Two Cups - and the Boys did it in style!
Firstly, Chairman Geoff took his passengers on a lengthy if scenic route to the assembly point in Hursley. Then the bonhomie of Choir Marshall Kevin was abruptly curtailed when he discovered his jacket remained firmly on the hanger at home. Inevitably this necessitated a risky ‘speed-trap’ dash to rescue it, which in itself turned into something akin to a Whitehall farce (but that’s another story). Finally, a bemused coach driver, berated for turning up late, showed his schedule actually had him absolutely on time. Given this tense start it was altogether fortuitous that we managed to arrive in time at the Guildhall in Bath, though with just 15 minutes to ‘do our makeup’ and head off to St Michael’s Church where we were to perform in the first category of the competition ‘Best Male Choir’.
We sang Y Tangnefeddwyr and What Shall we do with the Drunken Sailor and waited while gentle, if inciteful, judging by the friendly lady judge left us in suspense of our fate. One rather prestigious choir we were sure was likely to pip us at the post. However, it seemed we had struck more than the right note when, to our absolute joy she announced we were the winners, earning us the Arthur Trowbridge Cup, which we excitedly held aloft. Only the second cup RMVC had ever been awarded. Then onward to the next category judged ‘Best Sacred Music’ performing two contrasting pieces, A Welsh Prayer and Ride the Chariot. Another holding our breaths moment followed as the judge deliberated and commented, but once again we were announced the winners. This time our other metaphorical hand was able to hold up; the Mallory Challenge Trophy.
We were most definitely on a roll, but one more category ‘Popular Music or Show Songs was yet to come. Tension was in the air, fingers were crossed and we just knew that Bui Doi was without doubt one of our best and Chattanoga Choo Choo always gets a good reception. This time it was not to be, and deflation followed the verdict. However, is it really ‘shabby’ to be pronounced joint second out of 12 choirs after two resounding wins? Marion Maxey clearly thought not: “The consistent feedback was about our musicality and the overall enjoyment of our repertoire. For me it was lovely to have the affirmation that we are doing the right thing from a much-respected choral expert.” Chairman Geoff added. “We cannot help but be proud of this achievement. For Romsey Male Voice Choir to do so well in all three categories we know is testament to the hard work of a great bunch of dedicated singers who have the musical flexibility to successfully perform pieces in different genres, and as always rise fantastically to the occasion. But, we also know we couldn’t do this without Marion, whose talent in guiding, coaching and rehearsing us to produce our best is absolutely crucial and very much appreciated”
So, there we have it. One more competition under our belt, two more cups to add to our collection, and a terrific sense of satisfaction and a job well done. A great day, a fun day, and a day of high achievement for us singers and RMVC – what could be better than that!