Thursday, 5 November 2009

Flexibility is the key!

It has been a number of years since I sang in a choir. I have sung with choirs, for choirs and conducted choirs. But given my soloist status over these many years, singing with a group of many souls attempting to make various voices sound as one has not been on my radar. So, it was with tremendous excitement and anticipation that I registered to participate in the Biennal choir.

This decision is not one for the faint of heart or the weak of voice. The music is challenging and the hours are long. Participants need to arrive at the conference a day ahead of schedule in order to attend all rehearsals, and they need to be willing to invest several hours in advance of the conclave studying the various pieces. We are a diverse group, spanning many regions, many ages and many vocal stylings, but above all, we are there for the music, and the chance to enhance Shabbat morning worship.

It is not an easy task to coax 80 individuals to think and sing as one, but our conductor, Cantor Leigh Korn is certainly up for the job. He has been nothing short of a whirling dervish of energy, passion and fun. He has preached musical discipline for certain, but more importantly, he has asked us for flexibility; not to sweat the small stuff and to go with the flow. (Not an easy task for this anal retentive!) With his quick wit and charm, he had us at "Shalom", as we bought into his vision hook, line and sinker. Our first five and a half hour session seemed to virtually fly by.
Biennals are always an amazing musical cornucopia filled with every voice, every styling and every sound there is to offer. The biennial choir has certainly enhanced my passion for Jewish music. I can't wait for Shabbat!

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