For a variety of reasons too complicated (and boring) to go into here, Mr B and I have missed our weekly Singing for Pleasure choir sessions for quite some time.
Today the choir was singing in concert at a local church hall so we decided that the least we could do was to go along and offer our support. Several fellow choir members have told us they miss us on Friday mornings,
which has given us a lovely, warm feeling of being appreciated. Though I’m not sure it’s my voice which is missed as I can’t pretend that I have ever added that much of value to our rather sparse alto section. Regular readers will remember
that I only sit with the altos because I can’t reach the high notes OR the low notes.
I am sure we would have been made very welcome had we gone along wearing
our choir “uniform” of red shirts and black trousers / skirt and carrying aloft the red files containing all our words and music. Mr B, however, was worried that we would not know any of the new songs which the choir has learnt while we have
been away and would therefore Make Fools of Ourselves. This obviously didn’t worry me half so much as I have never really minded making a fool of myself – especially among friends. Or among strangers, for that matter, on the basis that (i)
they won’t know who I am and (ii) with any luck, I will never see them again. The older I get, the less it bothers me, with apologies to my Extraordinary Eight grandchildren who probably experience my worst excesses. Mr B was adamant
that, if we were going at all, then it was to sit in the audience and lend support and applause.
We arrived far too early at the church hall and had to explain
ourselves to the sweet little lady who was “meeting and greeting”. No, we weren’t new members of the church fellowship and we weren’t actually going to sing but we were part of the choir. Sort of. I asked if we could help
put out the chairs but she smiled a refusal and waved us in the direction of the front row.
The church hall was one of those rather old and tired buildings
which nevertheless provides a home for a multitude of clubs and organisations. Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies and Rainbows all had their own notice boards with a variety of information thereon. The Sunday School children had drawn smiley faces on paper plates,
then decorated them with straggly, woolly hair and added, hopefully: “Yes, Jesus Loves Me!” before pinning them all up on the wall underneath a bunch of cardboard daffodils, sprouting from yet another noticeboard.
The choir’s lovely pianist, Morag, inspected the piano which was set up on the stage and therefore out of the sight of the singers below. Two of the stronger men helped shift the piano to
a slightly more helpful angle. Another found a cushion for Morag to sit on. Christine started warming up her euphonium. Did you know that you have to blow softly into a euphonium’s mouthpiece to warm it up before you can play it? No, nor did I. Our conductor,
the redoubtable Muriel, arrived. She had just celebrated another birthday, several people told us – though they were about equally divided on whether she was now 88 or 89. A remarkable woman, whatever her age. Finally the concert began.
We - well I had to join in, didn’t I, even if I was in the audience and not wearing my red shirt - sang a selection of songs from different countries. We travelled
round the globe at a rate of knots. Rita entertained by reciting the sad tale of Albert who was swallowed up by a Lion and Christine played Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill on the (warmed up) euphonium. It was a splendid concert, much enjoyed by an appreciative
audience who sang along in all the right places and applauded generously. Contrary to Mr B’s dire warnings, we knew almost all the songs.
I thought we would...