It was our first rehearsal back after the Christmas break following our hugely challenging yet rewarding performance of Britten's 'War Requiem' in December, and what a way to start than with our first workshop with Nathan for the Adopt a Composer collaboration.
It was a whistle stop visit from Nathan and mentor Fraser, but within just an hour there was a tangible sense of excitement in the rehearsal room as Nathan put us through our paces with deceptively simple yet very effective choral exercises.
Mixing up the blend of sounds, Nathan enthused the choir from the outset, stretching our comfort zones and describing how layering the voices creates an ethereal quality.
With great humour, within the first 30 minutes, Soprano and Alto 1's were affectionately re-named the Philharmonic 'Angels'! Jon, our conductor, was keenly observing whilst also acting as accompanist as we moved into rehearsing one of Nathan's previous compositions, 'Te lucis ante terminum' - a beautiful work which put into practice examples of vocal free time we had just practiced in the exercise session.
The enthusiasm for the the forthcoming year was evident from all the Choir and Nathan.
Within an hour, I was dashing Nathan and Fraser back to catch the last train knowing that this collaboration is going to be a greatly rewarding and joyful experience for the Choir in our 60th anniversary year!
Watch this space for more blogs from our Choir members...
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The Adopt a Composer project matches vocal and instrumental leisure-time music groups with some of the UK’s most promising composers to collaborate on creating a new piece of music. The project leads to a première performance and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. If you’re a music group or composer and you’d like to take part, find out more.