|On Saturday 1st July, 20 members of the chorus, including 4 of our newest members travelled down South to take part in the Bournemouth Music Competitions Festival. |
As with so many choruses, our last experience of competing was back in 2019 and although the chorus has been very active on the outside singout front in recent months, it is a very different experience singing inside and in front of a captive audience!
There were, of course, some pre-performance nerves on the day, but overall there was a sense of excitement and desire to get out and perform to others.
We premiered our 2022 Convention Package in the Barbershop Class and it’s fair to say we were all extremely surprised and delighted when we were announced winners of the class and awarded an Outstanding certificate. We then went on to come second in two other classes, gaining Distinctions in both, and couldn’t believe our ears when we were announced overall Choir of the Year!
We came to the competition with no expectations, other than to enjoy ourselves and entertain the audience and, from the judge’s comments, this obviously shined through. We were particularly amused by one of his comments on synchronicity that said we had “spanked it” – Debi did double-check with him afterwards that this was a positive comment!
It was such a wonderful experience to be amongst fantastic choruses and choirs doing what we all love once again, and it was great to see other barbershop choruses too, including Spinnaker, who put on some fabulous performances.
Our newbies have now got the taste for competing, so we’re sure they’ll love our next trip to Bournemouth in October!
|It's hard to believe it was a year since our Zoom AGM of 2021, yet here we were again for the 2022 AGM meeting on Zoom and it all felt more than familiar! Fortunately, it was a temporary setback due to self-isolating and Covid within the chorus and normal service was soon resumed 2 weeks later.|
Despite being back on Zoom for the AGM, 2021 couldn't have been more different to the previous year. We have achieved so much since returning in May, with a fantastic new venue, plentiful singouts and a fabulous cohort of new members joining the chorus.
Awards were announced on the night, but presented in person over the last 2 weeks during rehearsals:
The MD's Award was presented by Debi to one of our newest full members, Sharan Chowdhury, for her enthusiastic approach to song learning, singouts, member recruitment and embracing all things barbershop!
The Side by Side Award was presented by Sue to Mair Rainbow for the fantastic job she has done over the past 8 months looking after all of our new members and visitors and really going the extra mile in her role.
Long Service Awards were presented by our new Chair, Linda as follows:
Debi Cox - 25 years
Rhoda Maw - 20 years
Mair Rainbow - 15 years
Michelle Chard - 5 years
Marie-Claire Church - 5 years
Lisa Smith - 5 Years
Julia Blyth - 5 Years
This year's AGM was a real acknowledgement and celebration of everything we have achieved over the past year, but as Debi rightly reminded us, we now have lots of work ahead to prepare for Convention later in the year and we are ready for action!
|This year we were delighted to present not just one, but three of our members with LABBS Long Service Awards!|
A huge congratulations to these three lovely ladies!
|It was the rehearsal we had all been waiting for. Apart from one brief outdoor meet up last September, last night was the first time that some of our members had seen one another in over a year and it was fantastic to have a full turn-out, including our 3 leave of absence members, Julia, Karen and Denise – Welcome back ladies! |
As if it wasn’t exciting enough to all be together once again, it was the first time that many of our members had seen our new venue. Although we are unable to rehearse inside at the moment, everyone had the opportunity to have a quick look around and, for now, our rehearsals will take place in the church’s private field – with just us and the wild-life for company!
We are initially back for shorter rehearsals for the time being. Starting with plenty of warm-ups, we finally reached the glorious moment of singing some of our repertoire in full harmony once again! Outdoor harmony singing is a challenge, especially when you are socially-distanced, but we think we did a great job and Debi seemed to think so too!
We finished the evening with 3 birthdays and a quick drink to toast a successful evening!
|For some time, we have been talking about looking for a new rehearsal venue. We have been at Deane Park Hall in South Ruislip for a very long time (over 25 years!) and have had many happy times there, but we found it no longer suited our requirements. Finding a new venue during lockdown was never going to be easy, but with some tenacious research from our members, we are finally delighted and excited to announce that when we return in person, it will be in our new home at St. Andrews Roxbourne in Rayners Lane, Harrow.|
|Our Annual General Meeting was held last Wednesday. But this year, of course, it was a little bit different as it was held via Zoom. Something we have all got very used to over the past 10 months! |
It is a challenge to run a singing group (or any type of musical group), through lockdowns and social distancing, but we are proud to still be here, meeting weekly on Zoom, thanks to our MD Debi. And we are patiently waiting for the opportunity when it is safe for us to meet once again in person.
