Monday, May 24, 2004

Pass the Vocalzones 

The weekend seems to have been dominated by singing, in one form or another. One of my major volunteer activities is stewarding at a local concert venue. I got involved because I know how difficult it is to keep these sorts of facilities runing, from an economic point of view, and how much of a difference volunteers can make to that struggle. It has a national reputation as a venue for chamber music and is oftern used for broadcast and CD recordings, but it's also a great resourse for local school and community groups, and has a pretty imppressive programme for jazz and world music as well.

Saturday afternoon I was stewarding for a concert by a community choir, who always put on a realy fun show. They were performing in the evening too, but the afternoon was the 'family' performance. This meant lots of small children running around, which was OK with the performers and with us, but did mean that eyes and ears had to be kept constantly peeled. There was a pretty good turn out, especially as they were ocmpeting with major soccer and cricket matches on the TV, and beautiful weather outside.

I've been volunteering for about a year now, and am really enjoying it. The one thing that gets me down sometimes is the attitude of some of my fellow stewards, who can have a definite tendency to moan. The way I look at it, it isn't the same as going to a concert as a paying customer, but we aren't asked to do anything particularly difficult, stressful or tiring, and we get to hear great muic for free. But to listen to some of my colleagues you'd think they were doing the organisation a huge favour. Given that there's an eighteen-month waiting list to be a steward, I don't think they are.

On a jollier note, I spent Sunday afternoon at Sing-along-a-Joseph with a group of friend. In essence, you watch a film version of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, with the words on the bottom of the screen, karaoke style, so you can join in. That brief explanation completely fails to capture just an amazingly fun and really very silly experience it is. I went with a group of friends from a choir I sing in. We had a wonderfully rioutous afternoon, and I somehow don't think any of us are going to have much voice left for tonight's choir rehearsal.

In case you think something looks different but can't put your finger on just what it is, I've removed the Blogger comment functionality. It was just too cumbersome to be user-friendly, and I think I've fixed my problem with reading Haloscan comments from my home PC, so things should be much easier all round.


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