Saturday 30 August 2008

Songs of Praise

My throat may be sore but my heart is very happy, last week I finally did it and trotted up to our lovely village church to sing the night away. I've gone and joined the choir! It all began on Open Gardens Day in July when, during a very giddy visit up the bell tower with my friend Helen, we got chatting to the impossibly young organist and I ended up asking if I could come along to choir practice.
As a teenager I sang day in, day out in school choirs, the county youth ensemble and even on the odd occasion at university and I really miss it. I'm really old fashioned - can't bear modern musicals - medieval madrigals, anthems and traditional hymns are my sort of thing. There's something about all those voices together that makes me shiver and my heart sing.
Since moving here and reading and re-reading Susan Hill's fantastic book, I've been itching to get more involved in village life and the choir seemed a good starting point for lots of reasons so I went along - and it was great!
It's a big choir, 18 of us last week which is about a dozen more than the choir at the church in the village where I grew up. I've been made really welcome and already invited along to the Christmas dinner and sing-song and a trip to the theatre. The music is fab, a range of psalms, anthems and some proper old favourites like "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" which is just wonderful to sing. And all in this beautiful, special place, with it's Edward Burne Jones windows and painted ceiling.
Switching off the world and singing this glorious music for an hour on Thursday evenings brings me some much needed peace. Wish me luck for October 5; harvest festival and my first service. I think I'll be at the back!


MarmaladeRose said...

Good for you! I wish I could sing. I don't even like to hear myself singing, it's that bad!

Emily said...

Isn't "The Magic Apple Tree" just so inspiring? Even though my own life is very far from that of an English village I still love to read and re-read this book as well.

Good luck with your new choir adventure - it sounds like great fun!

alice c said...

It is people like you that make villages tick and keep communities alive.

periwinkle said...

looks like a lovely church - myself , completely tone deaf and cant sing a note... good luck
lisa x

Sal said...

I love to sing...mainly around the house when I am alone... but I have always fancied joining a choir! I hope you have lots of fun.
I have that book by Susan Hill and also two others, which are just as charming ;-)

claire said...

I've just ordered the book - sounds just my thing (where has it been hiding all my life lol!!).
Great about the choir - how empowering to sing - sadly my voice is only good enough to inflict on my family :) I wish you luck with it
x Claire

Unknown said...

There's nothing so uplifting as opening your mouth and lungs and having a jolly good sing and some of the traditional hymns can go with such gusto - apart from the feeling of spiritual wellbeing that comes from it I think there is a physiological aspect by drawing all that extra oxygen into your system - not to mention the lovely social side too - Enjoy!!!

Funkymonkey said...

Enjoy your evenings with the choir. I'm with you on the medieval and early music - it lifts away troubles when you listen to it I think. I've had a copy of The Magic Apple Tree for years. It's lovely to have a book that you can return to again and again and it's just as enchanting as the first time you read it.

The Fairy Glade said...

Hi Steph good luck with the choir. I haven't sung since I left my last church about 10 years ago. I cannot recomend a particular Miss Read book because I love them all. I have had had them on my shelves for years and before we moved into the country ourselves, they kept me inspired. I planted Viburnum Tinus having read it in one of the books and have made recipes and elderflower cordials as mentioned. I even named my daughter, Isabel, after a character in one. Even though it's more common now, when I read the name nearly 20 years ago now, I remember thinking that if I ever had a girl then that would be her name! They mean so much to me, and as a result of recommending them to you, have grabbed one off the shelf and started re-reading them all again.

walter and me said...

I love The Magic Apple Tree, such a warm book. Good for you to get out there and sing. THere was a programme on the radio today saying EVERYONE can sing, even if they think they can't. Hope for me then!

Kim said...

Hi Steph, I have just stumbled upon your blog and think it is wonderful - I will definately be adding your blog to my favorites. I too live in rural england, a little village called Swanland in East Yorkshire. Keep blogging,
Kim xx

This Vintage Life... said...

Hi Steph,
Yes, Stanley is still for sale...he needs a good home.
I absolutely LOVE singing hymns but as I don't attend church I don't get much chance. There was eight people at our wedding and I was drowning everybody else out! I'm sure you'll have a great time.
(Love your new header...I think I recognise the young lady at the back...) x

Joanne said...

Hiya, hope you don't mind I've tagged you, rules on my blog.

This Vintage Life... said...

Hi Steph,
Are you stil interested in Stanley as I've had another enquiry? Thanks! Deb

Ragged Roses said...

Oh well done Steph, that's a big step to take, I'm sure you'll have loads of fun. My oldest daughter sings in a choir and it is so wonderful to listen to them all sing.

Unknown said...

Oh how lovely, what a joy it is to hear real church music. Have a great time singing.

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Steph

How lovely to have got back to singing - and in such a lovely Church, too. "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind" was always my favourite hymn at school - we seemed to sing it nearly every week!

Good luck for the Harvest Festival!

Sue x

Clover Yard said...

What a great thing to be doing Steph. I've always liked the idea of a gospel choir myself. So uplifting. As long as the others could drown me out, I'd be fine! I am reading The Magic Apple Tree just now and I don't want it to end!

mollycupcakes said...

It sounds lovely honey, i wish you all the best for the harvest festvial in Oct.


Catherine x

This Vintage Life... said...

Hi Steph,
Re; Stanley, I don't seem to be able to get emails to you at all! I just need the email address you want the paypal request sent to or you can send me the money. The email address is Thanks
Deb x