Martock Chippery – well, the area in front of it- may not seem a likely venue for a choir to perform, but this was where the Harmony 303 choir found itself on Saturday 14th November, by invitation of Fergus Dowding, the Martock Producers’ Market innovator. And it proved to be unexpectedly agreeable in terms of acoustics, and most entertaining in terms of its ever-shifting audience.
With shoppers plying trolleys to and from the Co-op, the Producers’ Market in full swing, and rain, this might have been a challenge too far, but from Harmony’s very first song – a lively spiritual, ‘Woke up this Mornin’ with my Mind set on Freedom’ – it was clear that all was going to be well. Shoppers stopped to listen, market traders smiled approval, and our singers- some forty or more- gave it their all. A wide variety of songs including the 60s hit ‘Barbara Anne’, the traditional Scottish ‘Mingulay Boat Song’ and ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,’ the South African national anthem, ensured that there was something for everyone.
Caroline Rigby, our indomitable musical director led with her usual uplifting mix of energy and encouragement, impressively and adroitly side-stepping the occasional shopping trolley without missing a beat. And how very gratifying it was at the end to have any number of shoppers, traders and all join us in one of our big favourites – ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, which celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela.
The Harmony 303 choir used the occasion to collect money for ‘WaterAid,’ its charity of choice and a total of £55.80 was collected.