Nearly a month since our performance of Belshazzar’s Feast and I’m still on a high of exhilaration! I still can’t quite believe we pulled it off but the excitement and huge sense of achievement will linger in my memory for many years.
For six months, fragments of Walton’s hugely challenging work have haunted me but how worthwhile were the almost daily post-lunch note-bashing sessions, earphones shutting out all other distractions, as I listened to the Cyberbass rehearsal files before graduating to YouTube recordings of how it should really be sung. What a great way to while away tedious car journeys or empty carriages on long train trips as other passengers move away from the strange woman with the earphones and weirdly printed book, manically nodding her head to some unheard rhythm and mouthing silent words! Ah, those rehearsal files – they sound dreadful but what a boon for inexperienced singers like me, with very little knowledge of the major choral works and no access to a keyboard. And the elation when I thought I’d finally mastered a tricky passage only to discover at rehearsal that what seemed achievable in my lounge deserted me in Chase School Hall!
This is why I joined MFC, to be really challenged and to learn to love demanding music, to share my joy and fears with fellow-singers and finally to come together to create something special. Thank you, Richard, for giving me this tremendous opportunity – and for helping me discover that I can occasionally sing a top A without panicking!