Vicki‟s Victorious Vocals

A Short Story

The Story of Vicki‟s journey through her vocal development as part of the Birmingham sector Godiva Awakes Choir.

B y V ic ki Ta ylo r

© 2011

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Discovery of the Arts Chapter 2 - Vicki Ventures Chapter 3 - Friendship Features Chapter 4 - The Big Challenge Chapter 5 - Audition Anxieties Chapter 6 - Joseph Joys Chapter 7 - Successful Singing Chapter 8 - Rigorous Rehearsals Chapter 9 - Superhero is Summand Chapter 10 - Baffling Blues Chapter 11 - Prepare to Perform Chapter 12 - Godiva Greetings 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

By Vicki Taylor

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Chapter 1 - Discovery of the Arts
Vicki wondered up the garden path. The colourful trees overhung the hexagonal paving stones that she hopped along, jumping from slab to slab. She was living in her own world. In her own mind. In this bizarre place she would hold conversations with inanimate objects and would take part in glorious ceremonious activities that would wed tree to tree. But something was not right. Something was in the way. It must be explored. Trapped inside herself, Vicki couldn‟t move. She struggled to break out of the bars of the mental cage that she found herself within. What could she do to escape? How could she break out of this scary, lonesome place? Suddenly a bolt of lightening flung down from beyond the darkened clouds. Crash! It hit the cage and opened it to new possibilities. Dramatics raced in towards her and lifted her off the cold, damp concrete. Waking up, Vicki found herself surrounded by bright colours. A whole new world- the world of the Arts.

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Chapter 2 - Vicki Ventures
Vicki became comfortable within this new world that she had been carried into. She ventured to and fro connecting with new projects. She often found herself on stages performing in front of many people and creating magnificent models of her brain and other topics of interest. Vicki ventured to many projects where she was able to explore new art forms and develop new skills in different things. She got involved in workshops and youth theatre groups where she started to make friends and network with other people. It was a dark, stormy day when Vicki arrived at a crowded building. Young people were everywhere and lots of busy activities were ongoing in different corners of the space. Medals flung through the air as visitors were welcomed and awarded for their interests. Towards her ran a crowd of youths all with exaggerated expressions fixed to their faces. They were running, yet did not seem to be moving– covering just a few metres of floor-space in half an hour of highly energised racing. Slow motion. Before long, Vicki was caught up in the spirit of the MOB.

By Vicki Taylor

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Chapter 3 - Friendship Features
Avoiding all the faces of the MOB, Vicki hid behind a desk in the far corner of the room. She did not wish to interact with any of these strangers. Scared and lonely, she longed to be part of the group; yet felt so insecure and frightful of the unknown entities that appeared before her. Approaching her person in a fit of rage, the MOB waved their arms above their heads in rigid movements. Kicking their legs over each other‟s fallen skeletons that had curled up lying on the floor. Vicki stepped back within herself as protection from the unruly mass. Still coming onwards, the MOB stripped away the outer layer of protection– all the work that had piled upon her desk. Surely they would kill her? Surely there was no place to go to escape from their clutching intentions. No. Rather they clung to her spirits, encompassing her with their encouragement and support. Vicki was welcomed by the MOB and placed within the heart of the project. Friendships had formed around her, including her within them.

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Chapter 4 - The Big Challenge
Vicki was not willing to let her journey end there. With new found confidence, Vicki explored other projects that would challenge her within this new world that she had become accustomed to. Packing her bag, Vicki wondered what the day would have in store for her. The phone rings. It is one of Vicki‟s new friends requesting further information about what the day would hold for them. Crowds rushing around manically as pigeons fly high in the sky above the heads of the young MOBsters who waited for the time to come that they would meet one another. Vicki had the information for the Big Challenge kept close in her cardigan pocket. “Auditions”, Vicki explained, “for a big project that will be part of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London next year”. Auditions? Vicki gulped. Did she really have the voice for getting through auditions? It would certainly be a challenge, but one that she was willing to face the fear and go with it anyway.

By Vicki Taylor

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Chapter 5 - Audition Anxieties
The day of the audition arrived. Vicki waited anxiously at the bottom of the escalators in the local train station. “Where are they?” she wondered, “they should have been here an hour ago! It‟s a good job I told them two hours before the actual time”, she thought to herself. Soon after, she was approached by two of the MOBsters- “sorry were late, the train was delayed”, they explained. The small group of friends walked with great pace towards the theatre where the auditions were being held. On entering the room, the friends were approached by a middle-aged lady with a black clipboard, “names?” she asked, as she ticked the girls off the list and showed them to their seats. There were so many people being auditioned. People of all ages and cultures. Some had been singing all their lives and beamed with confidence. Vicki had been in amateur choirs before, but never of this standard and scale. Nervously she waited.

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Chapter 6 - Joseph Joys
Waiting excitedly in rows of auditorium seats, Vicki glared at the empty stage that was lay out in front of her. “I can‟t wait!” she blurted to her nearby friend, “it‟s my favourite!” With a loud musical introduction, the curtain lifted and out come two little children and a mother who began to sing, “some folks dream of the wonders they‟ll do…” Vicki buzzed with ecstasy, singing along to the performance passionately. “Look at how they project their voice and alter the tone to keep us interested”, she observed. “I need to do that when I sing in performances. I will have to practice hard”. Vicki really enjoyed the show and boasted to her friends, “I saw Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Hippodrome! It was fantastic and I watched how all the singers projected their voices and sometimes they even rapped so that the tempo changed and made the atmosphere more exciting!” Vicki was overjoyed with the performance even though there were parts that caused her to feel a little bit poorly due to the flashing lights. She went on and on recommending it to all her friends.

