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Choir - some info please........

(59 Posts)
Kateykrunch Mon 31-Dec-18 18:09:56

Just wondering if any of you lovely people who sing in a choir can answer this query for me. I would really like to join a Choir and there are several local to pick from. I did have a try a few years ago, but ended up with a proper croaky throat and even a sore throat. (They did do voice warm up exercises). Singing is supposed to be good for the lungs and beneficial for well-being, if I persevered for more than a few weeks this time, might this throat problem not happen? Thanks x

Grannyknot Tue 08-Jan-19 18:24:44

"My" choir - well the one that I sing in - has been invited to sing at the Edinburgh Fringe! shock smile

Luckygirl Sun 06-Jan-19 13:59:45

Brahms' German Requiem is out choir's choice for the coming term. I have sung it several times, so it should give me a brain respite! It is so wonderful. I am in the process of doing the notes for our programme and it is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the music and the composers. Brahms was a humanist/agnostic and instead of setting the Latin mass words he used a selection from the Lutherian bible in his native German as it was important to him to appeal to ordinary people rather than clerical elites. There is none of the ragings of hell in this, just comforting words for the bereaved.

If you do not know it, then please do give it a listen - it is sublime!

Cabbie21 Sun 06-Jan-19 12:47:17

Could your choir join forces with another choir to put it together? It can be performed with piano an harmonium which reduces costs. A wonderful work!

Nelliemoser Sun 06-Jan-19 10:43:09

Yes the endorphins crowd in with a good piece of music and a good conductor.

We are doing Bob Chillcots St Johns passion this "term" . I don't know it and I have not been keen on his music but we will do we are told.

I just happened upon Brahms requiem on TV on the proms. It was superb, like being wrapped in a warm blanket, but our choir is not big enough to do that and we or are not rich enough to stage it.

Grandma70s Sun 06-Jan-19 10:23:08

JackyB - lucky you! I absolutely adore Britten’s Ceremony if Carols, have sung it quite a lot in the past. Less keen on Rutter who can be a bit banal. I must remind myself of the Magnificat. I’m sure I’ve heard it, may have sung it, but it hasn’t stuck in my mind.

Good luck with the concert.

JackyB Sun 06-Jan-19 10:17:19

I have just returned from a week away rehearsing Britten's Ceremony of Carols and John Rutter's Magnificat. That means 3 1/2 days with 3-4 sessions of 90-120 mins per day.

After that, I really feel ready for the concert tonight. We had plenty of time to warm up properly each morning. It is not the singing that makes you croaky, as everyone has already said, it is important to prepare properly. After three days of hard preparation, the high notes are less difficult to reach, and breathing has improved for the long notes.

Sparklefizz Wed 02-Jan-19 16:04:16

^Sparklefizz and Grannyknot thanks for the info.
I have bitten the bullet and signed up for a taster!^

Well done biker. You'll have a lot of fun.

Grannyknot Wed 02-Jan-19 13:49:42

Eloethan definitely re the social scene. The choir that I sing in had a Christmas Party and suffice to say that the young musician who was providing entertainment - his jaw dropped when the sing-a-long started [grin grin - and the bar staff got their phones out and filmed. Such fun.

We will also sometimes come out on to the pavement and entertain passersby in an impromptu performance at the end of a practice session. Just like Grandma2213 I really do enjoy it, as you can tell.

Eloethan Wed 02-Jan-19 12:46:31

Grabndma2213 Absolutely. Singing with a choir is so uplifting and, as you say, confers many mental and physical health benefits.

Bigger choirs tend to also have a fairly lively social scene - quizzes, karaoke nights, etc, etc. It's a great way to make friends and have fun.

Grandma2213 Wed 02-Jan-19 01:56:30

I had always wanted to be in a choir, especially after watching Gareth Malone on TV but no time and family commitments prevented it. Finally after I retired and after a bad year I decided to 'live' what was left of my life and followed a leaflet delivered through the door for a choir taster. My voice has got stronger. My breathing is better. I am benefiting from the social aspect. Endomorphins contribute to the 'feel good' factor. My memory has improved, though we have music and don't have to memorise. I have learned to read music in a rudimentary way by osmosis. I have actually performed in public and what a buzz!!! In short it is the highlight of my week. I love it!! Maybe I was lucky with the choir (and teacher) that I chose but I would advise that it is THE BEST THING EVER!!!!

Eloethan Wed 02-Jan-19 01:20:24

Katycrunch I sing with a fairly large community choir. We do a wide range of material including pop songs and more serious and complex choral works. I am also in a small a capella group where we sing without sheet music and learn the words by heart - often in a foreign language, which is easier than I would have imagined. Neither of these choirs require auditions or the ability to read music.

