I worried when Simon suggested auditioning for Godspell that people would be a bit scared to give it a go. We are, after all, a group that performs primarily classical music, standing still in a semi circle. But let’s not forget, we’re also a group that donned overalls, rain macs and vicar outfits and danced with umbrellas in last summer’s Steam Song, so I wasn’t too surprised when it turned out everyone was super keen!
Joined by a handful of enthusiastic and massively talented students from Sunderland Uni Choir, we rehearsed our two encore pieces (Moses Hogan Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho and Bob Chilcott You are the New Day) and headed down to Darlington for the audition. It was one of the nicest I’ve ever been involved in – you usually have to wait ages for proper feedback, and it’s just in and out with no conversation. This time we sang our pieces and then the very lovely panel (the casting director and MD from the show) told us straight to our faces how great they thought we were. How kind! They showed us a promo video of the show and we all started to get a good feel of the energy and pizzazz levels we were going to have to pull out of the bag. We were delighted later that day to hear we had been selected to do the performance at our “home” venue, Hall One of Sage Gateshead.
Simon sent us all the videos of the dance moves – a series of films of mega enthusiastic teenagers dancing on a rig while an out of shot dance captain screamed instructions. Fair to say I felt a little intimidated and a LOT unfit... I had volunteered myself forward to be in the half of the choir that dances (the other half, the lucky creatures, get to just stand still on stage), and I realised I was going to have to up my exercise in order to be able to sing and dance at the same time with that amount of energy!
In our first rehearsal we had a lot of fun singing through the music with our fabulous bass / pit pianist Tim, and then Lorna from the altos donned her dance captain cap and started teaching us how to step from side to side and clap. You can laugh all you want, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
Next week we start doing things from memory, and having a go at the more complicated dance moves. Can’t wait!