I joined the alto section of City Chorus in January this year, after moving to Letchworth last summer. I was looking for a fresh activity, something which involved development and learning, and somewhere I could meet people in my new hometown. I was in a choir at secondary school and absolutely loved it. But I’ve never been one of those people who sings around the house or gets up for a laugh at karaoke. The last time I remember singing being a big part of my life was when my children were small and nursery rhymes and lullabies were my daily repertoire!
When I told friends that I’d joined a choir, the general reaction was “I didn’t know you could sing!” and I would reply “I can’t”! Not that my voice is dreadful, but it’s nothing special either. That’s the beauty of singing in a choir; you don’t have to have a gorgeous or powerful voice to be part of something which sounds amazing! There are some wonderful voices in City Chorus and also people with real musical ability. But there are lots of people, just like me, who are there for the enjoyment of it all and happy to learn and improve as we go along. Everyone is friendly and helpful.
Our musical director, Tony, works us hard but makes rehearsal evenings great fun as well. His assistant, Natalie, has a somewhat more gentle approach and only stamps her foot occasionally to get our attention! It’s a community choir and when I look around I see people of all ages and characters, chattering and fidgeting, generally in ‘hold mode’ waiting for practice to begin. Then, a transformation happens . . . Tony gets on his box, quietens us down, scoops us up into a standing position and we start to sing. We become ‘City Chorus’ and the sound we make together is truly quite magical.”
Andy Bigby (Former Sceptic.)
If someone had predicted 6 months ago that having just passed my 48th birthday, I would be sitting on a Mini Bus with 10 fellow choristers on the way to a dog track for a choir boys night out, I would have, how they say, LOL.
But, hey, there I was…..
I had heard about the choir a year ago and had spent that year enjoying them as a whole new form of entertainment. I had considered joining at that time but due to a combination of work, cowardice and an uneducated opinion of choirs which led my imagination to drafty churches and screeching old ladies I had declined.
However, in a moment of madness, a man whose musical growth had been hindered through being a teenager in the 80’s, stepped into the breach.
After 4 months I am still doing my best to learn the words and understand the difference between a crotchet and a quaver. I persevere due mainly to the encouragement of those around me, an unexpected sense of wellbeing and a determination inherited from my late mother who I imagine looks down on me saying “You go for it boy “
I still have a few friends who retain that uneducated opinion, but you know what, who cares… I love it!”