Save the Children

By Sarah Margel, Lead

So here I was, late again, running through the puddles of a churchyard to take part in St Mary’s church at Burghfield Save The Children evening. Another singing event for The Reading Barberettes; another occasion to get my pink sparkly shoes on.

We were the second half entertainment, following the Arborfield Military Wives Choir, so I got the chance to catch my breathe and admire my surroundings. St Mary’s is a beautiful church with poignant memorials around the walls, filled with dedications to loved ones old and young; shadowed stain glass windows and a gorgeous wooden eaves roof in some intricate pattern I don’t know the terminology for, but impressive none the less.

Then the Military wives began to sing, conducted and accompanied by their MD – a real talent on the keyboard. They sang a whole mixture of songs from musicals to pop to specially written anthems. Gorgeous voices, confident soloists and very emotional lyrics. Impressive dynamics and quality of sound for a small number of ladies – their group diminished from the norm due to circumstance.  It was lovely to listen to and appreciate their blend of voices and I hope they feel proud of their performance that night; the audience certainly gave them rousing applause.

So then the interval arrived, no more cake or tea for us but a quick practice to check out the acoustics and reshuffle our places. Big smiles, shoulders back, feel like a peacock and remember which way to move first?

Emma introduced us with her usual humour and confidence and off we went…

A fast paced, mixed bag of songs from our repertoire including my current favourite, “Crazy little thing” and old favourite, “Skyfall”. 

The St Mary’s audience gamely joined in the four parts of “The Dog Chorus”, seeming a little bemused at first but then laughing and joining in with the actions. Very funny but a great way to get everyone to understand the idea behind 4-part acapella singing and Barberette -style performance!

 It was also the first outing for “Can you feel the love” and “I can’t stop the beat” which seemed to be well received but had us gasping for breath by the end with its mum dancing and guitar swinging!  This singing lark is certainly helping keep me fit as well as balance my mental health and boost my sense of wellbeing…I’m beginning to sound like an advertisement now so time to draw this brief blog to a close.

Another evening completed…check

Another audience entertained…check

.. and all for a great cause, Save The Children.

Just another day in the life of a Barberette.