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Wine, women, singing and giving

Of course Wine, Women and Song involves the obvious, but this weekend there's also charity at its core.

The group began unintentionally a few years ago after Lisa Maule, the Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society's music chair, got some singers together for a bit of fun. Before she knew it, they were performing in public and had formed an offshoot, Melodies and Mimosas.

“It started as a get-together every Sunday, when we would sing a few songs and then it morphed into something more,” said Paige Hallett, one of the original members.

“Because we put all this work into it, we said we should put it out there for people to see but, really, at the core of it is a bunch of silly women who like to sing and drink wine. [This weekend] we're doing a concert at Daylesford to help raise money for The BMDS Charitable Trust, a scholarship for students who want to pursue a career in the arts.”

Scholarship hopeful Elena Melendez Sanchez and the Menuhin Foundation String Quartet will join the two BMDS groups performing a “cross section of stuff” for the cause.

“We've done a lot of ‘60s numbers in the past, classics, ballads ... With this year's concert we have several small solo lines to try and showcase some members of the group and, while we don't have a particular ‘theme', our repertoire ranges from George Gershwin, to The Supremes, to Alicia Keys; so there really is something for everyone,” Ms Hallett added.

About 15 singers will perform as part of Wine Women and Song, a group open to all abilities and experience levels. The smaller Melodies and Mimosas does “more complex arrangements, and more difficult pieces; they focus on songs that might scare the pants off people in Wine, Women and Song”.

“For some people it's just a nice outlet,” Ms Hallett said. “We're accepting of all abilities and push people to move outside their comfort zone; sometimes it's their first time on stage, or the first time they've been given choreography or have to learn harmony line, and then they're put onstage, in front of people.

“We do encourage anyone who wants to join the WWS group to become members of BMDS, where they will receive updates about when the rehearsals start for the next one. For every ‘event' we try new material, so no previous experience or knowledge of our repertoire is necessary. We try to provide a safe environment where you can enjoy singing and having fun, with like-minded ladies.”

The promise was enough to get Joanna Heaney involved. She'd done “a few things on and offstage with BMDS” before, but wanted to get more confident in singing and so “tried it out”.

“It's something different, an outlet that makes you feel good, it builds your confidence a bit and pushes you out of your comfort zone,” she said.

Meanwhile Elena, a 17-year-old Warwick Academy student, was invited to join in this weekend's fun. She will perform two solos, one by Whitney Houston and another by Stevie Wonder.

She brings with her five years of school performances — most recently as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda — and a matching period onstage with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

“I'm hoping to pursue music theatre as part of my university degree, hopefully in England,” she said. “My goal is to then join a West End production; hopefully, the company will then be brought over to Broadway.”

Wine, Women and Song is at the Daylesford Theatre tonight and tomorrow night, beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets, $15, are available at the door. To join the Bermuda Dramatic & Musical Society or for information on the BMDS Charitable Trust, visit bmds.bm

Members of Wine, Women and Song (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 13, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated March 13, 2020 at 12:25 am)

Wine, women, singing and giving

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