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My First Performance with the local Synphony Chorus

Last week, I had the pleasure of partaking in my first performance with the new Symphony Chorus. I thought I would write about my experience here.

Every year, the Symphony orchestra has a “searches launch” were they so music and discuss plans for the coming year. This is what I was involved in and was a very short performance as part of a broader programme. The piece was from Handel’s Messiah and short, so quite easy for a first run.

We arrived at what they call the stage entrance, which is not for public access. It’s like a whole separate building from the hall itself. As I’d never been there, I had to do some forward planning, which involved asking another choir member to meet me at the main entrance of the hall, before walking with that person to the stage door. Since I did not have my guide dog with me, I needed that extra assistance.

Once there, it was time to warm up our voices ready to perform. Then it was explained about the layout of the stage and how we would enter and leave the stage. Then we have sung our piece through.

I was shocked at how awful it sounded in the staging suite. It was extremely loud to my ears but apparently, it is normal. We were given instructions on sections that needed slight modification while on stage. My brain was in overload which added to my nerves.

Then there was the wait for the call to enter the stage. Then it was time to sing my heart out. Not exactly though. Because you can’t just go for it. As a chorister, I’m part of a team. I’m there to express the music, with all the varying dynamics etc, with the tempo changes etc. I listen carefully to each note around me and the breathing of others to make my entrances spot on. I listen for the subtle tempo changes that the conductor might give.

As the piece draws to a close, the excitement builds as I realize that I have just completed my first performance doing something I love. And as I have sung the last cadence, I was left with a feeling of exhaustion, but also felt my crying for joy. I was left on a high as I left the stage.

Our next performance is in 2 weeks and marks the first time I sing with the symphony behind us! I’m sure it will be yet another chance to learn and experience the joy that is music.

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