Monday, May 02, 2011
Still singing after all these years ...
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 ...