I thought this would be a good project…..

and the singers at Hillarys made it a great one.

Friday was my last rehearsal with the Hillarys Liberty Singers. We spent an hour at their offices just polishing the final parts of the Christmas songs. We were both filmed and interviewed for Notts TV at the same time!! Then off we went downstairs to perform to a real life audience – their colleagues in the roman blinds department.

It’s a very new thing singing in front of people and a few of them looked nervous but they soon got into the swing of things. What I really liked was that from where I was stood, I could see the faces of their colleagues, every single one of them smiling and this gave the singers more confidence. Phones were out filming, I got one gentleman to join our dancing and another popped up behind the singers to join in. A great boost for our performances!

And so off we went into the centre of Nottingham all in our matching branded hoodies to gather in The Exchange in the council house building. Such a beautiful place to sing and the acoustics were fantastic! (Slightly disconcerting when the bell tolled the hour and made us all jump!)

We sang and we danced, we danced and we sang. People joined in, children participated in the dancing, faces broke into smiles and we collected money for charity. The more we sang, the better it got! I could feel the sense of achievement through the singing – it was all over their faces and was a great sight.

We then walked together over to Nottingham station. Once you get a group of people fired up in this way, there really is no stopping them and we broke into song walking down the street a couple of times. There’s something very special about being part of a team – I loved it that we were all wearing the same thing but that also we all had the same goal. We were in town to spread joy and happiness and we did.

The hour of singing at the station saw us collect yet more charity money and we had a much greater passing trade. I was still surprised when people stopped and listened to a few songs, when teenagers took off their headphones to have a listen, when a lady danced all the way through a song with us and when a group of three lads also got involved with the dancing.

The feedback from our audience was brilliant. Happiness was all around. But what made it special was the feedback from the singers – all of them delighted with themselves and each other – we achieved what we set out to do and did it brilliantly. After our hard day of singing, it was ESSENTIAL to have a drink and I left a large group of them still singing their songs in the pub more than an hour later.

Thank you Hillarys – we have really started something special!

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