Last night, the first Polyphony Down the Pub Brighton took place.
To set the scene:
- at 5.45pm, just before everyone arrived, the pub manager and I were pretty much in agreement that the 50 chairs that we’d put out would probably be more than enough;
- at 6.15pm we were desparately putting up temporary tables and passing chairs over people’s heads to accommodate the 71 singers who had turned up. (Brighton folk are people of their word – if they say they’re going to be there, they’re damn well going to be there!)
As you can see from the pics, it was a jolly evening of singing and socialising, with some absolutely cracking performances of Byrd‘s Ave verum, Aichinger‘s Regina coeli, Zielenski’s Vox in Rama & Bennet‘s Weep O mine eyes.
Even trickier fare like Victoria‘s Lauda Sion and Casulana’s O notte, o cielo, o mar had their moments, though not everyone was a fan of the latter:
Thanks to all the PDtP London regulars who came down to lend their support but huuuuuuge thanks to the 60 or so intrepid Brightonians who decided to come along and see what all this nonsense is all about – you guys were brilliant!
I think it’s safe to say from the immediate feedback making PDtP Brighton a regular event would go down well, so we will almost certainly be back in January; make sure you subscribe to this website for e-mail updates.
In the meantime, back in London we have Counterpint in the Cafe on Wednesday and are still looking for a couple of tenors and an alto to make our double-choir dreams come true. Sign up here if you’re interested.
PS An added bonus for me last night was that after the PDtP singing was over, an impromptu shape note session got going courtesy of a local group.
They very kindly agreed to let me sing along and I clumsily busked through one of my all-time favourite Sacred Harp songs, I’m Going Home. If you’re interested in joining the Brighton group, get in touch with them via Facebook.
(By the way, we could learn a lot from shape note singing technique in keeping everyone at the same tempo!)