May 19 2013 Latest news:
Vicky Berry , Witchford Voices
Monday, June 11, 2012
A MEMORABLE weekend of eating frites, sampling regional beers – oh, and singing our way around some beautiful Belgian locations. The first ever Witchford Voices tour was a resounding success.
Setting off in our customised Grey’s coach, singing began quickly and continued on the ferry to Dunkirk, with a small informal group of Voices swelling until most of the choir were entertaining fellow passengers on deck in the sunshine.
Bruges is a beautiful medieval city, with intricate crenellated buildings, café-lined squares and a network of canals spanned by pretty bridges. There is a constant clopping of horses’ hooves, as tourists take carriage tours of the city.
This was the backdrop for Witchford Voices’ open air concert in the famous Markt, or market square, to an audience that quickly grew until we had a large and enthusiastic crowd. We were raising money for an elderly people’s home in Damme that we would be visiting the next day, and the steady stream of Euros dropped into our suitcase would eventually mount to over £100.
That afternoon, many choir members visited nearby sites of World War One battles. At one, the guide had located the headstone of a soldier originally from Witchford, who remarkably had died 95 years earlier to the day of the visit.
We started Monday with something a little different - a breakfast flashmob. As fellow guests enjoyed their bread and cheese, two Voices stood and began to sing. The sopranos and altos joined them, followed by tenors and men, until the whole choir was singing to the bemusement of staff and guests alike. When the song was over, we all sat and continued as if it hadn’t happened. Lots of fun!
The first official performance of the day was at a residential home for the elderly in Damme, a small town that we travelled to by paddleboat. The welcoming staff and appreciative residents made for a memorable visit, and the warmth of the reception kept us going as we visited a beautiful though chilly Ghent, before the evening’s performance in Kerk St Paulus. An elegantly designed church with beautiful stained glass it was a lovely place to perform to a friendly and enthusiastic audience.
As a tired but happy group of singers returned to the UK, the only question for our choir manager was, “When can we go again?”