With another year over, why not

Issue 5 February 2013
With another year over, why not
May GEM Connection will be exactly
take a minute to replenish your
15 years old and we are all excited
energy and peruse the first 2013
GEM Connection newsletter,
overflowing with seasonal stories
about your favourite barbershop
that we will be performing at the Post
Mill Centre in South Normanton on
Saturday 11th May from 7pm to
showcase just how far we have come
in our years together. The Gold Med-
chorus. Read on to find out more
al winning BABS’ champions of 2012
and reminisce about 2012!
- the Grand Central Chorus will also
be joining us on our show along with
another couple of special guests – de-
GEM Connection is 15!
tails to follow shortly. As our last two
shows sold out in record time make
GEM Connection is looking forward
sure you get the date in your diary
to its 15th birthday year as LABBS’
and book as soon as possible. Tickets
Bronze Medal winning chorus and
cost £10 and can be bought by calling
hope that you will join us sometime in
either Burnie on 0115 9459031 or
2013 and celebrate with us. On 9th
Jenny on 01773 604167.
Issue 5 February 2013
make the cost as affordable as possible to
encourage the whole chorus to be able to
There will be all manner of
fundraising activities organised which are
sure to be great fun so please support us and
get involved in 2013.
Exams Success For Flin
As 2012 Bronze medallists GEM Connection
was invited to compete at the European
Championships in Holland in March 2013.
This is a huge honour and achievement as
only 3 of the top choruses are chosen. You
may remember that GEM Connection was
invited to compete at this convention 4 years’
ago when it was last held and we came a
very creditable 8th place.
It was a
wonderful weekend but we decided that we
would prefer to go somewhere different if
were to have another foreign trip. Heads
were scratched and quotes were found for
By Lisa Dengate
Since August 2010 our very own PRO, Flin,
has been hard at work getting to grips with
the delights of Chartered Accountancy by
working for a large accountancy firm and
studying intensively to learn the subject.
Her last set of exams were taken in
November and she heard that she passed in
December (but kept it very quiet and didn’t
tell anyone at GEM). It is my great pleasure
to shout very loudly
various European destinations and at the
unanimously decided that our next foreign
adventure should be to Tuscany, Italy. This
will mean we can take our brand of a
capella singing and performing to a
completely new area and possibly even get a
suntan while we’re at it! GEM Connection
will therefore be fundraising like mad for
the next 14 months to make sure that we
Flin celebrating with an ice cream
Issue 5 February 2013
event took place at Shardlow Village Hall
GEM’s Charity Concert
where there was a well contested handbag
On 30 November GEM’s Charity Concert
auction, handmade gifts on sale and more!
took place at the Long Eaton Silver Prize
The total raised during the evening was over
Band Club, at 7:30pm with guest
appearances from Diamond Cut and
Yesteryear. Before the show event started
Barbershopper of the Year! (BOTY)
there had been drama as all the tickets sold
out two weeks before the performance! By
go to our new
re-arranging the seating plan for the hall
BOTY; Ruth
we managed to increase the number of
Allen. She has
tickets so that no-one was disappointed. The
worked tirelessly
charities sponsored were Treetops Hospice
all year (and for
and Harrington School (which has been our
the two prior
rehearsal venue since we started). The
years as well!) as
concert was a massive success and GEM
were delighted to have raised £1,300 to split
between the charities. One anonymous
Ruth hard at work auctioning handbags
head of
fundraising for GEM Connection, raising
over £4,000 during her time!
concert-goer was in a spectacularly
generous mood and quietly, without any
fuss, increased the Treetops donation to a
round £1,000. This person wanted no
accolades but all the ladies of GEM would
like to thank them for this kindness.
Below is the complete list of the BOTYs
during the years – congratulations to you all!
2005 Jean Hopkinson
2006 Maralyn Wilkinson
2007 Burnie Dawes
Christmas Ladies Night by Ruth Allen
On November 12th, 7:00pm, for the mere
pittance of £2.50, ladies had the chance to
be present at an amazing Christmas event,
2008 Heather Lane
2009 Iola Davies
2010 Lisa Dengate
2011 Rachael Murphy
2012 Ruth Allen
hosted by GEM Connection. This prestigious
Issue 5 February 2013
passionate eyes / devastated eyes /
Diary of a Convention Virgin
conversational eyes…
aged 40 ¼ By Jude Baddiley
Oh and most importantly the breathing -
Monday 1st October 2012
Well, October is finally here - only 26 days
until it happens. So I’m sitting in the bath
having a rare quiet moment as only those
with children can understand. After blowing
dust off those dodgy bottles at the back of
the bathroom cabinet I reach for the
exfoliating body scrub. If my bingo wings
are going to be on show, they need some
serious attention. Shame it’s not vanishing
cream. I’d been meaning to start toning
exercises since before the summer hols but it
never quite seemed important enough to
miss “Holby” and go to Aqua Fit instead. I
suppose I should be drinking mineral water
to aid the detox… but a cuppa and bag of
BBQ hula hoops will do.
