Monday, 14 January 2008

All excited!

I've been meaning to write this since last Monday. Life got in the way.

Last Monday night, I did something I haven't done in over 18 years - I got out my copy of Handel's Messiah (Watkins Shaw edition), turned to page 227 and sang! Yes, folks, I have joined a serious choir.

At least, I hope I have. If they let me in after the audition. And God knows what I'll sing for that. I'm tempted by "There were Shepherds Abiding in the Fields", movements 14 - 16 of the Messiah, but I haven't sung that since I left Australia.

Oh, how I've missed singing seriously. Once upon a time, I sang with some of Australia's leading amateur choirs and in the largest choral festival in the Southern Hemisphere, the (almost) annual Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival. I've sung at the Sydney Opera House. I've sung in the Melbourne Concert Hall. I've sung with four major Australian symphony orchestras. And I've sung the Messiah in concert at least 6 times with two separate choirs, including on Australian national radio (ABC FM).

It was weird singing the Messiah again. On the one hand, I hadn't looked at the music since December 1988. Some of the things we sang, I didn't remember at all until I heard the opening bars of the movement - then something woke up in the back of my brain and I was away. (OK, ok, I know Handel's style is such that you have a 70% chance of guessing the next bar correctly without looking at it, but even so....)

The only downside is that this choir doesn't warm up. I asked about that. Their conductor (? our conductor ?) doesn't believe in it. He is retiring in the summer, so hopefully his replacement will warm up our voices. I know make a difference.

We rehearse from 7.45pm until 9.45pm, so I better sign off now. It's a 20 minute drive.

- Pam


amy said...

Oh, good for you! Best of luck in the audition. How wonderful to get back to something that makes you so happy.

Jan said...

Oh, hooray for you. You won't regret it. You know I just started up again (though I'm opting not to commit to a 'serious' choir right now) and I simply can't imagine why I waited so long. It's good for the soul the way nothing else is.

What part do you sing?

PipneyJane said...

Jan, I'm a mezzo soprano, but in the Messiah I've always sung First Soprano.

In the last couple of years, I did a few Adult Education singing classes (all group singing), but nothing to really prepare me for coming back to this stuff. It's wonderful having a proper conductor/choir master.

- Pam

Christi said...

Congratulations! I hope you pass the audition and have a good time. I got to do my first horseback riding in years in 2007, and I plan to do more this year.