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Singing Together

Did other readers use that old BBC radio broadcast for singing classes in primary school?  Having moved on from Time and Tune in the infants, we had Singing Together in the juniors.  I can still recall the smell of the new song leaflets that arrived each term, and recall the headmaster playing the piano as we continued to sing after the 15 minute broadcast finished.  I can also recall the one time there was to be singing in the end of year 'play day', being told I couldn't sing because my voice wasn't good enough.  Fast forward thirty years, give or take, and on my placement at a Roman Catholic church the priest, bless his cotton socks, decreed that I had a good voice, and must sing the cantor part of the psalm on numerous occasions.  In between I had sung in other school choirs and a church singing group.  For all that's been good, it's the early negative that sticks...

Anyway, yesterday I allowed myself to be persuaded to join in with the combined choirs for the evening service on the basis that there might otherwise only be one soprano, and having looked at the music decided that it was in my range (mezzo) and to give it a go.  In the end there were, I think, five sopranos and two altos as well as a lot of basses and a few tenors, all augmented by eight delightful child trebles.  It was fun to be singing with other people, and also encouraging to discover that I can still hold my part 'against' others - because of where I sat a one point I had the people either side of me singing something utterly different from each other and from me, and the tenors (I think!) behind me.  All of which gave me a confidence boost... and I did say to our one regular alto that I just *might* be persuaded to give it a go sometimes (there's no way I could hit the top notes on some of the soprano parts!).

Singing together is good fun, and there needs to be room for 'growlers' as well as 'angel voices.'  I am sure my former headteacher, were he still alive, would be horrified to know the impact of his deicison not to allow me to sing in the end of term concert because he was a kind and gracious man, and it serves as a reminder to those of us who strive for perfection to recognise the impact that may have on others.


  • I was told to mime in singing class at school! I love singing but something goes wrong between my head and my vocal chords - I am not tone deaf but can't really hold a tune.
    This friday we are starting a 'sing for fun' session - first with church folk and then hopefully open it up to the community - and I am allowed to sing!

  • I remember the programme - and had the experience of being told not to sing because I wasn't good enough. And I am an alto, who now loves to sing in choirs. I wonder if baby altos just sound out of tune when they are little??

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