Tonight I had a Bel Canto Choir concert at the Town Church. It has been hard work rehearsing for it as we sang songs in Hebrew, French, Italian, Latin and English. We coped alright with most of the Latin languages but the Hebrew ones remain a bit of a mystery to me!
I love singing and it is pretty good stress relief, as well as being hugely entertaining. It still scares me that I first sang in this choir with some of the girls 20 years ago whilst we were still at school. That makes me feel old!
These days many of us have families and children and whilst we move on in terms of our private lives, singing somehow holds us together. I will be taking a little break from the choir though until after the baby is born. I suspect I will be quite keen to get back but I am tired and need to concentrate on work and house and baby. Then I can go back and enjoy it again. I will miss all the girls though!
I am finding Mondays really tiring. Often work is quite busy and then I have choir in the evening. I didn’t really get a chance to take a photo today so here is one of choir rehearsal. It was hard work tonight as we have a concert in October. I am guessing that will be my last one before I have the baby and I will take a few months off. I still love singing, but it is definitely harder when pregnant!
Tomorrow I am singing with Bel Canto at a wedding at St Peter’s Church in Guernsey so we had a quick rehearsal this evening. It is a beautiful church but has such a sloping aisle and it also has this beautiful window which I believe was designed fairly recently. It is gorgeous and the light coming through it is heavenly, unfortunately this photo just doesn’t quite capture it fully!
Today Bel Canto sang at a wedding, the first one I have done since joining the choir. I wish I had thought of having them at my wedding. We really do sound brilliant (even if I do say so myself!!)!!
It has been a gorgeous day. Dad has spent all his time working hard in the garden and The Mister has been in bed as he worked a nightshift last night. A quick trip out tonight to a party for my cousin Matthew and his wife Sue’s 40th birthday party. A good Saturday.
Tonight I went out for dinner with all the girls from choir as it is the 10 year anniversary of the formation of the choir, Bel Canto. We had a lovely meal in a private dining room at a restaurant overlooking the harbour and this photo is the scene as the light started to go.
This particular choir has been going for 10 years, but the Guernsey Girls Choir preceded it and that was where we all started. From the ages of about 12 – 18 I sang with Guernsey Girls, we did concerts, toured a bit and generally had fun. What a realised when I went back to Bel Canto at the end of last year was that Christine our conductor hasn’t changed much at all and she still tells me off for all the same things she was telling me off for when I was 14 years old… ie. talking, backchat etc etc.
It was good to spend time with everyone. Time out together matters. We like singing, but we also like chatting and gossiping. It’s just one of the things that makes Bel Canto super special!
Monday night is choir night. Even though I am knackered going and singing generally makes me feel better. Maybe it is that I am forced to breathe better and it is very de-stressing, or maybe it is that I get to spend time with an awesome bunch of girls! They are going to kill me when they see this photo though… they don’t look too excited do they?!
This month marks the 10 year anniversary of the formation of Bel Canto, so we are all going out for dinner. Should be a fun night out. Guernsey… here we come!
Well tonight was Bel Canto’s performance at the Guernsey Eisteddfod. I haven’t done an Eisteddfod for about 20 years and I still feel the fear!
This picture is Rocky and Anna doing last-minute preparations… check out their game faces! I was hoping that I could get The Mister to take a photograph of us on stage but photography was forbidden!
We were entered in the folk class and had to do two folk songs. The first one was called ‘She Moved Through the Fair’ and the second one was a French Canadian song called O Yo Yo and it was, quite frankly, terrifying. We not only had to sing in French but we also had to clap complex rhythms. There are lots of YouTube clips but this one is the best I have found. The choir in the video look so calm and collected, rather unlike us.
Anyway, we won the class with 89 points. The other two choirs had 82 and 86 and Mum and The Mister came to watch and said that we were very good and thought we should have more points than that (not that they are biased of course!). Our conductor wanted us to get at least 90 so I am quite sure that our performance will be taken apart on Monday at rehearsal! The adjudicator described it as being a little bit like ‘Riverdance for hands’!!
Oh dear. Eisteddfod fear is kicking in. The choir are performing on Thursday night and, to be perfectly honest, I can’t remember the song. Neither can most other people though which is a saving grace. So, few of us had a little extra rehearsal today. It went well (ha ha!) aided by alcohol, chocolate, crisps and some entirely inappropriate dancing and giggling. The diet, on the other hand, is knackered today.
One of the best things about being home is being back in a choir. From the ages of 12 – 18 I sang with The Guernsey Girls Choir. We rehearsed hard every Thursday with a brilliant music teacher who I have blogged about before… here.
So, some of The Guernsey Girls Choir members have formed a “grown-up” choir called Bel Canto. I guess there are about 25 of us and the same singing teacher still conducts. Every now and then I get flashbacks to when I was younger, usually when she is telling me off for talking! It is so strange to be back in the choir, singing with some of the same people I sang with when I was 14, but it is fabulous! I had forgotten how de-stressing a good sing is and how much fun it is to feel part of something. The choir has given me back some friends and for that I will always be grateful!
On Saturday night we performed Holst’s Neptune. The choir is supposed to represent the Sirens wooing the sailors and rather strangely we didn’t stand on the stage to sing this. We didn’t even stand in the auditorium. The Polish conductor had us standing i the corridor and singing from there. When the music faded away we shut the door and turned around and walked into the green room, before breaking into a fit of giggles. Then we had to race to put our shoes on (the floor was too clip-cloppy!) before we had to go back and take our applause. It was one of the hardest pieces of music I have ever done (not least because out conductor was following the main conductor via an appropriately placed mirror!) and yet it was like being on a rollercoaster. There was no getting off once we had started and we just had to keep going until the end. That fluttery moment of excitement was just magical and apparently it sounded absolutely amazing.
So, no matter how tired or sad I am feeling or no matter what is going on at work or at home singing makes things so much better. I can’t ask for more than that.
A few posts back I blogged about my old music teacher who has been made an OBE. Well, I mow have a new favouirite TV show. It is on BBC1 and is called Last Choir Standing and it is a bit like X-factor for choirs.
It was brilliant and there were so many different types of choirs, with such a variety of people involved in the groups. Harmony singing has always done something amazing to me. It excites me in a way very few other types of music do. It almost doesn’t matter what stye of choral piece is being sung (although I often find very modern pieces quite irritating because they try to be so worthy if you know that I mean!), it is the harmonies that do it for me. The feeling you get when you hit your part right, and the fact that it blends beautifully with the other parts is awesome. Listening to it makes me almost as happy and there were a couple of moments in the TV show where the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.
I was meant to be going to do a Scratch Messiah tomorrow, but something has come up so I can’t make it. I miss singing in a choir so much, unfortunately I just don’t think i can squeeze it into life at the moment. My life is definitely much poorer without it a nice bit of harmony singing here and there!!