I love choir practices….I always have………………when people get together with a like mind, it can be great fun. An amazing amount of work can be achieved in a short time and the sheer comradeship we all get from trying to achieve a common goal is palpable.
Learning parts is often difficult. What looks easy on a manuscript page does not always give joy in the learning (as we all know to our cost)! There is firstly the physical reading of the notes, and getting them into the short-time memory….often a real slog! Then the quiet humming of your part in the background (to try to get them into the long-term memory(!), whilst others are learning theirs. This is probably when you do the spade-work and achieve most.
When two and three parts are tried together, and the troubles are seen and heard, the annoyance and frustration can put you off a piece.
But there is always a point when it begins to come together. The first successful run with full harmony and accompaniment is when the hard work is seen to be worthwhile. Only then can we begin to see the composer’s intention, and start enjoying it……as you can see from the photo!
But what is most astonishing and pleasurable, is when we gown-up for a Service, knowing that we can’t make mistakes and laugh them off. Something suddenly makes everything different. Whether it is the formality of the situation, or something within us which tells us to be serious, I don’t know, but it is most often true that ‘ It will be alright on the night’.