Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Touch Of Red

Photo Copy right: Maggie May

During the last few months I have been practicing singing in the largest community choir in Bristol. Practices are held in four very different venues on different nights plus one afternoon, so people can choose which one they want to join or (for no extra cost) go to all of them if they really wanted to. Of course, each class is run by the same man, who used to have his own band. He is a very charismatic kind of leader and his musical abilities have no end.
It isn't often that the four choirs get together, but we are all learning the same pieces and when we do regularly do a concert, the only place big enough to take all of us is Bristol's Colston Hall.
So this is where I went last Saturday.

I'd had a virus a few weeks previously and my main concern was getting one of those awful irritating coughs while sitting trapped like a sardine in a stall on view for all to see and feeling helpless and ruining it for everyone else.
So I went armed with tiny peppermint Tick- tacks and a bottle of water just in case. However, I needn't have worried, except perhaps for my teeth that might have suffered while I shovelled those tiny sweets into my mouth.

On formal occasions like these, we wear all black with a touch of red, so I wore a small red scarf and a matching flower in my hair. The photo makes the flower look pink, but it is very much a crimson red. I did wear black things as well...... not just the red scarf and flower!

It was good to see my son and the grandchildren in the balcony together with his girlfriend and her two children. My Millie and her Jessie came down to talk to me during the interval and I am beginning to feel that I have an extended family and they all look so good together from where I was sitting and the children get on so well too. A non Christian friend surprised me by suggesting that perhaps Sam's new girlfriend might be an angel in disguise sent down in order to put everything right in their lives that have been so turbulent recently.

Fortunately, to join this choir, you don't need to be an outstanding singer, just to be able to sing in tune. It isn't necessary to be able to read music as CDs are given in the part that is to be sung, in my case an alto.
Even when during the smaller rehearsals there sometimes seem to be grisly mistakes made, when we finally get together on the night of a concert, it really does take off and there is a really good feeling of belonging to a greater group that is making a good sound. The fact that we have to learn it all off by heart and sing in many other languages makes it challenging but a very enjoyable experience. No music is allowed on *the night.*
I think singing has helped to get me through some very difficult situations over the last year or so. I believe it is very therapeutic and is helping me to stay focused, especially when our health lets us down and causes worries. I can sing in the choir and forget the problems for a while and feel better.

My blogging friend, Mimi, from MimiinDublin makes up aromatherapy preparations and she sent me some while I was having chemotherapy a while ago. The preparation helped me to sleep then and I was really pleased to receive another little container the day before the singing and it was marked, *Peace and Calm.* So before the singing started, I rubbed some on my palms and breathed in the vapours just in case I didn't feel that way while on stage worrying about my cough. I think this really helped, as everything went well and I really, really enjoyed the evening very much.






26 comments:

Mimi said...

Am I first here?
Maggie, I'm delighted your concert went so well and, most of all, that you enjoyed yourself! Great!
Don't you feel great coming out of a performance (or rehearsal) that went well? I think that has to be good for your health, it's certainly good for the soul.

Irene said...

I wish I could sing because it must be a very joyful thing to the soul and yes, very healing as well. It must be wonderful to sing in a group and to make a great noise. You are very lucky that you can do so.

By the way, I don't like your word verification now that we have to do two very hard to read words.

Retired English Teacher said...

Singing and a touch of red, those two are a great combination for carrying on with life. Singing must be a great outlet of stress, plus it must give you a wonderful focus away from the care that seem to always surround you. I wish I could carry a tune so I could join a choir.

The touch of red only adds to the beauty of the experience. I love the red flower.

FeltByRae said...

Maggie!!! I didn't know you'd be singing in Colston Hall... tell me in advance next time pleeeeeaaasee??? I would have loved to come along... tsk!!

I am so glad it all went well and I bet you looked utterly fab inm balc with a splash of red :-)

Rae xxx

Celia said...

What a great thing to be doing Maggie. I think singing is one of the best things a person can do, even my off-key warbling makes me feel better. And all those new friends, wonderful.

VioletSky said...

I used to sing in a mass choir and the group I belonged with was much smaller than the other three, but when we all got together for the final rehearsals and then the performance, the flooding warmth of the sound went right through you. it could not help but be healing. Those sing-a-long Messiahs we have at Christmas are always more uplifting than one might imagine.

(btw way, I found some rabbits, just for you!)

dianefaith said...

