Our Best of British concert is over and I think everyone was very happy with the way we performed. Not a large audience (sometimes a lovely day can be a drawback for a concert day!) but a very appreciative audience.
Di had us perform the last item with no music, something we haven't done for a long, long time and guess what? We all coped. I think it is something that we should endeavour to do more often as there is considerable benefit to be had in both the process and the end result. In a sense, some members of the choir who don't read music already do this to a large degree, although they still have the words to refer to.
Being music-less requires that you know the music thoroughly, especially the length of rests and in phrases that are similar but slightly different (I'm thinking of Rutter's 'Gaelic Blessing' here), knowing exactly the note values. Not being able to see where other parts come in - especially those you make use of to know when your own part starts - forces you to really concentrate and, I think, appreciate much more the interweaving of parts.
The other important thing that happens is that -gasp!- everyone watches the conductor, all the time. Everyone decrescendos together, comes off the end of the phrase together, resulting in a much more nuanced and effective performance. It reminds us that the music we have in front of us is a reference, not a book to bury our heads in.
Next up, our choir joins again with Dunedin's Star Singers and the Central Otago Singers for a concert in Dunedin on 9 September. at the OBHS Auditorium, 2pm. and then we will start preparing for our Christmas concert later this year.
I'm a soprano :)