Having found out I had been offered a place in the Chamber Choir for the year, I felt a mixture of apprehension and excitement to start. I knew it was going to be a very high standard but with that, meant that we’d have some great music to sing over the year, and I was definitely not disappointed!
The first rehearsal came along and the first thing that struck me was how lovely all the members of the choir were and I immediately felt like a true part of it along with them. Secondly, was the great programme of music that Theo, our amazing conductor, had selected for the Michaelmas concert. A selection of advent antiphons specifically showcasing many female composers and Britten’s 'A Boy was Born'… there was no denying it was also going to be pretty challenging!
Despite the difficulty of some of the pieces, rehearsals rarely feel like hard work and I put that down to real community feel everyone has within choir. Even when the going gets tough we are able to work through the notes together, occasionally broken up by games of ‘Temple Run’, which definitely had mixed reviews!
Another rehearsal highlight definitely has to be the weekly cake contributions providing much needed, chocolaty sustenance. Rocky road has to be a favourite but I’m afraid the avocado brownies were… interesting… nevertheless the cake rota is definitely here to stay!
When we’re not busy rehearsing (and eating cake) we have fabulous socials thanks to our social secs Lizzy and Henry. A bailey bar crawl taught me that crackers are very dry and vodka with hot sauce is not a good combination! A full choir trip to Spags was the perfect way to end a rehearsal. Here’s to many more socials next term…
Overall, my first term with the chamber choir has been so great. Especially since I don't
study Music, it has been really fun to continue my love of singing at this high standard with such amazing people. It has also allowed me to sing pieces I’ve always wanted to, like Rutter’s ‘Hymn to the Creator of Light’ as well as the opportunity for something completely new; for me this was McDowall’s ‘O Oriens’ which has now become a firm favourite of mine!
I am really looking forward to our first performance of the year, next Saturday (8th December) where all the hard work will be put to use. With such a varied and beautiful programme of music it’s definitely worth coming along, not forgetting the mince pies and mulled wine! (https://www.musicdurham.org/event/chamber-choir-christmas-concert-2/)
All that remains is to thank Theo, Aneta, Abi and all the amazing members of the choir for making first term such a great experience for all of us freshers; we can’t wait for what the rest of the year will bring!
Durham University Chamber Choir presents 'A Boy Was Born'
Saturday 8th December, 7:30pm, St Godric's Church