Musica Colne Valley Guitars at the Manchester Central Convention Centre
Summary of the day by Oliver Smith (MCV Guitarist):
On September 10, Colne Valley Senior Guitars went to perform at the TUC Congress.
The day started out at 7am when we caught the train from Huddersfield Train Station to go to Manchester Oxford Road. A half hour later, we arrived in Manchester and proceeded to walk the rest of the way to the Manchester Central Convention Complex where the TUC Congress was being held.
When we got there, we were met by a Music for Youth representative who gave us lanyards, so we could go backstage and into the main convention hall. We unpacked our guitars ready for the 8.40am session that we had been asked to play in. We went into the convention hall, a big room filled with rows of desks and chairs with pieces of paper scattered about. We were shown to our stage where we sat down and practised before being briefed. We were told that we would be filmed and streamed throughout the complex and onto the TUC website where people would be tuning in to watch the day’s events unfold. A couple of minutes later, we were given the green light to perform. We started out with Chelsea Jazz which went smoothly as important people started to filter in through the doors. Then we played Partial Eclipse, followed by Viva Jujuy and Pica Pica.
After those, we performed Milonga, Palladio and Bare Necessities. We were then told to finish off and exit off stage so that the Congress could start. The group then went for a quick sit down and coffee until we started the walk to the Museum of Science and Industry. There, we were given time to walk around and see all of the interesting exhibits before we went to get lunch. We went to get something to eat at the cafe inside of MOSI where by far the food of choice from the CVSGG was the panini that was offered.
After our brief excursion from the MCCC, we returned and prepared to perform our second set of songs from 1.40 to 2.10pm. Just before we performed, the stage manager came up to our group and asked the dreaded question: can you smile more for the cameras please? This is the scariest question for a guitarist to face because of how hard it is to both smile and play at the same time. With this request in mind, we set out to play. We started again with Chelsea Jazz, Partial Eclipse, Viva Jujuy and Pica Pica. Then, we played Granada and Bare Necessities.
We gathered up our things and got ready to go. Fortunately, we got to keep our lanyards as a souvenir from the event and we were told that we would get an edited copy of our performance. We returned to the station and after 45 minutes we were back in Huddersfield. All in all, it was good day all round and we were thrilled to have been chosen to perform at the 150th TUC Congress. Here are some quotes from some of the members of the Senior Guitars:
Morgan: “I had lots of fun, I’m glad that we got chosen to go and luckily I didn’t miss much at school!”
Elendu: “I enjoyed this experience, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity!”
Emily: “It was really good I thought.”