The last time I did any type of singing was before Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister (apart from those inappropriate out-of-tune diva impressions in the car when you're on your own - surely I'm not the only one?) but several decades later, here I am singing my heart out in public & enjoying every minute of it.
I come from a musical family and remember the battle of what to listen to in the car as a child on long car journeys which eventually ended up as a compromise between my Dad's love of opera and me and my 3 siblings love of pop music (the root of all evil as far as my father was concerned) in the shape of musicals such as 'West Side Story' and 'South Pacific'. Somewhere along the line I became a staunch fan of 'The Sound of Music' and luckily married a man (the lovely Bruce) who is of a similar persuasion and we were then able to inflict our tastes on our 3 children who were plonked in front of Maria & the Captain as a rights of passage at the age 2 whether they liked it or not. Consequently our house is regularly full of someone singing or the music on full blast or plans being made for going to concerts or festivals.
Our youngest finished A' levels last summer so after several years of meaning to join a choir but feeling it was a commitment too far, I began what should have been the easy task of choosing the perfect choir for me from the many around. It took me longer than I thought as I was looking for something neither too choral nor too "cheesy" (my daughter's words not mine). I eventually came across GJC when a friend asked me along to a performance - one free trial session later & I was hooked. I dragged the same cheesy averse daughter along with me & she came out of the first session with a new name (Nigel - don't ask) & a big grin on her face - what could be better?
"Jazz" choir is probably a bit of a misnomer as we sing a great mix of contemporary songs from Coldplay to Nina Simone, all beautifully arranged by Phoebe & accompanied by the equally talented Alex on keyboard. Luckily there is a good balance between those who can REALLY sing & those of us who probably aren't waiting for a phone call from Adele for a duet but we seem to be able to muddle along & produce a half-decent tune.
I particularly like the variety of choir members (some more varied than others - you know who you are...) and the friendly & informal nature of the choir so no-one gets put on the naughty step (well, not too often). The lovely yoga studio at Cafe Mila where we rehearse is the perfect atmosphere & size for our not too big choir & the occasional choir socials and Phoebe gives us lots of opportunities for performing (or not) & solos or duets (or not). There is also the occasional day workshop which is a very special day if you get the chance to go to one.
Whatever mood you're in before rehearsals, you always leave with a spring in your step - Sunday nights have never been so good! Oh, and owning a dog isn't compulsory but it helps.....