The Voice – part 17

Getting in tune with each other and the ‘Master Conductor’

Time was when I was a passable singer. In fact I auditioned for the Bournemouth Sinfonietta Chamber Choir … and got in! I was a Curate in Poole at the time and one of our choirmen challenged me to ‘have a go’. He had auditioned and failed, but I managed to succeed: much to my own complete astonishment (and his thinly veiled annoyance)! I shall never forget my first rehearsal. The Librarian gave out binders with our names on them. Each binder contained a sheaf of musical pieces: all of them fiendishly hard to sight-read.

But here I was: I had truly arrived and thought myself very grand. My reverie lasted until the moment when the choirmaster raised his baton and the accompanist struck up. I had scarcely opened my mouth for breath when my fellow singers were “off”! They sang those pieces for the very first time and the sound was remarkable. You would have thought they had sung the pieces many times before, but they had not. Their sight reading was impeccable. Mine was a disaster!

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