First of all Lyndon Gardner, the choir's voice coach and a tenor of some repute kicked off proceedings. This I thought would be the easy bit! Err, wrong! Lyndon's warm ups seemed almost like a memory test which on a Thursday evening of an exhausting week, was proving way beyond me! At least I wasn't alone in losing it somewhat, and the more we all messed up the more hysterical the watching Chris found it.
So, my first taste of singing in a choir turned out to be quite a lot of fun and left me wanting more. I still didn't know whether I was bass or baritone, but at least I felt reasonably confident that I wasn't going to embarrass myself totally and maybe had a half decent voice. It never entered my head to not turn up the following week, but when I did I got the the distinct impression that very often, potential new members never make it to a second week! When I arrived for week two it seemed to mean to several of the chaps that I was there to stay. My 'details' were recorded and name duly added to George's register. I had arrived! I must say right now, that I couldn't have been made more welcome by everyone. The willingness to simply let me have a go without any audition and just see if I enjoy it is quite wonderful really. Anyone else out there in Loughborough who is similarly curious about singing should do likewise I reckon. What have you got to lose?
It is glaringly obvious at this early stage, that I've got a heck of a lot to learn. Apart from a short period attempting to learn to play the bagpipes about four years ago, it is something like 30 years since I have read music to any degree and I've forgotten so much. I've never before read music with four parts plus the piano part laid out together on the same sheet, so I have the annoying habit of starting on the bass line and then carrying on to a completely different part and getting totally lost. But, practice makes perfect and Rome wasn't built in a day . . .
To help me on the way, the choir's website has a members page where 'mp3' and 'midi' files of each part can be downloaded to aid the learning process. These are excellent and should prove invaluable at least when I decide which seat to sit in - bass, baritone, or heaven forbid tenor? After week three's rehearsal I was coming to the conclusion that I really needed the advice of someone who knows, to determine where my voice lies, if indeed it lies anywhere within a choir. Who better than the extraordinarily talented Caroline? So, a singing lesson was arranged for Saturday 5th March. Oh Crikey!?!
How on earth was this going to turn out? Was I going to embarrass myself again in '1970 church lesson reading' fashion? Gulp!
I'll let you know the outcome next time.