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ABC Concert for Ukraine

A Recap by Catrina Webb

After months of planning, organisation and effort from many people, our concert finally took place on 17th September 2022.

However, before this there was a lot going on behind the scenes. Our Concert organisers did a lot of work organising the venue, sound, performance acts, advertising, sponsorship, raffle prizes, cake and much more!

Big thanks to our Concert Organisers

Then, starting 1st August we ran our #K2SChallenge, where the Belles and family members took part in the challenge by running, walking, cycling, swimming and paddle boarding the distance between Kyiv and Selb (1,685 miles). By 17th September we successfully met this target and more than doubled it, with the total distance of 3,823.3 miles (226.9%)!

In the run up to our concert we also had three weeks of coaching with Emma Shanks who came across from Derby to put us through our paces and help us to polish up our songs. Then on the night of 6th September we had our 'tech' rehearsal in Selby Abbey to suss out last minute issues like where we would be standing, what risers we needed, how many microphones, etc.

Finally the day of the concert dawned and we arrived at the Abbey around 3pm to set up and sound check. The smaller groups arrived first, followed by the full chorus later on. Once sound checked, we gathered in the 'green room' to warm up and snack (well, we had to keep our energy levels up didn't we!?). The starting time approached and we we weren't really sure how many people to expect. However, rumours told us that people were queuing outside to get in. After we got on stage and sang our first song, I turned around to thank the audience and was overwhelmed to see that the Abbey was full! What an amazing experience.

The Belles, sung their hearts out, and I was so proud of them. The other smaller groups, Eclipse, Happy Days and Jabberwocky also sang really well, as well as the Bounty Hunters. However, Yeseniia really stole the show and the audience gave her a standing ovation. The evening ended with all the acts on stage together to sing Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen), with Yeseniia singing the verses as a solo and everyone else joining in on the choruses (including the audience). What an amazing experience so direct, and hear, nearly 300 people singing together in the Abbey!

Here are some quotes from some of our Belles following the concert:

  • "It was a special night to stand in Selby Abbey singout our hearts away to a packed audience"

  • "I was delighted to overhear a lady at half time saying to wanted to hear more of the Abbey Belles. It was great to be singing with everyone and feeling their confidence and enthusiasm"

  • "How lovely to see the Abbey full and to hear our voices echoing in the rafters"

  • "It was a really special evening and you could feel the significance of what we were taking part in. I also love the magic sound of the chords reverberating overhead"

  • "Yeseniia sang like an angel and looked like one too! And the Belles, Eclipse, Jabberwocky and Happy Days, and the Bounty Hunters did their utmost to justify the cause and the location - it's just wonderful singing in the Abbey!"

It was such a special evening and one that will not easily be forgotten, especially with so much work going in to make it happen.

The icing on the cake was that we can finally announce the final total for money raised - £5,500! Wow!

All proceeds raised have been donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

"Intense conflict in Ukraine is threatening the lives and livelihoods of civilians across the country, causing millions to flee. Homes have been destroyed. Essential services have been hit. Families have been separated. People have been injured. Lives have been lost. DEC charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and across the border in the neighbouring countries. They are working to meet the immediate needs of all people fleeing with food, water, medical assistance, protection and trauma care.

  • £30 could provide essential hygiene supplies for three people for one month

  • £50 could provide blankets for 4 families to keep them warm

  • £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month

All that is left is to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone involved in making this evening so special and such a success.

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It was a wonderful experience singing in the Abbey to such an appreciative audience and the amount we raised - all I can say is WOW. I shall remember this night for a long time Kathy

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