North Yorkshire West Federation: Rock Choir
The Women’s Institute North Yorkshire West Federation are in the process of establishing a rock choir… well, in fact, three rock choirs that will occasionally come together to perform as one group. And, I’m honoured to be the Musical Director of one of them – rehearsing every third Wednesday evening at Hellifield Village Hall, and representing the WI groups in that vicinity, including those in Skipon and Barnoldswick.
Last night was our second rehearsal (yes, we missed the big football match in favour of singing!) and with very limited numbers we managed to make a really good sound. Obviously, the choir is limited to members of the Women’s Institute, and is therefore made up of female voices only. We are also limited in terms of time: most choirs practise together weekly, and so would start planning to prepare Christmas repertoire around September time. But, because we are a new group, learning everything from scratch, and only meeting once or twice per month we have had to start working on our Christmas music right away. So, there we were last night – a hot, sticky July evening – singing Mary’s Boy Child and John Rutter’s Angels Carol: a rather odd experience, but a necessary one.
As a musician, I find that I become ‘immune’ to festive music because I’m used to hearing and playing it for so much more of the year than your average person. It does rather take the ‘sparkle’ off some of the carols for me, but I must admit that there are certain songs I won’t do with choirs etc because I want to ‘keep’ them for myself – little signs that Christmas really is nearly here!