Joining Manchester Community Choir doesn’t just give you the chance to sing with a big acappella choir, it also gives you the opportunity to take part in other events.
For instance, on Sunday 1st March, some members of the choir gathered at Gorton Monastery to perform Handel’s Messiah, with choirs from all around the country and the Gorton Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s not the kind of music we sing as a choir, and for me it was a challenging experience. First of all there was the sheet music – our choir learn all our songs by ear. Then there was the orchestra – our choir sing acappella (unaccompanied). And lastly, we performed to a paying audience after just one rehearsal with assorted choirs and orchestra – we usually rehearse each song until not only are we note perfect, but have added mood and colour through dynamics!
But despite all the differences, the sense of singing as a choir was the same. We watched the conductor in the distance with one eye (while following the score with the other), we listened to and tuned in with the people around us, and enjoyed the moments when it all (drums, trumpets, strings, soloists and choir) came together and sounded wonderful. The wonderfully restored monastery setting added to the experience, making it a day to remember.
Less than a week later, on Friday 7th March, some choir members became backing singers for the night. One of our choir members, Laura, introduced us to a band called Patterns, described by the Guardian as creating beautiful electronic drone pop that makes you feel like you’re flying. Choir members and friends of the choir and band came together for three rehearsals before joining in with three numbers of their set at St Philip’s Salford, to a full house. Another novel and challenging experience. No sheet music this time, and our own Liz Powers was leading the choir, but there were microphones and speakers to contend with instead, and a very loud band. If you think a bit of ooing and aahhing with an electric band is a doddle, think again. We could barely hear ourselves singing, and had to watch Liz like a hawk and hope that we were not only singing the right notes, but also singing them at the right time! The audience certainly seemed to enjoy the evening and I only hope we did both the band and Liz justice.
We also get to hear about other things happening locally, from fundraising events and good causes to support, to concerts where we can enjoy watching and listening to other performers.
Now what shall I take part in next….?