Committed To Chorus: Finding The Balance Between Work And Play!

Committed To Chorus: Finding The Balance Between Work And Play!
Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Emma Tofi
Status: Current
Date Posted: Fri, 15 Dec 2023
As we wrap up 2023 and look ahead to January's Love To Sing course, we've found ourselves focusing on one rather important word, beginning with C.  No, not Christmas: commitment.

At some point over the years, we've probably all said: "I'd love to do that, but I just don't have the time!"  It's a perfectly valid thing to say - after all, our lives are often full enough with the things we have to do.  Finding the time for the things we want to do can be tricky.

More Harmony members showing off their Christmas jumpersBut we all know that the key to living happily is finding a balance between the two!

Every single member of our chorus is a woman with a busy life.  Whether it's juggling family commitments with work, or fitting a social life around an arduously long "to-do" list, each of us has to make the effort when it comes to chorus.  We make that effort for the group as a whole, for each other and crucially, for ourselves.


Put In the effort, see the results...

There is always going to be a certain level of commitment necessary for a hobby like ours.  For a start, we mostly learn our songs at home.  So, if we aren't singing along to our teach tracks between rehearsals, we're going to find ourselves left behind.  And although once we're really familiar with a song, many of our members practise at home whilst doing something else, be it cooking, driving to work or even walking the dog, we're all aware that when a song is brand new and we're learning it for the first time, we have to sit somewhere quiet and give it our full attention, to ensure we learn the right notes and, of course, the right words.  Some of our members do this in short bursts over a period of weeks leading up to us starting work on the song at rehearsal.  Others prefer to sit down with a new song and focus on it for an hour or two in the days leading up to us starting it.  How they choose to learn it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that we all arrive on a Thursday night ready to give it a go together!  The effort we've put in between rehearsals suddenly seems incredibly worth it when a song clicks into place and those harmonies start soaring!

We support one another, too.  Whether that's by holding additional section practises to ensure we're all up to speed ahead of rehearsal, or by being available to talk through any parts that are tripping our fellow singers up, we are always there for each other, doing our best to ensure that nobody gets lost in a sea of wrong notes or muddled lyrics. 

More Harmony pose in their Christmas outfits after singing for Tanya's CourageA regular date for your diary...

Then there's the commitment to attending rehearsals.  Yes, it's helpful to be there every week if you possibly can be - you never know when our MD might decide to change the dynamics of a song, or even alter the tempo.  Nobody wants to turn up the next week and sing at full volume right at the point where everyone else drops to a soft, quiet level, after all!  But remember how we're all busy women?  We get that sometimes things have to take priority over chorus, whether it's a poorly child, an unexpectly late finish at work or a serious case of the sniffles (in fact, we'll probably be grateful that you chose not to pass that on!).  That said, we find that having a regular evening each week that can be scheduled as "me time" does our members the world of good!  We don't just turn up to rehearsals because we feel like we have to.  We're there because we want to be!  We enjoy catching up with our friends, letting go of the day's stresses and belting out a few tunes.  We strive to make our rehearsals a fun, inclusive and enjoyable place to be, so coming along each week feels less like a big, heavy commitment and more like a good excuse to let our hair down!  Yes, we work hard, but there's nothing like hearing the results of all that hard work.  When we get a song sounding just the way we want it, there's a proper "goosebumps" moment for all of us.  We've had many singers over the years who've exclaimed "I can't believe we just did that!" at the end of a song!


Putting it all into practise...

After all our hard work, practising at home and coming along to rehearsals, it's only right that we jump at the chance to perform in front of an actual audience!  Of course, attending sing outs can feel like a bit of a commitment, too, especially as they tend to fall during the evenings or at weekends.  But whilst we encourage our members to attend as many sing outs as possible - so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour and lap up all that fabulous audience applause - we understand that very few of our members will have a 100% attendance record.  Again, "real life" has a habit of getting in the way, sometimes!  We've all missed the odd performance here and there, but we find that most of us enjoy singing in front of people so much (despite the inevitable stage fright!), that attending a sing out is more of a treat than a chore.  Again, we attend because we want to, not because we're ever forced to!

So, to summarise, yes, joining a chorus involves commitment.  We'd be lying if we said it didn't.  But unlike some commitments - think "doing your tax return" - this is one that we hope never feels like a slog!  We find that we get just as much (if not more) out of More Harmony as we put in.  Yes, we practise at home and we make the effort to be at rehearsal every week if we can, but as a result of that effort, we get to sing in some fantastic places, meet amazing people, achieve something we can be hugely proud of and have the satisfaction of knowing we're part of something pretty spectacular.  As far as commitments go, we reckon that's a pretty good trade off!

So, if you're up for a fun and exciting challenge in 2024, we'd like to invite you to book a place on our Love To Sing course, which starts on Thursday 18th January and runs for four weeks (7:15pm-9pm at Wadebridge Ambulance Hall), before culminating in a concert for family and friends on February 15th, so you can show off everything you've learned!  We hope to see lots of you there.

All that remains is to thank everyone who has supported us throughout 2023 and to wish all of you a wonderful Christmas and a happy, harmonious 2024!