Warm ups should help protect the voice. Perhaps you are over singing and straining your voice, particularly if you are singing the wrong part for your voice. I used to be soprano but can't now reach very high notes so I sing alto. Sometimes my throat gets dry and my voice is now more wavery and croaky (sadly, something that tends to happen with age). As others have mentioned, Vocalzone lozenges do help.

I don't think choirs require big voices - the idea is to blend in with those around you and sing as one voice.

I'm not sure everyone can sing but I do think the vast majority of people can.

Grannyknot Tue 01-Jan-19 22:43:52

That's true ticktock certainly something for everyone. I've sung in various choirs over the years. Around here, the cheapest one is £7 a session each week.

Thanks, Lisa. smile

grannyticktock Tue 01-Jan-19 22:05:15

There are many other community choirs around that are less costly than Rock Choir - it is good at what is does, but it's a big, franchised, commercial business. Some choirs do more formal choral music, some do folk or "world" music; some work from written scores while others learn everything by ear; some are accompanied whilst others are acapella. There's something out there for everyone!

Lisalou Tue 01-Jan-19 21:52:21

Grannyknot, your choir is lovely! As for your choir master - he is great fun!!!!

Grannyknot Tue 01-Jan-19 19:59:50

Rock Choir costs £25 a month if you pay monthly via Direct Debit. The fee is monthly by the choir is term time only. If you read the website (it explains it on there) that is how you can spread the annual cost instead of paying it as a one-off each year. It's less than a gym membership!

chelseababy Tue 01-Jan-19 19:16:39

Is it true that the Rock Choir costs £10?

Nelliemoser Tue 01-Jan-19 18:57:42

As a very shy and timid teenager I was told I was tone deaf. which left me out of any singing for many years.
I eventually managed it. The teacher who suggested I was tone deaf did nothing at all to even find out what children could do. No lessons or help at all.

Treebee Tue 01-Jan-19 18:46:53

Another Rock Choir member here! When I first joined I must have given it too much welly as I developed a lump in my throat which thankfully dissipated during the summer break, otherwise I would have seen my gp. I take it rather easier now.
I spoke to my leader regarding Vocalzone type lozenges and she is agin them, saying that their use could disguise any voice straining. I just drink water all through rehearsals.

trisher Tue 01-Jan-19 18:35:46

Kateykrunch as regards your sore throat it may simply be the result of using your voice intensely for over an hour. You could start doing a series of short excercises every day and that might help.When I was training as a teacher many years ago we used to get sore throats the first week of teaching practice and that was because we were using our voices more. It's a question of breathing properly and relaxing.
Singing involves some of the same techniques.

Grannyknot Tue 01-Jan-19 18:18:58

Nights! Darn auto-apostrophe.

Grannyknot Tue 01-Jan-19 18:18:27

Thanks Luckygirl.

Your choir sounds wonderful. smile.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where everyone sang. Sunday night's around the piano were non-negotiable, including for the children. In my mind's ear smile I can still hear my Grandad's beautiful tenor soaring above the women's voices.

Luckygirl Tue 01-Jan-19 17:50:56

Go Grannyknot go!!! - great vid! And you are right that everyone can sing.

My choir sings a mix of stuff - some I teach by ear, some is from the score - some is taught very quickly, some more painstakingly.

I have a very strong belief that anyone can sing anything if they get the right encouragement. We sing easy stuff, and take on huge challenges, often from the classical repertoire, that bring huge satisfaction when we manage to pull it off - even if it has taken months to learn.

I hope that my singers have learned not to be afraid of any repertoire and to dismiss it as not for them - there is something especially precious about learning a piece of music and seeing it from the inside, instead of just being a listener. It embeds itself in your heart and you can never hear it in the same way again.

Nelliemoser Tue 01-Jan-19 17:43:50

I have learnt the hardway. At last finding a choir conductor that does really good warm ups and copy.

Its largely about breathing properly which calls for confidence to go for the notes.
Which has taken me a very long while to get. If you can stand near a good singer it really helps.
Then its confidence confidence confidence. !
What cabbie21 says.

Bikerhiker Tue 01-Jan-19 17:04:29

Sparklefizz and Grannyknot thanks for the info.
I have bitten the bullet and signed up for a taster!

grannyticktock Tue 01-Jan-19 14:04:46

Kateycrunch, it shouldn't hurt when you sing. In a big group, the leader maay not be aware if you're straining your voice in some way. It might be worth having an individual lesson or two, just to check out how you're using your voice and establish what your natural range is. I would endorse the suggestion of looking at the Natual Voice Network, and seeing if there's a teacher in your area.

For our generation, it may seem self-indulgent to have singing lessons. but many of us paid out for years so that our children could learn piano, flute, trampolining, ballet, etc. If you can afford it, it's your turn now!