The choir season is over and the holidays are here. If your workspace is anything like mine, you’ll have sheet music scattered over the floor, piles of random notes from choir sessions, possible songs for the new season, CDs out of their cases, and various other flotsam and jetsam liberally sprinkled around the room.
There have been a lot of UK television programmes recently which have involved solo singing auditions: The Voice, X Factor, The Choir. Comments about the standard of singing have sometimes been off-hand, sarcastic, and even cruel.
Gareth Malone is back on UK television with a second series of The Choir: Sing While You Work. The choirmaster goes into five different organisations to form workplace choirs which then go on to compete against each other.
I have no problems singing about ‘spirit’ or ‘God’, but I do hesitate when ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ or ‘Krishna’ or similar specific words come up. Should I be singing such songs? How can I sing religious songs if I’m not religious?
Well, spring seems to have finally arrived here in the UK and our thoughts turn to picnics and summer music festivals.
Lakeland Voices at Tarn Howes on a summer evening singing walk
Whenever I run a workshop on a sunny day people always ask if we can sing outdoors and I always say no because it’s hard to do well (see Performing outdoors – tips and tricks). But David Burbidge has been singing and walking outdoors regularly for many years and writes here about the joys of doing both together.
I often get people writing to me for advice about choirs.
Some of them don’t agree with the direction their choir leader is taking them, some find the repertoire too hard, some have trouble with singers next to them singing out of tune, some worry about getting their part right for the next concert.