I joined my first choir at Southfield School for Girls when I was eleven, going from the Junior to Senior group before also joining the Vocal Ensemble a couple of years later. I learned I was a soprano at some point along the way – I was always one of the loud girls that did the extra high bit.
I was tremendously influenced by our amazing Head of Music Pamela Wright, and she encouraged me to do a ABRSM Grade 5 singing exam as well as coaching me in solos for our winter and summer concerts. There is VHS footage about of a Pie Jesu that I must get on a computer at some point.
Whilst doing my degree, I also did a number of Projects in Performance modules where you learned and performed a set of choral pieces each term – plus exciting weekly and termly self evaluation forms! I somehow got put in the altos and was a bit scared to do anything about it, very silly! I blame the lack of a range test when we started our degrees.
I also did the Band Musicianship module in the first year which was great fun, I hadn’t performed in a band before so it was very exciting. It also led to a short-lived band with two friends (a guitarist and a drummer), but I have no memory of what we were called, or what the songs were like, past a vague memory that I was influenced by Queens of the Stone Age and their singer Mark Lanegan at the time!
I was also President of the music society BandSoc, we lent out equipment to bands and organised gigs at venues around Leeds. My last event with the society was running a Battle of the Bands charity event in May 2005. This work also led me to being hired to run the Royal Park Cellars while the venue’s promotor was on tour.
Before leaving university my friend and I made an EP using our department’s recording and ProTools facilities, and while it may not be breaking much musical ground, we really wanted a keep sake from our time at Leeds. You can listen to the three tracks on SoundCloud.
After graduation I also joined Leeds Philharmonic Chorus for a term, we performed Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at Leeds Town Hall for Remembrance Day 2006.
I moved to London in late June 2007 and weirdly didn’t join a choir for two years until the other half made me get off my bum and google choirs in London.
So, I currently sing in two choirs, Lewisham Choral Society and Concordia Chamber Choir – based in Dulwich. LCS is non-auditioned (but isn’t easy!) and has about 150 members, Concordia has about 35 singers and is auditioned.
I’ve moved twice since first joining LCS but I love the choir and the music team so much I’ve been there for six years. I did leave for two terms in 2012 and 2013 but that was mainly to try and find a chamber choir to join as I wanted to my life musically harder – but I missed it too much so ended up in two choirs instead of one. 🙂
I also run the Facebook and Twitter pages for both choirs, plus an Instagram page for LCS and am part of the website administration team. And where I can, I will attend singing workshops to broaden my experience. I also have singing lessons from time to time, with more prior to any concert that I might sing a solo in.
And you can browse through my previous concerts and workshops here.