Corobella coming home

by Helen Livsey

It’s been ten years since these ladies last sang together in a youth choir. In that time most of them have studied at university, travelled, gigged professionally, had families, and felt that the time was right to sing in a choir again with like-minded individuals.

“It’d be great to enter a competition. And why not start at the highest level?”

It proved to be a struggle for them. Most choirs practice religiously each week, and at their time of life, with family and work commitments, it just wasn’t possible. So why not set up a choir of their own with the contacts they knew from all those years ago? The group approached Susan Eames, singing teacher and former conductor of the youth choir to see if she’d be willing to lead them. She took some convincing, but after a quick rallyround of some other singing buddies; teachers, beauticians, nurses, a jeweller, and even a children’s party entertainer, they managed to form themselves a chamber choir; Corobella.

The first rehearsal back in March involved copious amounts of Prosecco, nibbles, chatting, and even managing a bit of singing too. The group described it as ‘coming home’.

Not a shy and retiring group, it was decided that it’d be great to enter a competition. And why not start at the highest level? The competition was to perform at the opening of The Great British Prom at Bolesworth Castle in Chester, alongside the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis, Only Men Aloud, Annette Wardell, and Russell Watson.

In order to win the competition, the choir had to gain as many ‘likes’ on their video on social media as possible. Unfortunately they did not meet the required number of ‘likes’, but Anthony Inglis was so impressed at the standard of Corobella, that he selected them as a second winner to sing at the event.

With the winners announced during the summer holidays, it didn’t give Corobella many opportunities to get together to rehearse. So with some hilarious videos from Susan via group messaging, it meant that partlearning would have to be done in the car, on their lunchbreaks, and even by the pool on holiday.

As evening fell and the sun set over Bolesworth Castle, the concert began with a programme of British classics performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, certainly giving an air of ‘pomp and ceremony’ to the occasion. Then it was the turn of Corobella, adding a little sparkle to the evening, with their performances of ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ from ‘Funny Girl’, the classic ‘Hushabye Mountain’ from ‘Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang’, and a rousing rendition ‘I Never Lost My Praise’.

The choir was very well received and Anthony Inglis invited Corobella to sing on stage alongside the orchestra and soloists in the finale, performing classics such as ‘Land of Hope and Glory’; the highlight of the evening, followed by fireworks and yet more fizz.

Since performing at The Great British Prom, Corobella have planned a few more rehearsals before any other public performances, but do encourage readers to ‘follow’ them on social media, and look out for concerts in 2018.