Quintessence performed a three song package to rapturous applause at our rehearsal venue's Open Mike Night. It was a debut for our new song "Tuxedo Junction" which went down particularly well. Expertly curated by vocal/guitar legend Al Jenkins and hosted by Landlord Guy Ripley, the Shoulder of Mutton Pub in Wallingford Street, Wantage has this "go to" event every Tuesday night.Shoulder Of Mutton
Outstanding and prize winning performances from The Oxford Music Festival are featured in The Oxford Music Festival Concert, this year held at The Jacqueline DuPre Rooms within the grounds of St Hilda's College Oxford. Imagine our delight to be selected to join a distinguished collection of musicians and singers to perform at this years concert. Our style of singing was in great contrast to the other singing groups on show but we were able to give a solid performance and perhaps add something different to concert. The standard of performance on the night was of an exceptionally high standard and just shows why The Oxford Music Festival is one of the premier music festivals in the country.
A return visit to the Oxford Music Festival saw us competing in the only Class that seemed appropriate for an ensemble singing predominantly Barbershop Harmony with FIVE members. We joined the Male Voice Choir class! We sang "Tuxedo Junction" and "When I Fall in Love". The adjudicator, who had seen us perform before was delighted with the sound and awarded us an "outstanding" in the class. She mentioned that it would be lovely to be seranaded off to sleep at night by the sounds of the quintet but also mentioned that her husband probably wouldn't be happy with a Barbershop Quintet living in his bedroom!!
Back in June 2016 Rob offered the services of Quintessence to be auctioned in the West Berks Golf Club Captain's Charity Day Auction. The lucky winner of that offer arranged for the Quintet to perform at a belated Christmas Dinner hosted by the Pincent's Manor Hotel in Calcot, Reading. This was a formal dinner hosted by The Lodge Grand Master. Quintessence was proud to be be able to fulfill our promise of a 30min performance with a selection of songs from our repertoire. We were glad that the nominated Golf Chairties for 2016, Newbury MenCap and The Injuried Jockeys Fund could benefit from a very generous bid for our sing.
We completed our busy schedule of Christmas performances with a sing for Hungerford Rotary Club. This was a black tie event held in Hungerford Town Hall a wonderful Victorian building in the High Street, Hungerford. A well supported event, this was a good send off to the year. It capped off a busy year for Quintessence with a number of new songs added to the repertoire. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our loyal followers and many thanks to our families and love ones for their patience in allowing us to endulge ourselves in this wonderful hobby.
We were honoured to be invited to take part in the Maggies Christmas Concert this year held at the Church of St Michaels and All Angels Church in Summertown, Oxford. Maggies Centres is a wonderful charity which provides many services for cancer sufferers and their families and carers. The evening consisted of a variety of performers from community singers to Clarinet Quartets. The Acoustics were superb and the welcome warm. www.maggiescentres.org
A return visit to the Gardening Club to start a busy schedule of performances over the Christmas period. A lively audience ( had they been at the homemade parsnip wine we ask? ). A performance of Carols uptunes and songs with silly hats on! Some willing volunteers from the front row helped out with props for Jingle Bells and a good time was had by all. If we get asked again we might ask for a little more light on stage as we spent a lot of time bumping into each other and hunting in the pigeon basket for hats!! ( No. You heard that correctly - Ask us next time you see us )
Having missed a year we were once more invited to take part in this Annual event. Plenty of classic cars and motorbikes plus the usual array of good food outlets and stalls. We were employed in a "wandering minstrel" capacity entertaining guests with a selection of our favourite tunes. Always a great day and even the weather behaved itself with sunshine all day long.