By Vicki Taylor

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Chapter 7 - Successful Singing
It wasn‟t long after the audition date, that Vicki was informed of the rehearsals for the Birmingham sector of the Godiva Awakes choir. Vicki was shocked. She did not believe she would gain a place in the choir after hearing the angelic voices of the other candidates. Placed as a soprano, Vicki sang comfortably within the group of high-pitched vocals that surrounded her as they sang a whole variety of vocally challenging tunes. Some of the songs and tunes that were asked of the group, were familiar to Vicki and her friends as they had been practicing them as part of the Grime Choir at MOB. Vicki smiled gleefully, “many men, many men, many men, men, men; many men, many men, many men, men, men; many men, many men, many men, men, men; many mennnnn, many men, men, men…” she sang in chorus. Vicki happily participated in the singing as part of the audition process, despite her nerves and fears of rejection and failure. But when she came out of the audition room, she was bouncing with pride.

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Chapter 8 - Rigorous Rehearsals
Each week Vicki rushed from MOB to the Godiva Awakes choir rehearsals. During the journey to and fro she sang quietly, warming up her vocal chords ready to sing passionately at the rehearsals. Vicki could never rely on having the words in front of her, and so had to learn the lyrics and tune off by heart and place it within her memory so that she could connect with the songs whenever she was required to do so. Slowly but surely, Vicki progressed in the choir rehearsals and was soon considered to be a „power pusher‟ along with a few other soprano voices who could carry the higher pitched notes. Vicki looked around her. The people next to her did not seem like scary strangers anymore as they smiled back caringly. Yet, Vicki felt alone for all of the MOBsters had dropped out of the project, leaving her to face the Big Challenge alone. Vicki sighed. She felt tempted to drop out too. Was it really worth all this effort? Of course it was! Vicki continued to sing with the other choir members and helped them with their words.

By Vicki Taylor

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Chapter 9 - Superhero is Summand
The Godiva Awakes choir was blessed by the presence of a superhero who would provide the voices with special powers that would enable them to sing victoriously and confidently to audiences across the city. Her name was Ilona Sekecz. BAFTA winning composer and superhero Ilona arrived before the choir with a glimmer of hope in her eye, and a skip in her step. She flew through the clouds of confusion to provide light for the choir, paving the way for a true understanding of the choral and harmonious music that they were producing. Ilona was experienced in her superpowers from her previous encounters with heroic proceedings including saving the lives of performers through her music, television, and theatre compositions. She used her superpowers at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre in London where she composed music for them. Now, she was caught in the same world as Vicki– the good world. The world of the arts.

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Chapter 10 - Baffling Blues
Vicki couldn‟t sleep. She lay in her bed staring at the ceiling and gently humming the tunes of the songs that she would be performing the following morning. “I can‟t remember the words!” she admitted to herself disappointedly. “And the rhythm of life is a… erm.. Something beat, something, something, something, and the something, something feet… oh no!” She reached over to here computer and listened once again, to the disc that her superhero Ilona had given to her. All night long she played the music on repeat, trying to recall all of the words. Next morning, Vicki waited her musical fate at the Hippodrome theatre where they rehearsed one last time before their midday performance to the unsuspecting Blues Brothers audience. Vicki took a deep breath and looked around. Crowds had formed in masses around her. Ilona smiled and began to swing her arms in conducting motions. The music began and the words started to flow freely from Vicki‟s trembling voice. As the songs progressed, so did Vicki. Soon she was smiling and singing with joy.

By Vicki Taylor

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Chapter 11 - Preparing to Perform
Summer arrived and the choirs were back on form to rehearse together through the heated months. The members of the Birmingham sector choir gathered together in preparations for the upcoming performance. This performance would be the first of many that would bring the three sectors of the Godiva Awakes choir together before they act as part of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Vicki sat at the front of the room eager to get singing the songs that she had now become passionate and excited about. She smiled happily as she waited patiently for her superhero to arrive and perform her magic on the vocals of the singers. “Good news! Chariots are coming, good news! Chariots are coming! Good news, chariots are coming and I don't wanna leave me behind”, she sang enthusiastically; working on projecting her voice and controlling her breathing from her diaphragm as her superhero had taught her to. Vicki finally felt confident that she knew the words to all the songs that she would be performing.

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© Vicki Taylor 2011

Chapter 12 - Godiva Greetings
The sun was out and the birds were singing beautifully in the bright, glossy green trees. Vicki sighed contently as she waited for the Festival to begin. There was an abundance of excitement mixed with a concoction of nerves and high energies, amongst the 78 voices of the Godiva Awakes choir as they warmed up their vocals with one last rehearsal. Within minutes they would be opening the Main Stage at the Coventry Godiva Festival 2011. Vicki turned to her superhero, “good luck Ilona”, she smiled as her hero hugged her tightly, “and thank you for giving me this opportunity”. It was time. Vicki trembled with anxiety as she carefully took to the Main Stage. With the piano as her comfort blanket, Vicki began singing in unison with the other soprano voices. Crowds gathered in to watch and listen to the choir sing as the opening act. Hundreds of people came in to witness the first full Godiva Awakes choir performance. It was a great success!

By Vicki Taylor

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