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A great time was had by all when we visited Bangor, Northern Ireland last weekend to enter the Bangor International Choral Festival!

After travelling over on the Friday lunchtime, we were quickly into action to partake in the Festival Concert on the Friday evening where we sang 6 songs including, Danny Boy, Burden and Rock a My Soul. It was clear that we were a bit different to the other choirs in that we were obviously a smaller ensemble with no Musical Director but we were thrilled with the reception we had from the good people of Bangor. The following day the serious stuff began by way of competition. We were able to win the Mixed Voice Class but were pipped to the post in the Sacred Music Section by the 47 strong (Yes that's 47!) Wessex Male Choir ..... who were indeed excellent. A further second place in the Light Entertainment Class was followed by an award for the Best Overall Performance for the day!

The reaction of the audiences each time we sang was amazing and made all of the hard practice worth it.

The following day was slightly 'hazy' as we had a 'Sten' do! where all of Ocho and followers celebrated the oncoming nuptuals of Georgia in June and Megan on August! Overall a fabulous weekend of singing and we hope to return in the future ............

Well it is nearly upon us .... next weekend Ocho travels off to Bangor (Northern Ireland) to compete in the Bangor International Choral Festival. We're going to have a very busy time whilst we are over there with a performance at the Festival Concert on the Friday Night and then a series of competitions throughout the Saturday afternoon, culminating in the Gala Concert in the evening. We have been busy learning new repertoire and we think we may have broken some sort of record because out of 9 songs being sung in competition only 3 will be in English ! Other languages being sung are Latin, Polish, Hebrew and Swedish! Why do we make things sooooo difficult for ourselves ? LOL. Anyway, we hope our months of practice since Christmas mean we can represent ourselves well at the competition and we are sure to thoroughly enjoy ourselves whatever happens. Rumour has it that we are up against some much larger choirs but we hope we can entertain the audience and impress the adjudicator.

I also think it is a 'given' that we enjoy ourselves because on the day following competition, Ocho is embarking on a mixed sex 'hen do' as Georgia and Megan prepare for their respective weddings in June and August! Yes ..... Ocho's men are going too ......we are a very 'inclusive' choir !!! lol. It's our final practice tomorrow night and then flying off to Belfast on Friday lunchtime. Fingers crossed and the very best of luck to all of the competitors in Bangor!

Well what have Ocho been up to I hear you ask? Basically, we are in the middle of doing the 'hard yards' of learning new material for the Bangor International Choral Competition to be held in Northern Ireland at the end of April. Just so that you don't forget us, we happened upon some 'warm up' singing we did whilst singing in Germany at the end of last year. Its very informal ..... including Hannah deciding she was getting too hot and unzipping her coat during the recording ! lol. Anyway, thats what we are doing .... busy learning lots of new material. of course, we don't have a musical director guiding us so in true Ocho tradition we are developing the songs by concensus .... and boy are we having some interesting and heated discussions! We're hoping the final product will be worth it this space!

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