Award Winning Choir

I may have mentioned that for this term, I am not singing with the Southampton Phil, prefering instead to get home before 11pm on a Monday evening. Hannah restarted the Medina High Community Choir back in September. This is her choir which she started over a year ago to augment the school choir at their Christmas and other concerts. With Hannah not being at school at the moment there isn’t a school choir, so the Community Choir is the choral face of Medina High for now (which is a bit rubbish for an arts specialist school).

Several years ago, Hannah used to enter the school choir in the Ventnor Music for Fun Festival. This fest fell by the wayside for a couple of years, but returned this year. Hannah entered the Community Choir, and trained us up on O Holy Night and Rythmn of Life (which you would recognise from one of the Guiness adverts). It’s a challenge for Hannah because none of the choir are professional singers, indeed few have sung for a long time. I think only a handful can read music, so a lot of people are remembering the notes. Hannah keeps it simple, in terms of telling the choir what to do and reducing the instructions down. The music isn’t necessarily simple or easy, but Hannah eases the choir into it.

So with that in mind, it was a little surprising for Hannah when there was some push-back from the organisers of the festival when she entered. They’d heard rumours that we weren’t a mixed choir, but a school choir who had brought in a couple of adults in order to enter the mixed choir category, or that we were a choir of professional singers. Hannah persisted that all such things were nonsense, but in the end another choir decided to pull out because we were taking part. All very odd.

There were only two choirs in our category, and to be honest, I didn’t think we would win. The other choir is a well established one, and I think there were one or two in ours who hadn’t even performed publicily before. How could we compete? I guess I’ve given away the result in the title for we did indeed win. The adjudicator was impressed with our verve and commitment. He had words of criticism for both choirs, saying the other lot were over-ambitious. By winning our section, it meant we had to return for the winners concert the following Saturday (last Saturday), and this was hastily arranged. There were a few changed faces for Saturday, but we put in another good sing. We were also surprised that from the heats the adjudicator had selected us to win the ‘most entertaining performance’ prize too.

So Hannah’s success in this competition continued this year, having won it several times with the school choir, and she can start to call he Community Choir prize winning entertainers!

If you like on the Island and want to take part, then come along to Medina High on a Thursday night.


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