New Year Kicks Off! (Steeple 2014.09)
Many people who have never sung in a formal choir may wonder what it’s like to do so, and may feel intimidated by that curiosity about what happens when the rehearsal room door closes.
First of all, our rehearsal room door doesn’t close. While I’d certainly prefer that all my choristers are in place ready to sing at 7:15, I’m a realist and know that people are coming from work, rushing in after a quick dinner, and so on. Our door stays open. All are invited.
Likewise, I know that not everyone in the congregation can read music, and I don’t even expect everyone in the choir to have that skill before coming to a first rehearsal. That’s why we have rehearsals! Over time, our singers develop a very strong sense of relative music reading. All may not know the names of the notes or exactly how far apart C and G# might be, but it becomes easy relatively quickly to know when to go up or down in pitch and how to listen to other parts in order to blend harmoniously.
I have spent the better part of the summer improving (that is, completely redesigning) my choir website. I make sure that every singer has access to the most up-to-date schedules and access to PDF files of our anthems. Whenever possible, I also direct them to reputable recordings online which will help them to learn the parts to the best of their ability outside the rehearsal, so that we can make strong progress as a group each week.
The one thing that is very important for a new singer is a commitment to attend rehearsals and services with regularity so that the full group can grow together and depend on each part.
There is no more rewarding community than one that sings together. Even those of us who are not in the choir would agree that the sense of unity in the sanctuary is strongest when we all sing together. If you’d like to increase your part in our joyful noise please contact me, and join us at our first practice of the year, Thursday, September 4, at 7:15 in Susan P Dickerman Hall.