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'Sing while you Work' Manchester Airport choir is so cool for Christmas
5:40pm Sunday 22nd December 2013 in News
WHILE cold weather is notoriously difficult for professional vocalists, one famous TV choir is deliberately putting itself in sub-zero conditions to hone its Christmas Carol routine.
The Manchester Airport Choir, established in the spring of 2012 by VIP choirmaster Gareth Malone for his BBC2 TV series ‘Sing while you work’, wants all its choristers to be acclimatised to the colder temperatures of winter during its busiest season of the year.
Choir bosses also want its members to be completely in touch with their personal Christmas Spirit, that little piece of us that rejoices when the festive season is upon us.
And so the choir, already described by critics as 'cool', is about to go decidedly chilly as it books in rehearsals at the longest real snow slope in the UK – Chill Factore.
They’ll be singing the technically challenging ‘Santa Baby’ – originally recorded by Eartha Kitt in 1953 – to stretch their voices in preparation for the Christmas Carol season.
There is method in the choir’s apparent madness though.
Temperatures at Chill Factore - based next door to the Trafford Centre – are pegged permanently below -2 degrees Celsius.
That’s equivalent to the coldest winter days in the UK and is a great proving ground for choristers who are often expected to perform at carol concerts outdoors in the coldest environments of harsh northern English winters.
Cold weather is known to restrict vocal chord movement as well as cause them to become dry. But, as long as the choristers keep scarves around their necks and hats on their heads to keep heat-loss to a minimum as well as taking regular drinks of water to stop their voices from drying out, then the sub-zero temperatures should have no ill-effects.
Manchester Airport Choir spokesman Heather Boyd said: “There were 20 of us from the choir at Chill Factore in Manchester for this special rehearsal session.
“The benefits are two-fold. Firstly, the choristers will become accustomed to the cold temperatures so when we embark on carol season this year they will know exactly what to expect in performance terms. It’ll be our personal boot camp for the Christmas period.
“And secondly, the session will get us in the Christmas spirit, as we prepare for the busy season for choirs. Chill Factore has year-round snow and that’ll make us feel instantly Christmassy and this will be reflected in their performance.”
Chill Factore chief executive, Morwenna Angove, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Manchester Airport Choir to Chill Factore for their very special seasonal rehearsal.
“It makes total sense that if you are rehearsing for Carol season you want to get as close to perfect Christmas conditions as possible and every day is like Christmas Day weather-wise at Chill Factore.
“It’ll be lovely to have the sounds of Christmas echoing around the place to give our skiiers and snowboarders that truly Christmassy feeling too.”
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