View photos of the Shalbourne Classic Car Show 2016 at https://www.flickr.com/photos/128392322@NO7/15265952398/
Quintessence took part in a day of music in aid of Team Mikayla a charity which grants wishes to children fighting cancer www.teammikayla.co.uk. There was a wide choice of music on offer during the day. Many thanks to Craig the manager of The Swan pub Wantage for the use of a great venue and his all day manning of the barbeque. https://en-gb.facebook.com/The-Swan-Wantage-40345365072/
Back to The Bear Hotel for our second stint of Summer Entertainment for the shoppers of Wantage. Managed to find a better place to sing this time which helped the acoustics and show cased our sound more effectively. This time we were collecting for our local branch of Cancer Research UK. Our efforts raised £69.11. Check out our presentation video to the staff at https://twitter.com/CRUKWantage/status/764429451287490560
We were invited to sing in the garden of a fine house in Shalbourne near Hungerford for the occasion of an 80th Birthday Party. A lovely sunny day with an appreciative audience.
No. Not that Palace! This was Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of The Archbishop of Canterbury. We were invited by The Ronald McDonald House Charity to sing at their fundraising event in aid of a wonderful charity supporting families with seriously ill children. The charity supports families by providing them with accomodation close to where their children are having treatment. £3000.00 was raised on the day. A fantastic result!
Check out our Gallery for more photos of the day
Quintessence were again invited to take part in the Wanatge Summer Events schedule. We provided the Saturday shoppers with a selection of songs from our repertoire outside The Bear Hotel. Once more we were raising money for The Wantage Counselling Service who provide an invaluable service to the town.
After being offered the chance of recording time in a local studio we finally got our act together and met at "Challow Park Studios" to record a few tracks. The facility offered the chance to try various recording spaces both large and small with different acoustic qualities. It was a steep learning curve but thanks to Will and Amy's coaxing and cajoling we managed to record five tracks. Thanks guys!
The lads were half time entertainment for a local folk club Saturday Night Ceilidh. The locals were well and truly up for a good time if the amount of perspiration was anything to go by!! We retired to a local hostelry for suitable refreshment.
Quintessence sang for the locals at "The Cross Keys" Pub, a home town gig for our Lead singer John Harvey. After some splendid victuals, not to mention a couple of fine ales, provided by the landlord we managed to drag ourselves up for a few tunes. A good time was had by all!
Quintessence were invited to sing at Pegasus Court, a local retirement/social housing development. We were warmly welcomed by a number of residents in a bright, and airy recreation room. Although a little early we did debut a couple of this years Xmas songs. The obligatory tea and cake was taken.
Quintessence had a wonderful night in The Plough at Shalbourne on Bank Holiday Sunday evening.The pub was packed with locals and "Quint Groupies" for an hour of entertainment from the lads. The evening contained the first public performance of our new song "When I Fall in Love" made famous by the wonderful Nat King Cole. We even managed the difficult key change! We donned waistcoats for the occasion but were upstaged by Richard who had bought a new shiny waistcoat for his Son's wedding! Thank you M&S. Four more please.
It's been a long time coming but here's our most recent event. We were asked to sing at Calne, in Wiltshire for The Royal Enfield Owners Club Annual Rally. A wonderful collection of old machinery, and that was just the quintet! A very hot day for a "Wandering Minstrel" type sing around two fields of tents and bikes. The assembled crowds were very enthusiastic and even started dancing to the songs at one point. We've decided that this type of event is ideal for A Cappella as its less formal and allows us to get close up with the audience. Big thanks to Jason our host and guide for the day
Quintessence with The Royal Enfield Flea
We were invited by Umami Delicatessen ( www.umami-deli.co.uk ) to sing outside their store for Wantage Dickensian Night. Weather was cool but dry, which mean't that there was a great turnout. Having lost our baritone to a detached retina on the day, we were down to three parts but still eager to put on a good show. Partnered by the girls from Dreamas Ladies Quartet we were also collecting for our nominated charity "Sobell House Hospice". Having attempted a couple of songs in the chill air, competing with Wantage Silver Band and being upstaged by a couple of reindeer, we took shelter in the store for more songs and some Community Carol singing.
Thanks to Michael and Annette for their hospitality and helping us to raise £58.32 for the charity.
P.S Second member the group hospitalised that night! Showbiz. Pah!