We had our first rehearsal of the new term on Monday this week, kicking off with the first part ("Kyrie") and second part ("Gloria") of Dvorak's Mass in D. Though a bit rusty after the summer break, by the end we had got far enough to be able to tell that this is going to be a wonderful work to perform, with tender emotion and gorgeous central-European harmonies just starting to make themselves apparent.
We're delighted to welcome several new singers and to welcome back our regulars!
To our newcomers: if you haven't sung in this kind of choir before or for a long time, you'll have found it tough to be chucked in at the deep end. Take courage! Except for a few super-musicians, we ALL struggled at the beginning with reading the notes and understanding the jargon. It'll take you a good few weeks to know enough to be able to keep up, and a good year before you really feel comfortable with the whole thing. Just try to enjoy the sound of the music and notice how it gets better as the weeks go by. A couple of handy tips:
- In choir, stand near to someone who knows what they are doing and just listen, singing along when you can. Get them to show you where we are in the score (it can go very fast and it's hard to keep track). They won't bite!
- Talk to the buddies who have offered to help new people specially. They'll give you good advice.
- At home, listen to the pieces sung by other choirs. All the music can be found on YouTube or Spotify. Get the feel of the music and the basics of the tunes. Try to follow along in your scores if you can. We'll be circulating playlists soon.
- Also at home, you can use the learning aids for some of the pieces, that focus on the individual parts and allow you to play them at different speeds and to repeat sections. We'll be circulating links to these too.
- We're going to be putting some blog posts up especially for new or rusty singers to focus on different aspects of reading the notes, understanding what the music is about and training your voice. Use these if you like.
- Join in with the social events and come to the pub. We're essentially here to have fun while singing the music. We're a very diverse crowd and somewhere within that lot is someone you'll get on really well with. The more you mix, the sooner you'll find them!
- Finally, if you really find that it's all a bit too much for you but you still want to sing, try one of the other local choirs. There are some details on the Links page. And there's no need to be limited to one - we have a good half-dozen members who sing in other local choirs and a good number more who sing in other choirs further afield.