Celebrating Winkfield council’s mega birthday
By Louise Johnson, Baritone
Last Sunday saw the last non-Christmassy sing-out of the year for us at the Barberettes. We were providing entertainment for the residents of Winkfield, near Bracknell, at a traditional afternoon tea. We had a personal connection here, because Marcia, the Chair of our Chorus, is also Clerk to Winkfield Parish Council and she had arranged the event as part of the celebrations for the Council’s 125th anniversary.
The Barberettes are a busy bunch of women so our sing-out chorus size can wax and wane a bit, and this time we were on the smaller side. Still, our 14-strong elite fighting unit were up to the task and we had a great time singing a selection of our favourites. Our tribute to the Andrews Sisters was particularly appreciated by older residents, at least one of whom – Ruby, aged 101 – remembered the originals, and we also sang a few more recent additions to our repertoire, channeling our inner Freddies for Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love. However, the hit of the day was our lovely, lovey-dovey arrangement of Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight, from the Lion King (which we nickname The Loo Song after the non-lexical vocables in the intro. See, you learned something new today).
The audience got a further treat, and the chorus got a welcome breather, when a quartet took the spotlight briefly. Emma, Marcia, Jo and Julia stepped up as the aptly-named Fourmidable to sing Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire.” Lewis is reputed to have set fire to the piano while performing this number, but thankfully Fourmidable showed a little more restraint as it might have taken some time for Ruby to evacuate the building.
Our hosts had thoughtfully provided enough food for us to join in with the celebrations afterwards, and there’s always something very satisfying about singing for one’s supper, or at least one’s cream scone. I’m sure I speak for all the Barberettes in saying thank you, Winkfield, for being so appreciative and considerate – we certainly felt the love!