It’s getting near the time for the annual Carol Service at St Andrew’s Leytonstone, and rehearsals started last night. For the Carol Service we have a “Community Choir” — people from the community, and people from church who don’t usually sing in the choir, join us for four rehearsals (plus a run-through on the day) so that we can do some repertoire that just won’t work with lower numbers.
The first rehearsal is always a bit nerve-wracking for me: will people come? Will we have enough on each vocal part to have some semblance of balance, enough strong voices that those who are less confident can follow along despite rather short rehearsal time? How many copies of the music should I print? Will I get the choir vestry warm enough, has the “I might be able to play for you” accompanist found out whether s/he can play?
Last night was no exception. The light in the hallway is broken and I resorted to candles rather than headache-inducing flickering. I couldn’t get the door to the choir vestry unlocked for a bit, and worried it might be a rehearsal in the church with no music and inadequate heating. I realised as I was stapling the 20 music booklets together that I’d managed to omit one piece from the running order, so I’m going to have to print a supplement. Various people made their apologies and promised to attend later rehearsals. I fussed and I fretted. I rehearsed, with the “regular” choir, things for Sunday.
And people started to turn up. And they kept coming. I’d printed 20 music booklets but that included one for me, and twenty-one people turned up. That doesn’t include the three I’ve had apologies from, and the two who said they might come but weren’t sure. We nearly didn’t fit in the choir vestry.
I am delighted!
I can print more booklets, so that’s a slight inconvenience rather than a disaster. Another problem will be a lack of cassocks: we have enough for the children but certainly not enough for all the grown-ups present. So, we’ll need to decide whether to borrow some from somewhere, or have some of the choir in “smart civvies”.
These are wonderful problems to have, and I’m delighted to have them! If you’d like to add to them — especially if you sing alto or tenor/bass — the next rehearsal is Thursday 29th November at 7.30pm. It’s pretty much the most fun you can have in church, as far as I’m concerned.
If singing isn’t your thing, there’s still time to get along to the Christmas Bazaar if you’re in the area…