Sound checks galore!
Yes, the longest day, as ever was the day when we had our mega sound check. It is not an easy task for sure. With the numbers reaching close to 70 people on stage, the job in hand is obviously time consuming. We also had the task of placing our sixty strummers on stage.Our guitarists’ coordinators Maria and Martha had the unenviable task of handling this. This was not their first time however, so they handled it with relative ease.
To add to the excitement, this was also the day where the Strummin t shirts were handed out. Our designer Jean Claude Vancell came up the design which is part of a holistic design theme which runs through the t shirts,booklets, posters/flyers, guitar picks and also projections. WELL DONE JEAN! :)
We also had a number of other items on the merch list which were on display for the first time. I got to say the guitar pick key chain was the first thing on my list to purchase. Very cool!
Our communications team was still coming up with ideas for the “making of” video and they were busy at work trying to get all of the crew involved. I am looking forward to see the final product. Sound check is also a good time for our singers to get to know each other better because they are usually the last to go on stage.The singers’ coordinator Martina makes sure that all get to know each other so a team spirit is built. Even though the singers perform individually we’re all in this together to achieve our goals of providing an excellent night for our audience and raise as much funds as possible for our beneficiary St.Jeanne Antide Foundation. I had the chance to hear some of them for the first time and I’ve got to say that we’ve got some excellent talent on display :D
This evening we’ll be joined by our little and large couple who will be hosting the nights, Luke Dalli and Ronald Briffa. These guys will definitely add more colour and humour to our show.We will also be having a full rehearsal including lights and projections so tonight is the last night of preparation before the big night!!
The second day of production week was mainly dedicated to technical stuff. The final touches on the stage were taken care of.All the chairs for our strummers were put in place too. Tomorrow will be the actual test for this.All the strummers will descend onto the hall with their guitars and the logistical work of placing all of the 60 performers will begin.
Lights crew continued their work and a number of tests and adjustments were made regarding the projections on the screen at the back of the stage. These will play an integral part of our show.Our strummer Siobhan Vassallo has put in a lot of effort in this regard, helped as always by another strummer Sarah Salafia.
Today was also the day Jon, our sound man came in with his crew. Jon’s ability to mix work and fun makes him fit in nicely with the spirit of Strummin:) All things were set and tested In order to make tomorrow’s sound check run as smooth as possible.The band has set up all the equipment and everything is set for tomorrow! It will be the day where the strummers and singers will begin to get into the groove of things for this year’s edition. It will also add more work and excitement for all involved.
The long awaited production week has arrived. It is of course the beginning of the countdown for our two performances and needless to say, the excitement is starting to build up! Today we had two things taking place at approximately the same time.The last mega rehearsal and the start of setting up at Sir Temi Zammit hall.Some of the organizing committee had to juggle between the two! The light technicians were first on stage to set up and assemble all their equipment. It may sound easier than it actually is! Not the kind of job for anyone scared of a height, that’s for sure!
Next, with the help of our voluntary crew members we carried and assembled the many platforms that make up this year’s stage. It was like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle, only the pieces were much heavier ;)
In the meantime our band, guitar teachers, strummers, backing vocalists and main singers were very busy going through all of the songs during the final rehearsal before we set camp at the STZ hall. Everyone was very concentrated but as ever the fun element remained present! That’s one aspect of Strummin that is appealing to many, the feel good atmosphere within all involved :D
We’re in the final week of preparations and you could tell that all the singers were very keen not to stress their voices in the run up to the concerts. As a singer myself it always amazes me how the voice always manages to feel weak or comes up with some issue during production week……….or is it just in the mind? ;) I’m sure all of our singers will be in top form come Friday night!
Tomorrow it is the band’s turn to start setting up and going over a long sound check! All our strummers get a day off to relax a bit and maybe go over some chord sequence which may be a bit tricky.
It has been a long day! And this was just the start! Well,its widely accepted that in order to deliver a great show you need to go through a lot of work…………and we’re all up for it,rest assured!
Yes! It IS crunch time!
I had to take a second look at my calendar to realize that in only sixteen days’ time we’ll be marching in Sir Temi Zammit hall for production week!
The dust has settled following our amazing experience as the sole supporting act for Rockestra. It was an unforgettable night for all involved in Strummin’
All on stage gave a tremendous performance and the crowd’s response was truly awesome!We didn’t get the crowd warmed up for Rockestra we got them nice and truly cooked to serve :) :)
All of the organizing committee is working on the final touches to have everything running smoothly. Some minor adjustments in the poster and concert booklet, a quick telephone call to confirm a radio interview, cast photo shoot, singers’ workshop, planning the next fund raiser, going over stage plan measurements for the umpteenth time and many other things including of course, numerous rehearsals for our band and strummers.
It is also the time when the fine tuning regarding music begins .Our music team are pretty meticulous but that’s what’s needed to get the right results! It maybe a tad tedious for some but as the saying goes, you reap what you sow and come October the 9th all of the hard work will be worth while .
It is also important for all involved to keep in mind why we’re going through all of this instead of beaching it! Remembering that other people in need will benefit from our work is a good motivation! Of course the element of fun must remain. After all music is one of the things that makes us all feel better.Hence the name- Strummin’ What a feelin’
9th and 10th October @ Sir Temi Zammit hall,University of Malta
Strummin What a feelin’ is supported by
Olimpus Music – Nexos – The Sound System – Pepsi
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Tickets are now available at http://www.ooii.com.mt
Photos credit; Andrea Seychell
Following our successful appearance at this year’s Farsons Beer Festival, we were all ready to focus solely on the preparations for this year’s concerts Strummin’- What a Feelin’ on the 9th & 10th October.One phone call changed all that!
The producers of Rockestra were still hunting for a supporting act.It was too good an opportunity to turn down, so all our plans still had to go on but we now had another side project to work on. No one was complaining! :) ;)
We were given the sole supporting act slot so we had to choose a good number of songs and also the singers. That was not an easy task!! As ever our team spirit came in handy and after a lot of discussions we agreed on the set list and the singers. This is a showcase for us.An ideal timing too, just one month prior to our concerts and an opportunity to introduce Strummin to a bigger audience. We are confident that our enthusiasm will be transmitted to the Rockestra audience, who as ever are more than willing to join in the fun.
As was the case for the Farsons Beer Festival, we will be showcasing a “mini Strummin” in regards to the number of acoustic guitars on stage. This year’s edition ( Strummin –What a Feelin’) will feature more than 70 guitarists…………..it would have been a logistical nightmare for the Rockestra production team to accommodate us!!
Our band will feature the classic line up of Joseph Axiak on keyboards, Luke Grech and Mathias Mallia on guitars, Dean Montanaro on bass and Lesnich Vassallo on drums.Six Strummers, two backing vocalists, twelve singers and a number of technical and logistical crew will make up our team.
We kick off our show at 7 pm so we urge all attendees to arrive early at MFCC on Saturday 12th September.
On behalf of all at Strummin, I would like to show my appreciation to Rockestra’s Artistic Director Pawlu Borg Bonaci and also to Maestro Sigmund Mifsud for their vote of confidence.
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