The People of Note Community choir (PON) enjoyed a very memorable visit from the amazingly talented Hannover choir Canta Nova. The People of Note International Touring Association (PONITA) are the social/event organising arm of the main community choir and we have taken enormous pleasure in organising and making this weekend possible.
The visit has brought together two cities and two performances of exceptional quality and diversity-some welcome bonuses have been the creation of significant international friendships, and the cementing of community ties, both within and across, the two choirs.
On Saturday 8th June we hosted a joint concert held in the beautiful Lord Mayor’s Chapel, attended by the Lord Mayor and invited guests from the Twinning Association, and representatives of the Bristol charities that PONITA support through singing and fundraising. The concert on Saturday was a great success; singing in that beautiful space with the Lord Mayor and many invited guests was a very moving special event for all involved.
As part of the Clifton Green Squares and Secret Gardens (CGSSG) event, Ponita and Canta Nova planned to sing in three gardens on the afternoon of Sunday 9th June. The walk intended to highlight the areas’ gardens and architecture; but we had to succumb and give in to the unrelenting rain, which began after lunch and luckily after the first performance. We had to abandon the intended performances at The Paragon Communal Gardens and St. Vincent’s Rocks as rain stopped play. Nevertheless, in true PONITA style, we made the very best of it all and retreated to the Avon Gorge Hotel for drying off and drinks, impromptu singing and a stroll over the Suspension Bridge (when the rain eased off) with a guided Brunel talk by Philip Barker another PON member, to round off the day.
We have learned a great deal from each other- not least that music and song have no borders, that together we have much to respect, share and enjoy – and in that spirit we plan to meet again next year in Hannover!