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!
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!
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!!
This week I found out that one of the most influential teachers in my teenage years was made an MBE. I am absolutely delighted as she was an amazing teacher.
Christine Anthony (or Dawber as she was when I was her student) taught me music when I was at school. Later on she went on to be a choral periphatetic teacher and she founded The Guernsey Girls Choir which I was part of for about 6 years. She worked us really hard every Thursday night and she was a complete and utter task master. She was never satisfied, even when we thought whatever we had been singing was perfect she always thought that we could have done better. Someone has started a Facebook group dedicated to her, and one of the discussions is ‘favourite quotes’… I still like the classic line, “That was perfect, now do it again. Kind of sums it up for me I guess!! As part of the choir we went on tour, we went to the Llangollen Eisteddfod. Many of my closest friends were in the choir and singing released something in me that nothing else has ever been able to. Singing in harmony was, and still is, a huge passion.
What Christine Anthony was amazing at doing was instilling self-worth and confidence into individuals. The choir was a huge part of my life and a few years ago she formed a choir called Bel Canto which was for the ‘old’ girls and I so wish I could be part of it. She was, and is, inspirational and I am very grateful for all that she did for me when I was younger.
In my very humble opinion she is exactly the sort of person who should get an MBE. She changed and influenced lots of lives and I am thrilled for her!!