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Grace's GJC - From The Members

I came to Godalming Jazz Choir by chance. I met Steven (Stevie K) on a walking weekend last year and as we walked the South Downs he told me about his choir.

Quite a number of years previous to that meeting I had attended a one day choral workshop (It was NOT Godalming Jazz Choir). I was asked if I was an Alto or a Soprano. When I replied 'I have no idea; no one has ever asked me that before' the look of distain my reply elicited told me I was in the wrong place. To be fair it did not reflect the welcome I had from everyone else that day but it is fair to say that I was out of my depth and it put paid to any thoughts I had of choral singing for some time.

So it was a huge relief to attend a GJC Workshop and discover that it was ok to try out the altos one week and the sopranos another and to figure out where I felt most comfortable .

But what really had me signing up for my first term was the laughter.

There was such a warm welcome and a sense of fun in the room, especially during the warm up exercises. By the time these were finished any nervousness I had been feeling had evaporated.

I often record our sessions on my mobile, especially when we are learning our individual parts. When I play these back there is ALWAYS laughter, either our group as we fail to follow Phoebe's direction properly or coming from another part of the room. I always leave with a smile on my face.

I sing with the Sopranos, or rather I sing on the 'coat-tails' of my fellow sopranos. They do their best to keep me right and graciously carry me with them.

I love the variety of songs that our choir sings and It really is a wonder to me to experience at first hand how the songs build, as all the parts come together under Phoebe's direction. Phoebe has a remarkable talent for musical arrangement and her enthusiasm is infectious. She is younger than almost all of us but she commands such respect from us.

I just love to watch Phoebe at work when we perform. It's just a shame she has her back to the audience!

What else go tell you?

I was thrilled to learn that GJC's adopted charity is the Meath. My friend Sioban lives there so it was very special for me to perform at The Electric Theatre with Sioban and some of her friends and to be raising money for such a worthwhile charity.

The best bit? The warm up exercises which are both physical as well as musical and usually cause some or all of us to dissolve into laughter.

If I could spend the full 90 minutes doing the warm up exercises each Sunday night i would probably go home quite happy.

Instead, we get to learn new songs and create some fabulous music.

Thank you Phoebe x

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