Into 2014. A baritone writes…
The first rehearsal of 2014 is now under our belts and we have the first four pieces of new music to learn. Interesting choices and great to sing.
Clearly, the choir is in excellent spirits after after the amazing Town Hall gig at the end of our concert season. There was a definite buzz in the rehearsal room last Tuesday and everybody I spoke to is very keen to build on last years success and make the Lesley Garret concert a real belter.
And the MD is already talking about about next Christmas! I heard a fellow baritone suggest that that might be very wise if we are to start learning more German…
Its amazing for me to think that it was only mere months ago that I mooched, cautiously, along to my very first rehearsal. I didn’t know if I could sing but knew I wanted to give it a serious go. Not being an overtly social type of chap, its a real testament to the friendliness and accepting attitude of the lads in the choir that I felt able to sit down in the baritones and croak and squeal my way through those first two rehearsal hours.
I knew I sounded terrible, but I enjoyed it anyway thanks to the voices of everybody else. That sound of the choir. The rich swell of the basses, the tenors and baritones, in part and in unison. Even in the rehearsal of new music, the music I heard was incredibly uplifting. And the humor between songs, the good natured barracking between sections, took the edge of my nerves in no small measure.
When I got home that night M’lady, knowing the knots of doubt and apprehension I’d got myself into before going to see the choir, tentatively asked how it had gone…
“They made me sing Elton John!” I bleated.
” Well, never mind love, you tried it.”
“No, that’s the just it! It was really good!”
This exchange left a wife of some twenty four years wondering what the Honley Male Voice Choir could have possible done with her REAL husband.
So, just a few months in and I’ve two Town Hall concerts to my name. Its amazing to think that I’ve gone from a croaky would-be baritone in jeans, trying not to draw too much attention to himself in that first rehearsal, to a croaky would-be baritone in evening dress trying not to draw too much attention to himself in front of a few hundred people… And loving every moment of it.
Thinking about that Christmas concert, I imagine what we’d have sounded like with 70 of us on stage. We seemed fit to raise the roof with 58! 70 would be amazing.
Its very appealing to think of the choir sounding bigger and louder and fuller. That’s a big part of what drives me to learn my words and do the vocal exercises that a choir buddy showed me. If I want the choir to be bigger, fuller and louder I suppose I should learn to sing bigger, louder and fuller. Thankfully, there is a wealth of experience and ready support in the choir so us newbies need not struggle too much.
I’m told that the choir has had its ups and down over the years, but it seems that there is a renewed optimism that Steven Roberts, as new MD, has ushered in. It is clearly a very exciting time for the choir. I feel rather privileged to have been accepted as a member and look forward to being able to add my voice, such as it is, and friendship to the choir throughout the new year.