Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Open Studio's and Singing

I spent most of Saturday demonstrating to loads of people passing through the Stockwood Park Discovery Centre, part of Luton Museum. I wasn't on my own, a fellow member of my textile group was with me and we were extremely busy. The Centre was opened on Saturday by Charlie Dimmock who brought in many people that wanted to meet her but stayed for much longer to look around and enjoy the gardens, play area, museum pieces and (of course I have to blow my own trumpet here) an exhibition of works by The New Horizons Textile Group. You may have guessed that I am a member of this group so you won’t be surprised that two of the pieces were made by yours truly. Here's one of my pieces.

The exhibition is open until November so if you are in the area you have plenty of time to pop along. If you do go take someone young or old along with you as it is a brilliant place to spend time - the coffee and cakes are excellent too.

Youngest son is now home from Austria after receiving a silver medal along with all the others in the Cantate Choir in the Mixed Choir Category. They all did superbly well, as they were the youngest choir to reach the finals. Along with the silver medal the girls in the choir had entered the Sacred Music Category and they did even better by getting a gold medal.

All the youngsters were met at the airport on Sunday afternoon by cheering parents and their smiles were the best we have seen for a while. I was there too jumping up and down and cheering but don’t say a word about that because youngest son doesn't like me to do that sort of thing in company! Congratulations and very well done to all the Cantate Choir, the director Michael Kibblewhite and all those valuable helpers.

We had some more good news when he got home as youngest son’s music teacher had rung with his music grade results and he had received a Distinction in his Clarinet Grade 8 and another Distinction in his Singing Grade Six exam.

Just to get away from family into craft for a moment, I slipped away on Sunday morning to Gina’s Open Studio to have a look at some of the work she produces that I haven’t seen before. One of the things I really wanted to see was the Sainsbury’s bag dress. I wasn’t disappointed, it was brilliant and well worth the trip. Of course she had lots more things to see and of course just the chance to peek into someone else’s workroom is a wonderful treat.
Yes Gina, your workroom is much tidier than mine and after coming back and looking at my disgusting mess I spent most of Monday trying to get some semblance of order. On the good side it is now looking much tidier but on the bad side I spent too long this afternoon looking for something that I have tidied away!!!!!!! You just can't win.
I did come home from Gina’s with this treat for myself though so if you are around that way do call in and take a look.

Friday, 11 July 2008

World Choir Games - Gold

We are pretty excited here as youngest son, the one who plays instruments and sings, is in Austria at the moment. He went from Stansted on Wednesday morning with his choir ‘Cantate’ to Gratz to take part in the ‘World Choir Games’.

There are over 440 ensembles of music taking part from 93 countries and amongst them there are twelve choirs from England competing this year. It is a wonderful opportunity for the young to gather from all over the world and sing. The slogan is ‘Singing together brings Nations together’.

Until my son joined ‘Cantate’ I had never heard of these games and I suppose there are many of you out there that have not heard about them either. We hear so much bad in the press about the teenagers of today that it gives an impression that they are all bad. So it is nice when we also talk about the young that spend their time doing other things than annoying the rest of the world. They are not all bored and I am sure that you all know of many teenagers that are happy and contented with their lives and fill their time with constructive activities in their spare time.

Yesterday Cantate competed in the mixed voice choir section and obtained a Gold so will be competing again tomorrow. We are excited and also very proud of our son and of all the young in the choir. The choir rehearse for at least two hours, sometimes more, on a Sunday each week and to get to the rehearsal we drive about an hour there and an hour back. This is a huge commitment for youngsters and is not to be dismissed. They work hard, have fun and sometimes like today reap the rewards.

Here they are relaxing and singing in green with the Cheshire Youth Choir in sunny Gratz yesterday afternoon.

Congratulations Cantate and good luck for tomorrow.