It was a positive, and at times, emotional meeting, reflecting on the difficulties we have faced over the past year. But it also showed just how strong we are, not only as a chorus, but as a group of friends, and how we have even managed to progress with many of our plans despite all of the restrictions.
The meeting ended on a happy note, with the presentation of our 2 chorus awards – the Side by Side Award and the MD’s Award.
The Side by Side Award
This is presented to a chorus member who has put a lot of effort into serving the Club over the past year, perhaps someone who has worked hard in the background to help make things happen and who does not get much recognition, or someone perhaps in the forefront who has gone truly above and beyond what you would expect of them for the good of the Club.
The recipient of the Side by Side Award for 2021 was Sue Madden, for all her work in getting the new Chorus website up and running. Sue was presented her award by last year’s winner, Ruth Howe.
2020 was not a year that you would naturally associate with celebrating. Nevertheless, we still had some things to cheer about! Long Service Awards are usually presented at our Convention dress rehearsal in October in front of our supporters, so this year we had to do it a bit differently and get creative with Zoom and video recordings.
LABBS 35 Year Award
Our current longest-standing member, Linda Stevens, received her LABBS 35 year Certificate and Long Service Award in 2020 – a fantastic achievement!
Linda is one of our Assistant MDs and over the years she has undertaken many roles in the chorus, always in an enthusiastic and positive way. She is a valued and experienced chorus member as well as a good friend to us all!
As we were unable to hand over the award in the usual way, our Chair, Claire visited Linda to present it to her (in a socially distanced way of course), together with a bouquet of flowers. We also videoed the presentation and showed it at our next Zoom rehearsal so that everyone could share in Linda's acheivement.
Capital Connection Long Service Pins
At our 2021 Zoom AGM in January, our Membership Secretary, Sue, presented 3 of our members with long service pins:
Seager Banks – 10 years
Naidene White – 10 years
Claire Hearne – 5 years
|With the news of a change in guidelines for amateur singing groups to meet and rehearse again, we were eager to schedule our first rehearsal since lockdown.|
The rehearsal took place in a local park where we were able to get together in a safe, sensible and socially distanced way. We have all missed our Wednesday evening rehearsals so much, so it was lucky that the weather was on our side – although we were all so desperate to rehearse together again that we would just have brought our raincoats and brollies and braved the rain if necessary!
We only met for an hour, but we packed lots in. Our MD Debi, led us in some warm ups and established repertoire songs, followed by the first real run-through together of our three lockdown learners – Wake Me Up, Don’t Stop and A Million Dreams. Singing together after such a long time was an emotional experience for everyone.
We also made sure we had time to catch up with each another and even managed a socially distanced photo shoot for some of our new walk out costume. However, it was a bittersweet evening, as only just the night before, further social restrictions were announced, and although we can technically continue to meet, at the moment it doesn’t feel the right thing to do to keep our members safe.
So, as the song goes, We’ll meet again, don’t know where don’t know when… but wherever and whenever it is, it will be another emotional evening we’re sure.
|In August, we were delighted to hear that we had been chosen by our local Waitrose as one of three local groups that month to receive a donation of £333 from their charity, Community Matters.|
At a time when we are unable to perform paid sing outs to raise funds, it is a very welcome donation and we would like to give a big thank you to Waitrose, Ruislip for choosing us. We look forward to putting the donation to good use to both reach out to the local community to recruit new members and to, once again, entertain them as soon as we are able to.
Capital Connection have had a major rebrand, but you might ask why now? We say why not?We have had the same image and branding for many years and wanted to review our image to reflect who we are as a group and to refresh our approach, energy and commitment. We decided to look at all aspects of our brand from logo and website to costume. We saw this as an opportunity to not only increase the energy of the chorus but to attract new members.
RebrandThe new logo, which we love, now clearly represents and reflects who we are and the new colour scheme will be echoed through our social media, publicity and costume.
RefreshUpdating your wardrobe always gives you a lift, so we have done this now to give everyone that much needed boost! It was an opportunity to give us a new fresh look, which is vibrant and eye catching.
The new colour palette of navy, white and lime green is a massive change from our purple and yellow and the beautiful white hoodies will let us stand out in a crowd!
RecruitWe are currently a small, but perfectly formed bunch! The re launch has given us a focus for our energies and, when we are able to recommence regular rehearsals again, will ultimately be an important tool in attracting new members