Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Angelic voices?

I have sung in choirs ever since I was a little girl. The Coop library in Rochdale  was just around the corner from Toad Lane. I lived just around the other corner and as a child of about 8 used to go to the library to get books for my dad and then the children's books for myself. One evening as I browsed I heard this glorious sound . A choir was singing something or other and it was wonderful...I found the room and went in. In a most unlikely way I was not only allowed to stay and listen I was accepted as a choir member even though the actual age was 10  .I was tall for my age!
It started me off on a path which led to my always looking for a choir to join where ever I lived.
The Coop choir was wonderfully avant garde.....they did operas , one a year and I was able to sing in one by Benjamin Britten when I was about 10 and still tall for my age because I was singing the part of a boy!
 I sang in "The Magic Flute" too before my parents were rehomed to a new council estate a long way away!
There I tried to join the the C of E choir but girls were not allowed. So I went down the hill to sing with the Methodists much to Bill Vanstone's amusement!
Singing in a choir is a great joy and it teaches us allot about being members of a team and making glorious music together.
At college I was the leader of the choir which taught me something about the delicate egos involved in making creative choices about music.
As an adult I have been in Madrigal groups in various places and one of my best memories was here in Cornwall where a group of musicians sat in the garden , over looking the sea and sang al fresco very beautifully with a lot of laughter and much joy.
Which makes it a great pity when wounded egos clash.
We have lost several of our organists here in the last years  by death or old age. Sadly no one person has been found on a permanent basis to take charge of everything musical so a certain amount of confusion ensues.
As we struggle to get a simple choir together for our carol service we are trying very hard to find ways through the problems and are asking questions like........do we have to attempt things we are clearly not good enough to perform or by trying to do it , do  we then improve our performance ?
To sing, in a beautiful building in harmony with other people and to produce music which soars and builds as it goes skywards is to partially know God. So its tragic when muffed attempts go badly wrong through no ones fault.
Learning to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, is a growing process and the choir enables that process to be painless and positive....So altogether now!   Lets hear it for the angels!


  1. Very interesting post Jean. There would appear to be no end to your talents.
    I do agree absolutely that performing music, whether well or badly, to the best of our abilities is at least a pathway to God.
    I imagine most attempts to produce a perfect performance are usually failed attempts, but, and it is a big but, the magic is in the effort, and if that means that sometimes God listens with his fingers in his ears, he will still value the attempt.

  2. I love the vision of God listening with His fingers in His ears! By the way my faults far out way my talents.....