“O Waly Waly” saves the day.

July 2, 2013 — 44 Comments


I caught the train to Eastwood with Marcus Kitchen, my piano accompanist, and Ross Wilson a 3rd Year RCS Classical guitarist who was also performing with me at the event.  We were met at the station by Rob Wilkinson from the Eastwood Rotary Club ( Link ) who then drove us to the venue.

We arrived at 5:30pm allowing us plenty of time to practise and prepare for a 7:30pm performance.   It was a good crowd, filling the venue, I was excited as I always am just before a performance.  I followed a group of fabulous dancers on to the stage and introduced my first song when I caught sight of Marcus out of the side of my eye signalling that he had a problem with the piano.   This was the moment when I wished I was a stand-up comedienne  with a repertoire of jokes or light hearted stories to fill the void, but I am a singer 🙂 so to fill the silence I explained about the second song I was going to  perform and what it was about.   With fingers crossed I hoped that the piano could be quickly resolved.    A quick glance to Marcus and I could see that the problem still wasn’t fixed, so there was nothing else I could think of but to introduce a folk song ‘O Waly Waly’, it wasn’t in my program for the night but at least I could sing it unaccompanied.   Phew, it went down well and I’d managed to find the right key, well at least Marcus kindly told me I did 🙂

I could breathe again, the piano was working so I sang “O Mio Babbino Caro”, “Do Not Go My Love” and “Widmung” to conclude my first set.   In the second half of the evening, with the piano now working beautifully I sang “Per La Gloria D’Adorarvi, “Danny Boy” and I finished my performance with “Art Is Calling For Me” from the comic opera “The Enchantress”.  It was a lovely evening and the Rotary Club did a great job raising funds for important local charities.

Last year the Eastwood Rotary annual variety show raised £2,500 and hopefully last Saturdays showcase will do even better this year.

Marcus Kitchen


44 responses to “O Waly Waly” saves the day.


    so impressed with your drive & determination!!


    You did well to pull off under such a situation. My thumbs are up to you.


      I’ve had a few occasions where my microphone hasn’t worked at school productions, luckily I’ve got a big sound! All of these glitches help to improve future performances, I need to give myself that bit of wiggle room 🙂

      After the event I wondered if I could have roped Ross Wilson in even though he’d not played the pieces with me before 🙂

      Best wishes


    How wonderful you can keep your composure together and keep things running perfectly. The mark of a professional! You look fabulous in the red dress by the way, be well!


      Hi John, my Mum bargain hunts for long dresses for me in the 50-70% off sales in large stores, she photographs them on her phone and sends me the picture but she has great taste and there’s not been many I knock back, although there was this pink, shiny one recently 🙂

      Best Wishes and come back again soon.


    I liked your grit. Might be good to have a standard stand up routine ready for the next time. You could start with “Now take this piano,” pause on beat “Please.” burr rump bump *cymbal*


      I like it John, I think I’ll put a book about filling in or light hearted moments during presentations on my birthday list 🙂

      Best wishes and I hope you can visit again soon,


    I would love to hear an a cappella version of Danny Boy. . .


      I often perform the folk song categories unaccompanied, usually with just the one note played on the piano to find the correct pitch. It is something I have to work on regularly, I’ll have to record some folk songs the next time I can book some recording time 🙂

      Thanks for calling back.
      Best wishes


    What a lovely dress!


    Your voice is truly amazing! Such talent and dedication! Thank you for subscribing! I am humbled! 🙂


      Thanks for visiting and listening Ryan and for such nice comments. I hope that you get the chance to call back, I’ve lots planned for this Summer 🙂

      Best Wishes


    That must have been scary, my palms got a little clammy just reading about it. But you handled it splendidly! By the way, I love your dress!!!


      Hi April, I was just concerned the audience wouldn’t get such a good performance without piano accompaniment and Marcus had worked so hard learning all the repertoire for the show it would have been disappointing if it couldn’t be fixed but it all turned out well 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and best wishes


    Well done! It must be scary enough performing (although I guess you’re used to it!) without something going wrong. Good on you for keeping things going while the piano was fixed – many people would have frozen, I’m sure.


      Thanks calling back and leaving a comment, this was the first time a piano hasn’t worked for me during a performance. During the rehearsal it had played perfectly 🙂 ( LOL )

      Best wishes


    I can’t understand why you get so excited about performing. I just find being on stage quite terrifying.


      Hi Tim, thanks for stopping by, did you have to perform at school? I guess it’s because I’ve been on stage since I was about three and my parents say I was always performing for the family dancing, singing and being a drama queen.

      Best wishes


        The only performing I did at school was on the sports field. I used to be the worship leader in our church but gave it up when the nerves got the better of me. I just find speaking in public so nerve wracking.


        Hi Tim, I loved sports too especially netball; rounder’s; athletics; karate; and swimming. Actually speaking in public can be more nerve wracking than singing especially if you have no script to learn. When I do have to make a spoken presentation I always find lots of preparation and trying to memorise as many key points as possible helps with the flow.

        Best wishes


    Well done! I only wish I’d been there.


    Good for you!
    “O Mio Babbino Caro”, such a beautiful part, i love listening to that one. .
    groetjes, Francina


    Great story about having to vamp while the piano was being worked on. I would have loved to hear you sing “O Mio Babbino Caro,” one of the most beautiful, knee-weakening pieces ever written. Congratulations on raising so much swag for a worthy cause. All the best.


      Hi Kurt, it was quite an experience and one that I learnt a great deal from 🙂 I would love to record it if I can get some studio time before the end of the Summer.

      With my warmest wishes


    Ahhh, the mark of a professional–being able to fill the void when something goes amiss in a performance. Well done! And aren’t you lovely in that red dress!!


      Hi Lorrie, thanks for your kind words of support. One of the added benefits of performing is getting the opportunity to wear some lovely dresses 🙂

      Best wishes and I hope you can return again soon.


    I wish I had your grace under pressure in situations like that! I’m glad that you were able to rock your show. That is a fabulous dress, too! 🙂


    It sounds like you handled the situation admirably. I think either having some songs you can do a capella is a great backup, that way you don’t have to worry about instrumental malfunctions.

    I’ve had similar experiences in gigs with my band – bass drum pedals falling apart mid song, microphones or instrument leads that stop functioning, drum sticks dropped under the stage (that’s a fun one, particularly when the drummer manages to continue playing whilst retrieving the sticks) and even guitar strings snapping mid solo. I think that as long as you get continue as best as possible and still deliver a great performance the audience doesn’t mind too much.


      Hi Nick, I could not agree more 🙂 It is always best to try and do something to entertain your audience and if you create a talking point for them when they leave at least it is you that they are talking about, hopefully in a good way 🙂

      Warmest wishes


    That’s a beautiful dress!


    Lovely voice! Wow!


    Good thinking under pressure! I love “O Waly Waly,” so it certainly would have worked for me! And thank you for following my blog; I look forward to returning to yours.

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