Whether they come along for social reasons, to improve their voice or for the love of singing, we are asking one member every month why they sing, to learn a little bit more about their journey and hopefully to inspire and encourage other singers. We are proud to have such a wonderful range of singers at Rolleston Choral Society. If you'd like to get involved, why not visit our join us and concerts pages?
I suppose I just can't help it
I suppose it all started for me when I joined St. Mary's Choir, Rolleston in 1943! I sang there until I moved away in 1957. My Father (a strong Tenor) always said that if you have problems, things on your mind, go and have a good sing. For me it works as the concentration required puts everything else out of mind. Fourteen years in Breadsall choir, Derby ensued before I was tempted back with an RCS performance of 'Elijah'. Why do I Sing? - still enjoying it and, I suppose, just can't help it!!
A friendly group
One day, during a music lesson at school, we were singing parts from the Mikado when our music master, Geoffrey Tristram, walked along the rows of boys singling out a few of us. He finally announced that he wanted us to sing as choirboys in Christchurch Priory where he was organist and choirmaster. I very much enjoyed my time there, especially the weddings when we earned half-a-crown a time.
My voice suddenly broke when I had my tonsils out, aged just 13, and that was the end of my singing for nearly twenty years. Upon moving to Rolleston back in 1986 I was persuaded to join Rolleston Choral Society. By this time my musical talents had diminished to near zero but I was encouraged by Eric Levitt, an excellent baritone, and slowly I managed to copy his sounds a few milliseconds later. Singing lessons with Coral Gould some years ago certainly helped. I have gained many friends through membership of Rolleston Choral Society. The social side is very strong and many members, including me, after choir practice on a Wednesday evening can usually be found in one of the local hostelries. I encourage anyone who enjoys singing to join us.
A Welcome Distraction
For me, singing is a highly effective antidote to the stresses of everyday life. For a couple of hours each week, I'm training my mind on something completely different: not only trying to read the notes, but also listening to the rest of the choir and (not least!) watching the conductor. It's a great team activity. I've been singing in choirs since I was at university in the late 1960s and never tire of it. I love the challenge of tackling new material from time to time. And I think it helps keep my voice young – if nothing else!
I have loved music from a very early age and have grown up being a chorister with choirs, an operatic society and dramatic society. However, my fascination with music had its origins elsewhere.
As a child, I suffered the severe effects of pneumonia and spent a lot of my childhood having breathing difficulties. It was my junior schoolteacher who invited me to join a church choir and doctors considered this would help control my breathing. I was only nine at the time and couldn’t believe the beautiful sound of the choir. “Every cloud has a silver lining” as they say, and from my cloud I have been fortunate to have met some wonderful people, to have sung in some beautiful places and to have been part of an amazing Church - and I wouldn’t have missed any of it.