We – we as individuals, as families, as a country, as a world – are in a somewhat uncertain place right now, to say the least of it. Our economy is in a shambles. Our government seems to change almost daily. An unseasonably warm autumn makes us wonder and worry for the future of our planet.
What a bleak portrait. Isn’t there something out there which could bring us some joy in all the uncertainty, some light in all the darkness?
I found something. No, really, I did. Hear me out.
After taking a decade-long break from choral singing, a friend recommended I check out Vivamus. At my first try-out rehearsal, I found myself dusting off skills I hadn’t used in ten years, practising music I’d never heard before, side-by-side with people I’d never seen before. A situation mired in about as much uncertainty as you could imagine.
But even though I was brand new to the choir, even though at times I felt I barely knew what I was doing – none of that mattered. I felt something so unfamiliar, so forgotten to me, it was akin to a musical rebirth. The sheer joy of singing in a choir brought a spark in my soul I thought had been lost to the vestiges of history. Vivamus singers understood I was rusty and nervous, and they were supportive and friendly throughout. The precariousness, the lack of confidence, the downright niggling uncertainty – it all paled and died away in the light of the exhilaration, the connection, the overflowing happiness of singing in a choir again.
By the time I auditioned a few weeks later, the uncertainty was gone. I remembered that I can sing, and I love it. I joined Vivamus, and I’ve been loving it ever since.
No, singing in a choir won’t fix the world’s problems. Times are still, undeniably, hard. But joining a choir can bring a much-needed sense of community and artistic expression to an otherwise cold, dark Thursday evening. It can be a light at the end of the weekly tunnel. It can provide a joyous constant amidst the chaos. That’s what I’ve found, anyway.
We rehearse on Thursday evenings in central London, and we’re running a “come and sing” event on Thursday 19 January for anyone who’s interested to try us out. It’ll also mark a year on since my own first “come and sing” event – a year since I banished my singing uncertainty for good. I really hope to see you there.