence. Now we were really, genuinely nervous. Words could not even begin to try and tell you how we felt. We were so nervous that we were actually shaking!

          The show starts. Ed came on and sung the first verse of 'Glory to thee'. I remember thinking that I was glad I was not in his shoes! Thankfully, his solo was brilliant and was over without a mistake. But it was not over. Joe and I walked on to our positions after Ben had come on next to Ed. Thank God, no mistakes so far! Well, Ed and Ben started the first verse and then Joe and I started our bit and then Liam's group came in and after that, Tom's. We gradually all contributed to the massive canon that we were doing.  After that bit was over, there was a little instrumental bit and then we all joined in with a final chorus. The first song was over and we had done it brilliantly. However, there were loads more to do. We did the next one, Gloria from the same positions and then it was the first blackout.

          Then I was really nervous. I had to do a little speech before the next song. I was so scared. Thankfully, I didn't trip up and I went to my position for Angelis. We turned around at got ready for our cue to turn back round and start singing. It came and we did it perfectly in time! Another amazing song later and the crowd were in tears!! Only joking!! We're not that bad!!

          The next few songs were a bit of blur. It was just going so well! They were Lacrymosa, Far Away and then Sacris Solemnis. They all went fantastically (If that's even a word!!). Then it was Always With You which has to take a great deal of teamwork to get the movements right. However, Tom, Sam and I did not do any because Tom was the soloist and Sam I were doing backing vocals behind him. On the other hand, the other guys were in two straight lines behind us facing the wings. When it got to the chorus, in the little section before, they had walked out in a kind of clock. This was so that the audience could see the rest of them when they were singing because Tom, Sam and I were doing the verses. That one went surprisingly well and then it was Sanctus. This was the song that had won us £10,000 a few weeks before. That one also went well.

          After that, we did Ave Maria and Libera to finish off the first half.

          Drinks in the interval and then the small group went back on. The small group comprised of Callum, Sam, Tom, Ed, Liam, Zack, Michael V and me! We sung I Vow To Thee with lots of different parts. And also, we did Hymn To Beauty and the lovely Do Not Stand At My Grave. The others came on and we did When a Knight together, which Ed started.

          Then it was another big one for me. I was going to do my second little speech. Thankfully, that went well and we moved on to our next one called Adoramus. That went well and we moved on to the famously mysterious, Mysterium! We were all in random positions on the stage but we were all roughly looking forward however Tom was facing backwards. There were about four different groups and in turn we pulled our hoods up. At this moment we were singing, "ooh". Then we started to sing the main tune to "ooh". As we were doing this we gradually all walked to a position around Tom so that he was completely covered from the audience. While we were covering him he turned around to face towards the audience and started to sing, "aah". We immediately all moved back out of the audiences view to form a kind of pathway for Tom. He walked out whilst still singing, "aah". On his last "aah" I joined in with him an octave lower. While I was doing this, everyone walked in around Tom. Then we sung the main tune with the actual words before going back to our original positions at the beginning and Tom ending off with a final solo. That song went really well and was really atmospheric.

          After that, we did Stay With Me, Salva Me and Sempiterna. Then it was the really big one for me especially. It was the climatic, I Am The Day and was my solo. As well as that it was the final song and would be the one that the audience remembered out of all of them. I got into my position kneeling on the floor and Sam did a little speech. I got ready. I was so scared I almost forgot the words!! I began singing and started to stand up. I could hear an echo of my voice going out all over the church. I could see my Mum in the front row but I tried not to look that way!! I finished my solo and then there was the chorus with everyone joining in. Then was the next test. I had to do the next verse. That one went well. Then it was another chorus with everyone.  I then had to whisper the next verse with Sam. Thankfully, I did not forget the words to any of the verses. We finished the song with a massive arm movement and the audience erupted!! We did some bows and then we waited in the wings to see if we should do an encore. We ended up doing two encores, which were Ave Verum and Libera short version.

          We finished with style and the crowd was screaming! Back in the dressing room, we were all so happy and we got dressed and went out to our parents. They said that we did fantastically and they were so proud. I went home and had a good nights rest ready for another day in a Libera boy's life!!

By Joshua Madine