This year Sparrows are Bella, Claudia, Georgia, Millie, Millie, Chloe, Ashley, Naomi and George. This is the smallest Sparrows we have ever had, but the quality is undimmed! Sadly the change to Thursday practices was a day too far for Peter, but he gave us a wonderful arrangement of Hips Don't Lie. We messed about with it a bit more, and it was, predictably the hit of the set.
As a nod to the BBC's Ten Pieces, we called our set, Five Pieces and launched into a romp through the genres. The Entertainer, Don't it Make it My Brown Eyes Blue, Hips Don't Lie, Morning, In the Hall of the Mountain King.
I started welling up almost immediately, and the audience applause was the longest since Birmingham 2009, which was the year Sparrows won the World Music Award. I think my favourite moment was when Millie C took to the basses for Brown Eyes Blue, holding the music in one hand and playing bass casually one-handedly with the other. And she got a special mention from the mentors [adjudicators] for her bass playing.
Naomi lost Morning so we watched her peer over Claudia's shoulder to read it [see pic below right]. And Chloe and Ashley got over their stage shyness to do dancing for Hips. Georgia hid so well at the back that I have included the pic above of them waiting to play, just so she gets in this blog!
At the Festival I was really pleased to met Emma [and family] who is setting up her own band in Harrogate. And if she were to see the a Sparrows concert, she couldn't have seen a better one.
Here is Bella trying out pan de neck for the first time, but she is on holiday when it the Harrogate Festival so it won't happen yet.
[The best laid plans o' mice and men gang aft a-gley, but I do try!]
To see video clips of our tunes go to our facebook page. Plus I will link them when we get them youtubed.
The Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows is a Leeds ArtForms senior ensemble, with leaders: Victoria Jaquiss and Bex Ainge. Best age to join is between 11 and 14, but up to 17 is still good. Contact Leeds ArtForms if you would like to observe or try out a session. Previous [musical] experience is desirable but not essential.