Oh, I wish I could sing! The classes/concert experience sound wonderful, and I'm glad you're getting to experience it. We have a new community choir, performing for the first time at one of the local churches in about an hour. I'll go, but must sit in the audience so as not to offend everyone's ears :-)

cheshire wife said...

It is good to read that you have something that you enjoy and that takes your mind off things. I hope that it continues to do so.

Brian Miller said...

yay good for you...and glad you had that extra little calm...so did someone tape this so we can all hear it? smiles.

mrsnesbitt said...

WOW! Wonder if there is such a choir near me? How can I find out?
Dxx
PS Awesome feeling Maggie xxxx

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Very interesting to read how you try to overcome health problems with singing and aroma therapy. All of us have some problem or the other and we find some way to cope with it and carry on with our lives. After all life is for living and not for wallowing is self pity and depression and melancholy.

Excellent photo and a very thought provoking post.

Best wishes,
Joseph

Adam said...

I wish I could sing well. I like to sing but only when nobody's around.

Sandi McBride said...

I only wish we could hear you raise the rafters in song! I know that your attitude towards life is what keeps you going forward, ever forward...
hugs
Sandi

rosaria said...

Singing!!!!!!! What a delightful way to socialize, harmonize, create beautiful sound together. Glad you can participate and that your family can come together to support you and themselves under these wonderful conditions.

Jinksy said...

I quite agree, there is magic to singing in a large choir - been there, done that, loved it! LOL :)

Akelamalu said...

I'm so pleased your concert went well Maggie and that you are obviously getting so much pleasure from singing. :)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Mimi's therapies are wonderful aren't they, and they smell divine. Your choir sounds lovely. I used to sing in a choir when I was school age and I remember entering a nationwide competition when I was about 14.

CJ x

CiCi said...

You must be feeling stronger to be able to attend rehearsals and to be singing again, Maggie. So glad to hear that. The black clothes with a touch of red is a wonderful idea.

Happy Frog and I said...

That is good news Maggie, I'm so pleased to hear it went so well and that the singing is so therapeutic. It's one of my favourite hobbies as well.

Ayak said...

I'd never be good enough to sing in a choir but I sing a lot around the house..the dogs don't seem to object! It is very therapeutic x

Clare Dunn said...

Ah...I couldn't carry a tune in a paper sack. My Sis got all the musical talent in the Family! She sings in choir, so I get to attend performances pretty regularly.
I am in awe of anyone who can sing. jd and I are devoted fans of American Idol and The Voice, etc. on TV. Love those sweet sounds!
It is very true that when you are singing, your worries disappear. You get so focused on the music, nothing else matters. I'm glad that works for you, too. Wish I could attend some of your performances!
xoxoxo, cd

Jeni said...

I very much agree with your train of thought about music and the peace and comfort it can frequently provide to us! I've mentioned a time or two I think that I got my aunt's beautiful Hammond organ when she passed and though my keyboard skills are rather atrocious much of the time, often when I was feeling out of sorts, or having health issues, moody or whatever, I would turn the organ on and go through the hymnal I have and play/sing some of the songs I really like -whether it be for the melody or the wordings. Can't do that now though as I did try to plug the organ in a couple weeks ago -when Mandy had moved out a bit and I could reach the wall outlet but in doing that, I discovered a new way to blow a fuse and also, that the cord to the organ needs repaired! So now I'm back to being without the organ again! Rats. Keep on singing though Maggie, as it does aid in bringing positive thoughts and peace of mind, doesn't it?

Rose said...

How wonderful that you can participate in an experience like this, Maggie! I used to love to sing, but I'm afraid my voice has gone seriously off-key over the years:) But I do love music, and I agree it lifts the spirits in a way that very few other experiences do.

Love the red flower, though the hot pink in the photo would be my favorite!

Love And Enterprise said...

That singing sounds wonderful. Music can be unbelievably powerful as a type of therapy - either making it, or being part of it, or just listening to it.

Working Mum said...

It sounded a great experience and so nice that your family came to support you, makes a big difference. I'm glad I got to see what your "splash of red" was - beautiful.

There definitely is something theraputic about singing and when it goes well it's almost other-worldly. I do say on my blog that singing in the Manchester Chorale keeps me sane!

Suburbia said...

That sounds brilliant. I'm sure singing is good therapy. So glad Sam is happy.