Our Elterwater Summer Sing in the middle of June had singers from all over the country singing together in several beautiful places throughout the Lake District……visit www.youtube.com/Davidburbidge to see the videos.
The idea for the weekend came from a comment from the Sounding It Out choir’s tour coordinator Shelagh Beezley who last year, before coming to our choirs meet in Sedbergh, mentioned that she was looking forward to seeing some lakes and mountains, unfortunately conspicuous by their absence in our little Yorkshire Dales market town.
I like to think that this weekend we provided a quintessential experience of the Lake District whose natural beauty was enhanced by the quality of singing from our lovely visitors. As well as the wonderful Sounding It Out choir from Wiltshire (whose singers must be some of the most community minded people in the country, led by Candy Verney with almost Zen-like calm,) there were other singers from the Sheffield Socialist choir, Liecesertshire’s Global Harmony, the Newark choir Resonance, and local choirs Lakeland Voices, the Cautley Carollers, the Gladly Solemn Sound – even an English/French woman we met in Little Langdale who sang in a choir in France and joined in our singing, learning our songs as we went!
We sang on walks and in pubs and concerts, and stayed together in Elterwater Youth Hostel – everyone mucking in together in high spirits and good humour……though the weekend was not without its stressful moments on Sunday with two concerts and two performing choirs and several unmovable deadlines to meet – and an eventful journey up The Struggle – a narrow and steep lane from Ambleside to the Kirkstone Pass and the Ullswater steamer beyond.
But we caught the steamer with 15 seconds to spare – and everyone got their afternoon tea at the Bobbin Mill in Howtown (thanks to lifts provided by choir and audience alike) and were away on their buses and ferries on time at the end following a spectacular concert in the ancient (though chillier than usual) church at Martindale. So all was well that ended well, in no small part due to the patience, humour and goodwill of the wonderful Sounding It Out singers.