There is a closeness that occurs when you sing with people. Initially, it is just the notes. You hear the piano, you hear those standing around you, you watch the director, but, at the start, you try to match all of that to the notes written on the page. If you are one of the lucky ones that knows some music theory, the learning process probably goes faster. I am guessing here because I wouldn’t know music theory if I tripped over it. The mere thought of it brings up nightmares of calculus.
It is the struggle to make sense of the score, to make sense of the rhythms and sounds that creates a silent understanding between choir members. It is an understanding that grows.
We come from different backgrounds, different lives, different everything. The occupations span almost every category imaginable. There are physicians, carpenters, electricians, attorneys, office workers, bankers, educators, musicians, accountants, entrepreneurs, servers, psychologists. You name it, we probably have it. It adds to the mix. It give the choir a flavor, if you will.
The choir changes every year. Auditions for ALL singers are held in late August-early September and can be rigorous. Some people drop out, others join, some take a month or two off and return. A new singer can feel overwhelmed by the complicated music and the complicated social scenario.
We are a group that is welcoming and open but it is hard when you know no one and the entire group feels like it has been together forever. Inside jokes and family relationships can leave new singers confused. Let’s face it, there are people in the group who have been with us for several years who had no idea that my daughter sang with us.
People tend to stay with the group. Some have been there for its entire 41 years. I have been there for 12 years. I stay for the music and the people.
It brings focus and harmony to my life.
We are off to Spain soon to sing our way through Southern Spain and then compete in an international choral competition in Calella, Spain (just north of Barcelona). We will sing in concert almost every night prior to the competition. It is a wonderful chance to see the world AND hone our skills.
Here is a piece filmed from our 2015 tour of France and Italy. It is just a glimpse of the work that we do and the music that we make.