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A chorister’s story: What happens at rehearsals.

“Ever since I started singing in the Victoria Children’s Choir, seven years ago, our Tuesday and Friday rehearsals have been one of the favourite parts of my week.

This is in part due to my love of music, and singing in particular; but is even more connected to the other choristers, our brilliant conductor Madeleine Humer (or as we call her, “Mads”), and incredible accompanist Jane Elder-Davis.

A huge part of the Choir is the friendships you make.

From my very first rehearsal with the choir I immediately felt included, like I was part of a big family. On my first rehearsal an older chorister took me under their wing and helped me out; now, a few years later, I do the same for new choristers. Though singers do come and go, the overall closeness of the group as a whole doesn’t change. Everybody is incredibly supportive and accepting, and no one gets left out.

While the social part of rehearsals is definitely a lot of fun, the focus is on the music!

We are always working towards a concert or event so it’s important that everybody is concentrating and working hard. It definitely pays off when we go on tours, or perform with other amazing musicians! (For instance, see Isoldes writing on our Christmas concert with the Irene Becker Trio.)

At this point you might be wondering what a rehearsal is actually like.

We start most rehearsals by warming up our voices. Mads has lots of fun warm-ups and tongue twisters we use; sometimes other choristers will lead warm-ups instead. Then we work on music for our upcoming performances. We sing a variety of different types of music, everything from Renaissance and Baroque to more modern classical, folk and even jazz! Every Friday we do musicianship, where we learn how to read music and the theory behind the pieces we sing. Once a month we have a long rehearsal where we all contribute to a potluck and eat dinner together.

Our rehearsals are the times where we work hard and perfect the music we sing, but that doesn’t stop them from being a lot of fun. I’ve learnt so much about music and singing from being in the Victoria Children’s Choir, and made many amazing friends who share my love of song. Our rehearsals are where it all happens!

Submitted by chorister Zoë Macdonald


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