For those in the UK and other Commonwealth countries, it was Remembrance Day on November 11, and there was a two minute silence at 11:00. This is because World War I ended on the eleventh hour on November 11. I’m not sure if this is celebrated on the same day in non-Commonwealth countries, but I think most countries have some sort of Remembrance service around this time.
I was actually in a concert with my school choir. There was another, more experienced choir performing with us, and it was good to share a stage with professionals (there was also a professional ensemble). We had to arrive quite early for the rehearsals, which took around two hours, considering we had to sort out seating arrangements and the like, before we went home, had dinner, and then came back again for the concert. I only arrived with a few minutes to spare, but luckily I managed not to interrupt anything. To begin with, my choir sung a song by themselves, before our chamber choir did another song. I was actually in the chamber choir at the concert, but as of yet, the chamber choir auditions have not yet been held, and in all probability I won’t get in (very few people do, and I don’t even do Grade 1 singing). Even still, both of the songs were quite fun to sing, despite the second one being quite… morbid.
Then we collaborated with the other choir (we only sung half of the time, but it was a collaboration nonetheless). There was a solo soprano there who had a stunning voice, and the song overall was beautiful. I think we did pretty well, if I may say so myself.
Then there was an interval of about twenty minutes, where I met my dad at the back of the hall and got some orange juice, before the concert started again. In all honesty, I am a bit fuzzy about songs that I didn’t sing in, and I don’t remember the other choir singing by themselves, but they probably did.
As a finale, the other choir and a few of our better singers sung one of those epic songs that goes on for a long while. This was made even worse by the fact that the writer of the song chose to repeat large swathes of music again and again. There were hundreds of really long pauses where I was ready to clap but then the song continued again. I was afraid that I would clap in the wrong moment and ruin the whole concert, but luckily I got the timing right. The first time the timpani struck it was out of nowhere, and I shuddered so badly… It was still surprising even when they repeated that every now and again. (Being timpani must be such a fun job; seriously, I think it would be very entertaining, if not slightly monotonous). There was also a silent film showed at the same time, but we were conveniently placed so we couldn’t see it, as it contained some graphic images. I think all of us were desperate to see the film from the moment there were the words ‘graphic images’. I managed to catch a corner of the screen, but I didn’t see much (which is probably a good thing, but was annoying at the time).
When the song finally ended, the clapping lasted for about three or four minutes. I suppose the clapping time to performance ratio was about the same as normal, but I think everyone was just relieved it was over.
As a side note, if you live in the UK, buy a poppy and support the Poppy Appeal: if you want to find out more, see here.