It was almost like moving to a new place of employment – a new job – a new place to find my spot in the pecking order.
For several years now I’ve been involved in a group – a singing group – in other words a choir. For a while there I needed something to make me ‘happy’ and discovered a music group and associated choir. I was in heaven. Some time to myself (if you could be by yourself surrounded by other voices) making a noise and feeling good.
We met once a week, in the evening about a half hours drive from home. Their repertoire was a bit like the Ancient and Modern Hymn Book – some new, some familiar, some old yet modern enough for me (and most of the others) to know all the words.
When I joined we were led by a fabulously ‘young’ musician who had studied a whole range of styles and methods both here in Australia and abroad and like many students of classical music also had his own jazz band (on the side) 😊 He had a way of making us feel we’d achieved something special. Then as he put it – his career and studies were getting in the way and he just couldn’t spare the time as little as it was, so he had to move on. Sighs all round – we need to find a new conductor
So after a long lead in time we found what we thought was a good choice for a conductor. Very different in that she is more dogmatic in her ways, my way or no way. This is what I want and expect you to provide. With the ‘you’ being mostly mature age people who go (yes to learn, but also to have fun) numbers dropped quite quickly – yet were expanded by others (from other groups) wanting a ‘leader’ who thought that way.
Of course I was away interstate over a lot of the winters so didn’t have to contend with those 30 minute drives in whatever weather turned up. Some winters I was a bit crook so didn’t go – didn’t want to infect others or couldn’t sing what with coughing a lot or not having a voice lol
As the season began to change it was getting to the point that I was finding excuses not to go – but I really missed it.
So earlier this year I decided to do away with these self conceived problems _ a dominant almost unyielding leader plus an unwelcome night time drive – and joined the ‘day group’. The organisation only has one group that meets in the daytime – in Camberwell. Miles away from home – 45 minute drive or 30 mins on the train (plus time to and from the station and a walk down Camberwell Road to the hall) so about an hour door to door.
Honestly, as I mentioned above, I thought it was going to be almost like taking on a new job. Like finding the right spot to sit in the hall……. with the Altos, yes but on which chair? What time is the break, where is coffee served?
First discovery was the friendliness of the others. There is no pecking order. None of this…. we’re sopranos – you’re altos – and never the twain shall meet. Oh and the men are over there.
With two helpful ‘assistants’ and a vibrant ‘witty funny’ conductor who keeps all that under check, there is a style of leadership that means you can’t help but follow directions because you want the song to sound great. The voices blend together, harmonise like magic with no one type overpowering the other. It’s almost like the first point in ‘The One Minute Manager’ – People who feel good about themselves produce good results!
Yes it’s a bit of a trudge on a Tuesday morning especially these really cold ones but guess what – I’m enjoying my singing again and being happy and feeling good inside myself is all that matters (to me at least)
Has anything been bothering you recently that you found a solution to?
What about your fears and worries – did they disappear or were they realised?