not just simply the in-and-out thing that we
do every day. Oh no… that’s got to be
different too… Tighten your abs. Push out
that air. Accelerate. Make sure you’ve got all
of it out. Release. Don’t get giddy and start
all over again… but not at the end of
phrases - when you need to and at the
agreed breath points... Think I need a lie
Thursday 4th October 2012
How is it that I can manage to fluff one
move each time I sing Hot Time? Of course
it’s never the same one twice tonight. I have
been listening to the music during lunch at
work, but if I start strutting around the
office, I may be taken off to the medical
room for a lie down or even worse taken to
Wednesday 3rd October 2012
Escaped the ironing tonight and spent 2
hours in Ilkeston Hospital. No drama - just
front row rehearsal. Worked on the moves,
definitely need to work on my face. Maybe I
can get a quick nip and tuck around the
eyes while I’m here then I won’t be able to
see the Headteacher (yes I work in a school
but they don’t let me loose with the kids strictly office only!) Good job there’s beer
and chips afterwards. I need to soothe my
weary soul in preparation for my first
competition at Biddulph on Saturday.
frown when I concentrate!
I think my head is going to burst with all
this stuff I have to remember; the moves, the
vowels, smiley eyes / sad eyes / excited eyes /
Issue 5 February 2013
Saturday 6th October 2012
move and smile. And we even win – here’s a
I think I may have OCD tendencies.
photo with the cup to prove it!
Dress – check
Shoes – check
Make up – check
Sparkly bling - check. (Must be the
third time at least)
I haven’t fed the kids breakfast, emptied the
dishwasher, put a load of washing on or
tidied anything up from last night, slovenly
For once I’m not in Mum mode - just getting
myself ready. Who is this new person? Dad
is in charge today so they will be getting
bacon butties at the deli after they’ve
dropped me off at West Park. The guilt is
vanishing along with their vitamin intake
for the day…
Well after the bus driver took the scenic
route, but we’re finally at Biddulph and
ready for action. We look stunning in purple,
I have been given so much encouragement
(and make up!) today, I think I can do this.
Yes I am nervous - mouth dry- but I am
… and if you want to find out what hap-
coping ok. Then we get on stage… and my
pened next – read the second instalment of
lip, yes my lip starts twitching. I’m sure the
‘Diary of a Convention Virgin aged 40 ¼’
WHOLE room can see my Elvis impression.
To make matters worse during the break
between Hot Time and the ballad, the other
side joins in. I feel like I’ve grown a trout
But I manage to remember to breathe, sing,
Issue 5 February 2013
GEM’s daft pets
New GEMs in the making
Flin’s cat, Caecilius, the royal emperor,
Congratulations go to Charlotte (tenor) for
surveying his empire.
continuing on her GEM journey. Welcome
to all our new and prospective members.
Also, we would like to wish a warm
welcome to the new members of the
Executive Committee; Janet Micklewright
and Maggie Hobday.
Fond farewells
Unfortunately Jane (tenor) has left the
chorus. In 7th Heaven will miss her
enormously. We wish her all the best in the
future and remember to keep on shining like
the GEM you are!
Captions (and new entrants) welcomed.
Honorary Members Update
Rita’s dog ‘Benjamin Balthazar Wombembi
of Borrowash.’
Congratulations to the newest honorary
members this year– Jan Jones and Gwen
Williams. They have joined
Trish Hanson and Audrey Murphy as GEM
Connection’s lifetime members for their
outstanding commitment and work while
they were in the chorus. Thank you, ladies,
and come and see us often.
“Trainee sniffer dog, sniffing for coke” Chris W
Issue 5 February 2013
2013 Dates for the diary
Budding journalists unite!
Long Eaton All Media Arts
If you would like to write about anything for
Club, NG10 4GL
23 April
Markfield – details soon!
11 May ‘13
GEM’s 15th Birthday, Post
the next newsletter, suggest something for
the content, or comment on any articles
included, please email Flin (details below)
Mill Centre, South Normanton
Easy fundraising
Come and meet us
Members of GEM go to the Navigation pub,
Breaston on the first Thursday of every
month to have a bit of a sing and entertain
some of the pub’s patrons. Come along to
have a free barbershop taster!
Of course you could always come and watch
us rehearse at Harrington School, Long
Eaton from 7.30pm every Thursday. Who
knows? Maybe you are a GEM and would
like to join?
Would you like to help GEM raise funds but
can’t get to the events? It's simple - visit
emconnection/ to register and shop with
over 2000 well known shops like Amazon,
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donation to GEM Connection Ladies Barbershop Harmony Chorus. It won't cost you a
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