Monday, May 02, 2011

Still singing after all these years ...

Are we all ready?
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Readers of this blog will know that I sing a bit. Yesterday the group with which I have done more singing than any other came to Dunoon to perform in Holy Trinity - my church. It is something that rarely happens - we do most of our performing in the Cathedral of The Isles - and it meant a great deal to me. To make "our" music in "our" place, at last, felt as if a story was being completed.

The story began 42 years ago - and that horrifies me, when I write it. In 1969 the St Maura Singers formed and sang Evensong, as I mentioned in my last post, and we've been at it ever since. Our soprano - wearing a purple jacket in the pic - moved away and mutated into an alto; her place was taken by a teenager just out of school (dark green jacket). Yesterday we were all together, along with another bass (white beard) and an instrumental ensemble, giving a re-run of our 40th birthday programme.

It was a lovely afternoon. The weather was perfect, the afternoon tea on the lawn unsurpassable, the audience a good size - and mostly drawn from outwith the HT congregation, which was healthy for the coffers. The church itself proved what we who worship there have always known: it has a superb acoustic and a wonderful atmosphere, peeling paintwork notwithstanding. It doesn't suffer from the curse of wealthier churches - thick pile carpeting and cushioned seats - and the hassocks had all been piled away to increase resonance.

Personally, I was soaring on adrenaline. A combination of singing first alto in "When David Heard" and making a decent job of John McIntosh's* settings of Dave Whyte songs left me wrung out after it was over - and starving. I was as high as the proverbial kite, and as always found myself wondering how long we'll be able to do this.

At 65, I realise it can't be much longer. Our soprano is the only one not in that age range. But what a privilege still to be performing like this - I only hope I'll know myself when it's time to give up!

*OK - he's Mr B. But he has another life ...


  1. That is so fantastic,Chris! I have always loved music, but my voice was always awful. I played the clarinet and absolutely hated it. Music is great, but you should hear our Ben play the electric guitar......ewwwww!!!!!!! Mark taught him everything he knows! hahaha

  2. Good heavens. You can't be 65. You need to update your avatar. You look half that age!

    It must be all that clean, cool Scottish aire that keeps you young.

  3. Avatar isn't quite 5 years old yet - think I'll hang onto it a little longer. BTW - some of the music we were singing spelled "aire" that way: it was a Scottish 16th century part-song!

  4. LOL

    I was actually trying to be clever and pun-nish when I spelt aire that way.

    My rather lame attempt at humour!