WHAT an amazing and totally unexpectedly joyous experience: not a word (joyous) that comes easily to the pen, or rather keyboard, of a grumpy old bat but  it’s the best I can think of to describe the simple activity I took part in last night: “Singing for Pleasure” in the village hall. Organised by Diana, a neighbour, music teacher, singer, pianist and enthusiast for music, and attended by about a dozen women in the village. None of whom, as far as I know, could read music, or had any pretensions to be great, or even potentially great, warblers. But all of whom had a love of music and a simple desire to sing.

I can’t pretend it was nerve-wracking: it’s probably the least threatening environment you could be in. But I did worry that my voice might not hold out – it did, just about, but since I stopped going to church 18 months ago I realised I hadn’t been having my regular singing practice – and I did think that I might find it ok to try, but not something I’d want to do again. But it felt fantastically therapeutic – and confidence-building. Being married to Ian who’s in three and sometimes four choirs, who has sung since he was a small boy more than 50 years ago, and who tackles complicated (to me) choral works with ease, it felt really good to be able to say – for the first time in my life – “Must dash: I’m off to choir.” I felt like somebody out of the Archers.

“I’ve deliberately not advertised it as a choir,” Diana tells us “because I think that can sound very off-putting.” Not to me, Diana, not to me.

We’re going to meet once a fortnight and see where it takes us. I doubt if it will be the Albert Hall but maybe, just maybe, we could end up doing a concert? Somewhere? Watch this space . . .


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