Singing

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Oh heck, it’s almost time for the first rehearsal at the theatre tonight. We have been practicing as a choir over the last few weeks, but we are not perfect yet. I finally got a CD with the songs on it and I have been trying to learn them as I drive my car…..

Nerves are kicking in and my throat is dry with the cold I have had for the last few days.

The production runs from Tuesday to Saturday including a matinee. I really do want it to go well.

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Choir

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I sing in a couple of choirs, one which is all female and the other which is a mixed choir. Both of them are acappella, which means unaccompanied by a musical instrument, except perhaps to give us our starting notes.

Summer time is when we do most of our gigs. Both choirs have things coming up. The mixed choir is singing locally this weekend, we will be singing for about 50 minutes, so we need to know a variety of songs. The gig on Saturday will be mostly Summer songs, for instance, “Summer is a coming in”. Some of us know the songs off by heart, and others will be using song sheets.

Both choirs repetoirs are very varied, the female choir knows more international songs like “Meliswe” which is Hoza I think? We also do Maori, French, Creole, Croatian, among many other songs.

I have to say singing in a choir can be wonderful when we get it right, and sometimes a real struggle while we are learning a peice. Recently we sang with another choir (a lung health choir) at a production of a play for four nights. We were singing to add atmosphere to the play, and we sang an arrangement of “cloudbusting” by Kate Bush, over and over again. 12 times on one night! This was while the audience were being led round the auditorium and getting the spooky, cold feeling of the place (we were at an old chapel that is being restored and it was probably the coldest May for years).

The female choir is doing a walkabout in a few weeks round the town centre, singing and then moving on. Our normal choir leader is away on that day so some of us are taking responsibility to lead the choir. It’s not something most of us have ever done. So if you see some confused women singing out of key….it might be us!

Singing aloud

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I sing with an all women a cappella choir and today was our annual trip out to sing in a little country village which holds a music festival every year.

My partner wanted to come along too, which is great,  I don’t like leaving him behind, but then he had a massive sneezing fit which lasted 20 minutes!

After getting him to take a hayfever tablet, we set out knowing that I was really late. But it was a beautiful sunny morning. The hedgerows as we headed out of the city were full of blossom. The sky was slightly overcast and the air felt heavy and humid.

We got there just before the choir started its set. We were outside on the canal bank, with a small audience sitting outside the pub on the wharf. We were well recieved despite it being a bit breezy which made it difficult to hear the other singers. Then a short break and off to the local church to sing again.

Memory takes a big part of a capella singing. Remembering the words of songs from around the world isn’t easy. We sing Maori, Hoza, Latin, French, Croatian and other languages. We learn by repetition. Sometimes it can be hard to remember the words. But as soon as you start singing they usually come back. As a low voice I often sing bom bom, or other backing noises. It can be a bit boring, but then we will start something else.

Singing with about 20 women is fun. We are a bit older but that just means people have a wider experience of life, are quietly confident, and dont worry too much if we make a mistake.

I guess its all part of being creative. I get a kick out if singing with the choir. We have another singing session soon. I’m looking forward to it.