Fascinating Rhythm Wins Gold Cup at Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts
Fascinating Rhythm Wins Gold Cup at Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts

Fascinating Rhythm Wins Gold Cup at Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts

Fascinating Rhythm recently took part in the 2022 Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts, held at the Cheltenham Town Hall on Saturday, 14 May. It was a magical and epic day, and, even with only 29 members of the chorus performing on stage, Fascinating Rhythm proved how fantastic they are by bringing home the Gold Cup! 

Fascinating Rhythm competed in two vocal classes:

• In the Songs From The Shows class, the ladies showcased an energetic rendition of ‘We Go Together’ from Grease, followed by an emotionally-charged performance ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman. Kitty provided a Makaton translation of This Is Me as the chorus sang, in homage to the version Fascinating Rhythm recorded with Ups and Downs Southwest in 2019 for World Down Syndrome Day. The adjudicators, Ula Weber and David Crown described it as a “great performance full of energy, passion and feeling” and “full of conviction” and awarded a score of 86 marks (honours).

• In the Female Voice Choirs class, the chorus sang three favourites from their repertoire: Billy Joel’s ‘And So It Goes’, the Nina Simone classic ‘Feeling Good’ and ‘Pie Jesu’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They scored 89 marks (honours), with the adjudicators saying they “loved the sassy attitude” and describing the performance as “magical – you held the audience in a delicate bubble”.

Fascinating Rhythm had the most wonderful surprise when the adjudicators awarded them the Gold Cup for the most memorable performance of the day – ‘And So it Goes’.

“I had the great privilege of hearing this performance ‘in the flesh’, and it was simply stunning. The ensemble was absolutely extraordinary. I was in the front row of the audience, probably 25 feet away from the choir, and was listening so intently, actually looking closely at each and every singer and straining to focus in on each person to see if I could hear individual voices and absolutely couldn’t. My accompanist was just behind me and doing the same thing… nope – just perfect ensemble. Respect, love and care over every word with beautiful shapes and gorgeous tuning. I found I was holding my breath at the end. Thank you for one of the most memorable performances I have ever heard in 30 years of choral directing.”

Mark Burstow, Director of Bournemouth Male Voice Choir

“I’m so proud of everyone! The competition was pretty intense, with so many brilliant choirs there. We enjoyed watching the other choirs perform, especially Peterborough VoicesPeterborough Sings and Peterborough Male Voice Choir, and a huge shout out to our sister LABBS chorus Cleeve Harmony! Our congratulations go to Insole Court Community Choir and Peterborough Voices, who won the classes we performed in together. This was our first competition in nearly three years, and we are absolutely delighted that our favourite song, And So It Goes, was considered worthy of the Gold Cup!”

Jo Thorn, Musical Director of Fascinating Rhythm
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