I recently joined a singing choir. I have always loved singing and as a child I would look forward to singing the hymns at our Parish church. As an adult my singing has typically been confined to the shower or driving in the car solo! After doing some research I joined the Soul Song Choir led by Richard Lawton. This choir is nothing too serious and the main aim is complete enjoyment and achieving a sense of community which is exactly what I wanted.
In a relaxed environment and within the confines of a church hall, the two-hour session starts by sitting in a circle to perform warm up vocal exercises with your eyes shut. The chairs are then put away and you dance to a song that Richard chooses for the night. By relaxing inhibitions and freeing the body and mind you are ready to sing!
The group stands in a circle where you sing with no sheet music and harmonise together. The group sings a wide range of genres including gospel, African, folk, traditional and modern classics. When I am looking a little lost with the song I get encouraged to sandwich myself between two people who are more experienced so I can hear the tune and words to allow me to pick things up quickly. I feel rather secure and supported and I do find the whole experience enjoyable.
During the half time break you get to meet people from all walks of life. It is fascinating to hear their personal stories and journeys. Just a little curiosity goes a long way as you always learn something new. It reminds me that we are all different and you feel a humbling sense of normality.
We recently learnt an Italian song called ‘Signore Delle Cime’ interpreted as “Lord of the Mountain Tops”.
Signore Delle Cime is a popular Italian song of prayer written by Bepi De Marci in 1958 when he was 23 years old. It was composed for his friend Bepi Bartagnoli who died in 1951 while climbing Mount Piatta in the upper Valle del Chiampo located in the region of Venice.
This song moved me and I started to find the freedom in my voice through the emotion of it all. I suppose, in some way, that is what singing is all about. Helping people find their authentic voice by enabling them to face their fears, overcome them, and then letting one’s inner confidence shine through.
This reminds me of those moments where I have experienced many women and men across my personal and professional life discover the power of their voice. Broadcasting oneself in an authentic way brings many benefits. You see people make life-changing decisions; take command of the room in a meeting; reduce their inner critic used to protect themselves; achieve more power and influence. This can enliven us, bring a positive outlook, and enable us to live an intentional life with meaning and purpose. The emotional and social benefits are boundless.
Tonight I am attending the Soul Song Choir ‘Soiree’ where our group get the opportunity to perform a solo, duet or trio in a very relaxed setting with a keen audience. This is my first one, so for now, I will be very happy to just attend, bring a plate of food and be part of the audience. Maybe one day I will stand up and sing a tune. If that happens I will let you know!
Until next time.