Early November the members of the Incognito singers met at Alicante Airport for the beginning of an adventure that none of us will ever forget. A chance to join 1500 other voices from 28 choirs and sing with 2 world famous brass bands (Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Cory Band) and The Fochabers Fiddlers for a Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
The famous conductor, composer and musician, William Relton, has been organising these events, in aid of Cancer Research, for the past 35 years and has raised over £500,000 for the charity. A Gala Concert 2018– A Festival of Brass and Voices in aid of Cancer Research UK was to be his last before retiring, making it extra special.
I had lived in London for 16 years before moving to Spain and had attended many concerts at the Hall, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get the opportunity to sing in this great building.
Despite having been rehearsing for the past year for this event, I was still nervous. However my fears were allayed during the dress rehearsal. William made us all feel at ease. The great thing about singing with so many others is that no one can hear your mistakes! I was surprised that the other choirs had struggled in exactly the same places as we had!
The performance in the evening was just brilliant. What strikes you when you walk into the hall as a performer is its sheer size. The organ is tremendous and it accompanied many of our songs - it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!
During our performance of ‘Calm is the Sea’ by Heinrich all the lights were slowly dimmed and everyone’s ‘twinklers’ began to flash in remembrance of those who had died from cancer. It was very moving and the minutes silence after was emotional. For me this is a moment I shall never forget as my mum and aunt both died from this terrible disease.
The big finish was the bands playing Elgar’s ‘Pomp & Circumstance’. It was an amazing sight to look out and see everyone waving flags and singing along - something I shall remember forever.
Thank you to the Incognito Singers for giving all of us this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Search ‘Festival of Voice and Brass Gala Concert 2018’ on YouTube to see some of the videos that have been uploaded and enjoy the moment too. You can also see photos and videos in our own gallery (which opens a separate google gallery page).
A big thankyou to our musical director David Murphy for the many hours he has spent with us rehearsing all the music and giving us this opportunity, to Sally Miller for organising flights accommodation, transport and all the logistics and to Linda Hands for her hard work on our outfits for the evening.
Brilliant! by David Blake, Tenor