First Day and First Concert

Yesterday was the first full day of the choir staying at HQ, B&B Quimper Sud. The planned departure for our day trip was just after 1pm, and so most of the choir took the opportunity to pop to the centre commercial next door to do some shopping or browsing. It’s quite a large shop, probably offering anything you can buy on the Isle of Wight under one roof, so there is plenty to browse. Once again Hannah and I stocked up on a supply of water for the choir, and, Hannah hoped, refreshments for the interval of the evening’s concert. A treat for Hannah and I was that we were having Ella for the day, so she could join us for a day on the beach. Unfortunately the beach day didn’t happen, because the weather wasn’t bright and sunny.

The trip for the day was to Loctudy and Ile-Tudy, before the opening concert in Pont L’Abbe. We got to Loctudy, via an only slightly nerve-wracking detour into Pont L’Abbe (which did mean we found the church for the concert well in advance), and parked up by the docks (sounds attractive). A shortish walk to the bac pieton (passenger ferry, just a small launch), which takes people (and lots of bikes it seems) between Loctudy and Ile-Tudy. The choir were too numerous to fit on the ferry, so half went in one trip and half in the second, after some arguement with the captain to prevent queue-jumpers meaning some choir folk having to wait for a second time. In Ile-Tudy we all split up, with some folks having lunch in one of the local restaurants, others walking around the town and generally relaxing. We didn’t see a great deal, as the restaurant we chose, while serving excellent food, was very slow, so by the time came to do a quick promotional sing, we had barely finished our lunch.

We did a quick rendition of ‘Over the Rainbow’, which impressed the gathered locals and visitors (some of whom did come to the evening concert), just before it started to rain. This meant we queued for the return ferry under hoods and umbrellas. All-in-all, a rather quick but enjoyable trip.

Ella had fun with us, seeing the choir and during ‘Over the Rainbow’ stood with me at the back, and I think joined in a bit. She went on the first ferry back with Hannah, and was upset to find I wasn’t on it, asking if I was going to get the boat or swim. Awh.

So once off the ferry it was straight on the bus and back to Pont L’Abbe to get set-up for the concert. All hands got the equipment out of the bus, across the busy square and into the church. There was some confusion about how much setting up we could do, as we weren’t sure whether the church was still open for daily worship at that time, and also where to get changed into our concert garb, and indeed where we could go to the loo. Also, after setting out cups and nibbles and drinks for interval refreshments, we were told to take it all away, because the bishop would disapprove. Once all was set-up and everyone was changed, we had a quick rehearsal and I think we were all quite amazed by the acoustics, which were excellent.

The concert itself was very good, from our point of view. The audience wasn’t big, which wasn’t surprising because although Hannah had expected the people she’s arranged it with to publicise it, they hadn’t. This was the reason why when we’d visited the Office de Tourisme in Quimper, they couldn’t find it in their event listings. The people who were there were excellent, though. They clapped when we did, copied the actions we did, enthusiastically applauded, and at the end gave a standing ovation. The contributed generously at the end (the concert was free, so we took donations), and many comments indicated that they wished more people had come and enjoyed the concert as they had. The performance was a little rough around the edges, but nevertheless, the sound was good and there were no blindingly obvious mistakes. The introductions to each song were read by various members of the choir, in French, and those went well too. As it was the first time we used all of our shiny new technical equipment, it was its first test too, and apart from couple of hitches that were fixed during setup, it went swimmingly too.

Afterwards, we packed up tout suite, some folks got a swift half in a local bar, and then it was straight back to the hotel and straight to bed for hard earned rest for most of the choir, I suspect.


One Response to “First Day and First Concert”

  1. o parker Says:

    Thanks Kieron for a really good blog great to hear how you are all getting on sounds like you are very busy but having fun.

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