Since returning to the UK from living abroad I’ve been a member of a choral choir; moving each time I’ve changed where I live. I look forward to the weekly rehearsals, an opportunity to exercise the vocal cords amongst like-minded people to produce, I hope, an enjoyable performance at the end of each term.
Encouraged by my parents, as a family we listened to records of classical recordings on a Sunday morning. Additionally, my brother and I were taken to weekly classical concerts as children. Both activities inspired a love of music leading to me playing in an orchestra and singing in a choir; albeit whilst at school (which is now a long time ago). What I didn’t realise was the role the music theory grounding I had at that time would play in my later life. It is true that being able to read music helps (although isn’t a pre-requisite for singing in a choir).
Why do I sing?
- I work in London (when we’re in the office) and run a small charity. Finding outlets that provide a different challenge help with stress management.
- I get to spend time with my mum. She has sung in choral choirs for nearly 40 years and our weekly outing is a chance to share a common interest and to have a chin-wag on our journey to and fro.
- It provides a chance to socialise which like-minded people, who enjoy singing and the same type of music.
Why do I sing with Havering Singers?
- It makes me feel part of the local community.
- There is no audition, so no scary ‘entrance exam’.
- The variety of music performed; from formal Masses to modern day music.
- My mother had previously performed in joint concerts with Havering Singers, so we knew that they were friendly, welcoming and encouraging.
- Despite the impact of COVID in recent years, the choir is robust in terms of numbers (although we can always do with more men). For those who know that their music ability is far exceeded by their enthusiasm, there is safety in numbers!
The reception that my mother and I have been received has been incredible; from Jonathan (the conductor), Tim (the accompanist), our section lead, the committee as well as many members of the choir, who have taken time to speak to me and find out a little more about who I am and whether I’m settling in and enjoying myself.
If you’re in doubt about joining a choir I would say, give it a go. You lose nothing by trying out a term and seeing how it goes. Attending choir practice is always well worth the effort, especially in the winter months when the weather outside is saying ‘stay indoors’.