Feeling the vibration of singing resonating through my heart, I immediately felt both joyful and emotional as I sat in the alto section of the singing community – next to a complete stranger. The friend I’d come with a soprano and so situated somewhere different. The woman by the side of me had moved her chair so that I was sitting in a little gap, completely disconnected to those close to me. I felt ok, confident and vulnerable, all at the same time, for different reasons.
The energy sizzled around the hall as voices grew stronger and louder as time went along. I felt emotional through the process, especially on learning the words to the last song which really touched me. ‘And we will come back home. And we will come back home. Home again.’ I recognised the love for my two children and the emotion I feel at them both not being at home or simply just close and around. My son touring with Cirque du Soliel in america and my daughter living a few hours away in Bournemouth.
When we sing the fluids within us vibrate. This process releases blocked energy, influences the whole organism and stimulates our own forces for self-healing. AATA
The Big Sing has three founders – Gemma Francis, Howard Francis and Jon Rattenbury – all three worked hard to introduce the participants to the medley, which was performed from start to finish at the end of the three hour session. Creating an enjoyable event shared over home made cakes and cups of tea. Although I did notice after the feast that the energy in the room seemed to drop a touch!
The community choirs are based in Braintree, Maldon, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Witham, Rayleigh, Basildon, Colchester and Halsted in Essex. There are no auditions, so no rejections! They sing a mixture of contemporary, pop, gospel and soul. Anyone can go along and join.
When a friend invited me – I hadn’t a clue what it was about, or what I would experience. I haven’t seen the Greatest Showman and have only heard snippets of one song ‘This is Me,’ when being talked about or played on the radio, whilst in the car. My mind didn’t know if I would enjoy it – hate it or want to go again. Yet, it was fun with laughter and music and I realised that there are many lives we could have here on this earth, rather than the ones we are given. It felt a bittersweet recognition.
The distance between me and the woman sitting next to me, soon abolished, as she kindly spoke and told me why she’d moved and encouraged me throughout the process to sing out, express myself and come along and try out the choir for myself. I must admit I’m tempted.
There were a couple of moments when I was trying to keep a pace with the music, watch the hands of the conductor and sing at the right key and I’m sure many times I failed completely. Yet it was something new to learn and I love being stimulated by new challenges and experiences.
This was The BIG Sings third workshop, luckily they handed out a song sheet with the show tunes on it to learn and we did the first three songs in the an hour and a half – before a break. By the second half I could feel my throat becoming a bit croaky, as I sipped my bottled water and I wondered how the professionals do it. That led me back to the thought that there is so much in the world and so many ways of living, creating a business and generating a life that I don’t even now about or have to mind.
Yet I do recognise the health benefits in coming together in this way. There was a mix of ages, gender and abilities. All seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Would I go again. You betcha. I’ve always liked singing even though my hubby tells me I’ve not got a very good voice.
This isn’t about that. It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself.
Building connection within a community in a focused and different way – than maybe a few pints in a pub, or a round on the golf course could give you.
Go on, check it out, or you’ll never find out if you’re a soprano, alto or a tenor!
All photos are from The BIG Sing FB & website pages.