To sing, you first need to find your voice.
Now I have a voice, and quite a loud one at that, as I’m sure those of you who have heard me either reading, or acting both in the pantomimes and my sketches, will testify. Singing has always been immensely enjoyable for me; something I have never felt obliged to confine to the bath, as my family will confirm. But, I have never joined a choir, both for fear of veering wildly off tune and because of my inability to read music.
The remedy came in the shape of the Gospel Choir.
If you haven’t heard us perform yet, where have you been? If you think you might like to join us, what’s stopping you?
Choir rehearsals are now a very important part of my fortnightly routine. I am constantly surprised when I find myself singing both in time and tune with the rest of the sopranos, and being tall, I find it uplifting to project from the back row. I did not have much experience of gospel music before, and it is a foreign cousin to the traditional hymns I have learned from nearly twenty years of congregational singing at SMC. For me, it is the simplicity of the words which contain the power, an added bonus to the potency of the music in general. Simplicity and a multiplicity of voices just seem to click when we all sing together, and that is when, for me, we create a special significance -perhaps not just for those of us singing.
When I have had a long and difficult day, coming to choir is by no means a chore, but a catharsis which alleviates my stress slowly throughout the evening. I can go away tired, but with less worry than when I came in.
We do not take ourselves too seriously by any means; there is always something to laugh at. It doesn’t matter to me that there are few people my own age, I simply enjoy the fellowship. Where else would you get such a diverse range of ages and denominations? It might be a cliché, but music really does bring people together.
I am proud to be a member of the Shirley Community Choir, and even prouder that we have had the opportunity to sing at services, in my own church.