For any prospective member who may be interested, singing lessons can be made available by a qualified singing teacher who is also a choir member. An initial month's trial lessons would be free, then afterwards, if so wished, they would be offered at a discounted fee on joining the choir.
Get a Life on Song!
Everyone with half an ear will have heard of GARETH MALONE by now. He is the talented choirmaster who seems to specialise in setting up choirs in the most unlikely places with shy, sometimes half reluctant people being persuaded to come forward and sing for him. He has the added pressure that he often does it in full view of television cameras, so that if he fails to form a choir that sings more than half decently it is an expensive mistake to make.
Many of you will have watched the Festival of Remembrance televised from the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago, in which Gareth's Military Wives Choir performed the song 'Wherever You Are' to millions of viewers. The choir recorded it, and the resulting CD leapt to number 1 at Christmas, outselling its nearest commercial rival several times over.
True, the song and its performance were both highly emotive, expressing love and support for the wives' dear ones away fighting in a foreign country. Yet many people would not know that before the choir was formed only nine months previously, many of the members had either never sung in a choir before, or had not done so since schooldays. However, in the end they all found they had a voice which could express their deepest feelings. One singer declared that joining the choir was the best thing that had ever happened to her. After rehearsing hard and overcoming their initial reticence and fears, they all had smiles on their faces, together with not a few tears of joy.
It is well documented that singing is a healthy activity, is great fun socially, and it brings a sense of achievement and an immense feeling of wellbeing. A great Elizabethan composer (and an Essex boy!) William Byrd once said:
"Since singing is so good a thing
I wish all men would learne to sing".
Byrd quoted 'men' as a generic term to include the ladies as well, of course.
However, we in THE CHOIR FOR ALL SEASONS would especially welcome more males to make the social side of singing even more fun. We can't think of a better way of spending an evening. Even after a bad day at work, there is nothing like singing to lift you and give you new energy and a fresh outlook on life. So why not give it a try, and ring the musical director MICHAEL HEWITT to find out more about it? His number is 01277 656935. We rehearse on Wednesday evenings 7.45 - 9.45pm at St. John the Divine Church, Outwood Common Road, Billericay. You could even give us a nice surprise and turn up at a rehearsal unannounced! We always have an interval for a coffee and chat, too.
As was recently said by the composer John Rutter (whose wedding anthem for William and Catherine we sang recently), "The joy of choral singing was real before Gareth Malone came along"...