Monday, 19 December 2011

A little Christmas music

Last night I had a little burst of Christmas music.  The vocal group I sing with (Living out Loud) hosted a concert and party for our friends and family.  I don't have any family living in Melbourne, so it meant a lot that friends came and shared the evening.

And it was an opportunity to glam up for the occasion.
You can see the white flower which I had to hunt for in the crush of  Christmas shoppers.
(and yes, it's another self portrait with iphone.)

I have previously written about the enjoyment of singing in a group - this group in particular.  Last night felt very good and relaxed.  I could tell we were sounding good because the tingle-ator was working overtime.  What's a tingle-ator?  When the harmonies and the energies of the group are working really well together you can feel it on your skin.  Goose flesh might rise, hairs stand on end and everything goes tingly.  This happened to  me several times last night.  What an endorphine rush!

One of the things I love about singing with this group is the relaxed approach to performance.  A relaxed approach does not mean that we're not serious about making beautiful music together it just means that we allow our personalities to shine through in the performance itself.  There was banter (some may call it sledging) between the singers last night and it made the audience laugh and enjoy the show more.  To cool the room down during interval we had turned on a very large fan.  It sounded like a jet engine and was also playing havoc with the hair styles of the (female) tenors. They were beginning to remind me of Phyllis Diller when she did her hair with an egg beater.  I'm sure you get my drift.   Across the other side of the stage was the bass section, all of whom are follicularly challenged and were therefore unruffled.  The request to swap sides of the stage seemed fair.  We turned the fan off instead.

The second half of the concert was an opportunity to share some Christmas music.  Our conductor led the audience and choir in an improvisation which sounded fantastic!  The looks of concentration on the faces of audience members was something to behold but the pay off came at the end when they all beamed with joy, surprise and satisfaction at the glorious sounds they had just made together.  Perhaps their tingle-ators were also working and they were able to experience the feeling of singing together with other human beings.

The improvisation was the warm up for choir led renditions of the "Coventry Carol" and "Silent Night" as well as the joyful African song "Ho-no-no" and a bit of retro chic in "Feliz Navidad".

Food and drink brought by the singers was shared by all and it was a truly lovely finish to our singing year.

They say that a measure of the strength and quality of a community is the number of choirs that it has.  I'm not surprised!  People who may otherwise not cross paths come together for the intense and magical experience of harmonising together.  It's a deeply bonding and emotional experience.  Some Saturday mornings I resent having to wake up and drag myself to rehearsal, but I never drag myself home.  It's the ultimate pick-me-up.

If you've never done it, why not find a group to sing with in 2012?  It can change your life.

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