Today I launched a new New York choir!
I came home happy and all abuzz with the first rehearsal of The Song Project; stimulated both by the sweet success of the evening, with 15 new singers who entrusted themselves entirely into my musical hands, and (I admit, being an honest kind of person) energised by the piece of pizza I snaffled on the way home. That was a great way to celebrate!
It feels good to back in this familiar place - it is an exhileration, a mix of nervousness and joy! Will it work, will they like it, will they like me, what if my planning was aimed at the wrong level, what if noone comes, what if 100 people come, will they come a second time, will they believe me when I tell them it sounds good WHICH IT DOES?!!!!
It sounded great, yes, it did. Energy, hope, concentration, anxiety, puzzlement, pleasure, relief: all mix into the musical sound, whether in a round (“When I sing my heart is full of joy!”) which we managed in a jumbly kind of way in 3 parts, or a simple 4 bar (and 4 part) song (”Can’t sit down, won’t sit down!”). We relaxed a bit with “What a Wonderful World”: familiar to everyone, of course, but I taught 2 bars of ‘break out’ (as i called it), by which I meant harmonies in 3 parts, just enough to pepper the flavour of the piece. And to finish I sang the beautiful Irish Blessing over my new musical companions, the Rutter version, which I will teach them next time.
I hope this new choir will become a place of companionship, belonging, security, delight; I wish that our shared experiences will come to matter to the singers, and that they will bring others along who they wish to introduce to the community we create together. Those will be the measures by which I will judge the ‘success’ of my new venture, irrespective of numbers.
Today I am thankful for being who I am, here in this place, with these people