Back in September, the BlueBelles were booked to sing for a couple of ‘corporate’ Christmas functions for the British Army. The first one was at Army HQ in Andover and this was followed a week later by a visit to sing for the Warrant Officers Christmas do at Buckley Barracks just on the edge of Chippenham in Wiltshire.
Army HQ, Andover – Officers Mess Winter Party
Most of the BlueBelles live in or around Pewsey in Wiltshire and so Army HQ in Andover is fairly local. The choir had been booked to sing for a couple of hours as the Officers arrived for their Winter Party. This year’s theme for the event was Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. The Mess had been suitably decorated and looked stunning for the occasion. A lot of the Officers and their wives had taken these theme for their costumes and there were some stunning outfits on show! As a choir we did briefly consider the idea of Dickensian costume but decided we would probably be best in our usual uniform.
Although primarily a ‘barbershop’ style A Cappella Choir, the BlueBelles are more than capable of turning their musical talents to a wide range of music and performed a range of Christmas repertoire from traditional carols to a jazzy modern rendition of Jingle Bells. In the course of 2 hours singing without a single break the choir managed not to repeat any songs!
Buckley Barracks, Chippenham – Christmas Function at Warrant Officers & Sergeants Mess
Our second Army Gig this year was in Chippenham. We were also asked to sing at the barracks in Tidworth but unfortunately it was an event on the same night. Buckley Barracks had clearly gone all out to impress for this occasion. When we arrived there were a couple of real live reindeer outside to ‘greet’ the guests. The decorations inside the Mess were superb and there was also a mini indoor Christmas Market.
This time the BlueBelles were singing during the course of dinner. We sang Christmas songs and carols for just over an hour whilst dinner was served to the guests. It’s quite challenging to sing A Capella in a large room full of nearly 200 people having dinner and talking but there was a lot of applause during the course of our set and the feedback suggested everyone loved having the choir singing.
After our performance, the BlueBelles were then given dinner in our own private room in the Barracks along with several bottles of wine to add to the Christmas Cheer. We thought we would leave the last words to Paul Diveney the Warrant Officer:
Jules, ladies. Many thanks for the performance on Friday night, everyone had a fantastic evening and the BlueBelles were fantastic. Have a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at 9 Regiment Sgts’ Mess.
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