Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas carol concert cheer

A very wise and overgrown elf once said that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. And d’you know what? I think he might have been on to something.

Last night I did exactly that.

I’ve always loved singing and have been part of a choir for as long as I can remember. Moving to Germany, I didn’t specifically plan on joining a choir, but when my NBF Emma invited me along after she’d been invited along by someone else, I somewhat randomly found myself part of the Bayreuth Gospel Choir. And I’m jolly glad to be.

Emma and me trying out Santa's chair on stage
Yesterday evening, Bayreuth Gospel Choir gave a festive concert on the stage in the town Christmas market. And I absolutely loved it. As we belted out carols and jazzy ditties alike, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat, and couldn’t help turning to my fellow sopranos in between songs and exclaiming how much I was loving it.

We were wrapped up warm – alas, my Christmas jumper was hidden under a coat, but jingle bell earrings, Santa hats and reindeer antlers were all on display – just like the crowds watching, clutching mugs of Glühwein as they clapped along.

Singing on that stage is something I’ll never forget. Christmas songs make me oh-so-happy (as does singing in general – it’s good for the soul), I was with my friends and with a view out over the twinkly lights of the Christmas market.  It was a brilliant experience and a memory I’ll treasure forever.

So what did we sing? Well, there were a few of my all-time fave carols, such as Hark! The Herald, Adeste Fideles and Ding Dong Merrily on High, pretty gospel Christmas songs I didn’t know beforehand but now absolutely love, and also a couple of international numbers (let me tell you, singing in Swahili while simultaneously trying to do co-ordinated movement ain’t the easiest thing in the world!) Oh, and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, because you can’t not really, can you?

They were all really feel-good tunes – both for singers and listeners – and it was very touching that such a crowd gathered and stayed throughout. When performing anything, there’s always that slight fear beforehand that no-one will come… Especially considering we were competing with the Coca-Cola truck and their concert just up the street.

After our concert, we were all given vouchers to spend in the Christmas market (um, awesome!) so proceeded to celebrate with Glühwein (what else?)...

...and Langos. Never heard of Langos? Neither had I. They’re actually a Hungarian delicacy, and as far as I can tell, are basically deep fried pancake things, which are then topped with savoury yummies like cheese, ham and garlic sauce, or sweet treats like Nutella, apple purée or cinnamon sugar. Probably not the healthiest thing in the world but man, were they delicious.

It’s new experiences like singing in a German Christmas market that the year abroad is for. Special times. Great memories. (Too much food.)

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