Yesterday morning (Dec 6) saw about 22 of us heading down to ‘deepest, darkest Darset’ to the Dorset annual Choir Festival. We joined about 8 Dorset community choirs for a Big Sing where we were taught 4 Christmasy songs followed by a concert where we could showcase two of our current songs. I was lucky enough to be taught by Fiona so all was familiar. I heard several people behind me saying what a good teacher she was so I think we are very lucky as a choir to have her as our Director. One of the songs, ‘Cosy’ was written by Fiona and it was a wonderful winter delight with many parts layered to create a delicious sound! We also sang a French carol, Noel Nouvelet, a Scottish song for the New Year with lyrics that lifted the heart and a Solstice Carol which took the form of a ‘shape note’ where the choir all started together but then sang as a canon. This last was quite challenging but created an amazing sound.
After the Big Sing we were treated to a delicious meal created by a Dorset organic cooperative from locally sourced produce including local cheese. Sitting in the Herrison Hall in Charlton Down, just north of Dorchester, one couldnt help thinking back to the time when it was a ballroom for the patients and staff in the Mental Hospital until 1992. It is now run by unpaid volunteers in the village, saved from demolition for village life……and us!