Monday 20 July 2009

Sing Aloud

Oh my goodness - we're famous! Those who've followed my blog for a while might know that I love to sing. I'm not exactly a keen performer but put me in a pew or in a row in a concert hall with a choir and I belt it out "just like a throstle" as my dad has always said.
As a teenager I travelled far and wide with my youngest sister singing in the county youth choir and with school too. Traditional music, hymns, madrigals and all that sort of thing that really makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and sends a shiver down my spine
But oh dear, its been ages and ages since I've warbled along to anything more than the radio so it took a lot of nerve to pluck up the courage and join our church choir last summer.
Well I did and gosh am I glad I did! Apart from a break in February/March when I, then the rest of the household were laid low with lurgy (and I was either coughing my head off or attending to my nursing duties), I've been to regular services and weekly Thursday night practices at our lovely church.
We're very lucky to have a special stone building, The Choir House, for rehearsing in the churchyard, with a lovely old piano, space for all the hymn books, cassocks and gowns and the sort of wonderfully polished floor that reminds me of the school gym at primary school.
Some services there can be 24 of us, but on average there's about 18 basses, tenors, altos and sopranos singing our praises at St Edward's. They're a lovely friendly bunch of villagers, a few from further afield and some wonderful voices as well as our impossibly talented and extremely young organist (19!) and choir master who keeps us on course. We've had some lovely meals out together, barbeque's at the vicarage and we have some great fun too.
Well, a couple of weeks ago Choir House was abuzz with exciting news that we were going to be doing a proper recording!

Its 100 years since local silk magnate and eminent Victorian Sir Thomas Wardle died and his life, connections to William Morris and the achievements of the Silk Embroiderers Guild he and his wife patroned are being celebrated across town this summer. Sir Thomas was also a churchwarden at St Edward's and wrote some wonderful church music during his time which our choir as now recorded to be played for visitors to the special exhibition at the Institute in town and inside church too.
And yesterday we went global (sort of!) as BBC Radio Stoke played our recordings as part of their weekly programmes and for the next week it can be heard here if you click on the link for the Current Service on the BBC page, then Listen Now (if you fancy it!)

So hardly showbiz but I was so very excited to be part of a wonderful project and to sing some truly beautiful music. Oh and there's going to be a CD - but don't worry I won't be getting an agent just yet!


dottycookie said...

Oh, congrats! I love to sing too though have sadly let it slip since having children. My husband still sings in the choir I used to belong to and is going to be part of the massed Cambridge choir at the Proms on Wednesday - we're very excited!!

our shabby cottage said...

Wow, that is exciting!! Well done, off to have a listen now....

Pipany said...

Well done Steph. That's a great achievemant and another thing to write on life's CV. Hope you are all over the lurgy and having better weather than us xx

Sue said...

Well done you! And what a wonderful church to sing in.

Hope you're all much better now and enjoying the summer!!

Sue xx

The Curious Cat said...

What a wonderful thing to be part of - you must be so pleased. I love singing too - I can't claim to be very good (I have Grade 4 but never took it any further) but I don't care, I love nothing more than to turn up my fav song at home, when i'm on my own and belt out the words thinking I'm the most talented individual the world has yet to discover!!! Lol! :) xxx

Hen said...

Well done, Steph, thats great and even better that it's doing something you love.
Hen x

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Wow that is so amazing! I feel so happy for you! what a beautiful church to sing in too. I was a church chorister as a girl and I absoloutely loved it, especially dressing up in all the regalia. Christmas was my absoloute high point as I could and often still do burst into an impromptu carol! Bit crazy in July whilst walking the dog around 40 acre field!I am going to listen to you right away!
Love Sarah x

Bertie Meadows said...

Oh how wonderful Steph, congratulations. What a wonderful experience, in such a lovely setting too. Will you available to sign copies of your c.d? ; )
Bertie x

...Nina Nixon... said...

Conrgatulations you - that is fabulous news. I love to hear a choir sung in a church it sends chills up my spine for some daft reason.

Have a lovely, lovely weekend and I'm wishing some sunshine your way though it's showery here today (so far!)

Nina x

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Congratulations, how satisfying for you and for such a special occasion.
How lucky you are to have a good voice. Singing brings such pleasure. Very nice painting of the church. About to click on link now to have a listen.
Isabelle x

Cowboys and Custard Mercantile said...

Oh to have a voice... I would love to be able to sing..
I am off to hear your dulcet tones right now..

Michele x

Connie said...

Steph, I just found your blog from Google Reader and it's adorable, sugar! I'm in the U.S. but love to view chicks in other countries. I'm adding you to my Google Reader posthaste, sweetpea! Adorable!!!