So I was approaching last night's rehearsal with trepidation as our MD Dale was away enjoying himself in London. This meant that I was in charge at practice. I don't mind taking practice, but it always reinforces to me that the conductors and Musical Directors of the world are a uniquely talented bunch. It takes a blend of skill, confidence and an inspirational personality to turn a bunch of individual singers into a coherent unit producing beautiful music. This is not a combination of skills that I possess so I just hope that my rehearsals can be useful in some form or other whilst having some fun!
But when I arrived in Tondu last night, I was greeted with a wonderful surprise. Long time friend of the choir Toby Hunt had come along to visit and as well as doing us the honour of giving us a song, he agreed to act as celebrity guest MD for the evening. Toby is a successful baritone opera singer but he seamlessly turned his hand to conducting the practice. A great help to me and fantastic news for the Bois who, rather than the extremely dull evening of learning parts that I had planned, were able to enjoy Toby's expertise and Stephen Sondheim anecdotes. A classic demonstration of the key skills required for managing a choir.
Skills, of course, shared in abundance by our own Dale Evans. He certainly has the skill with a long track record of musical successes. This inspires a great deal of respect from the choir. Another very particular talent that he possesses is the ability to mime the words of almost any song, prompting the choristers when their memory of song lyrics fails them (a rare occurrence hmm Bois?!) Reminds me of comedian David Armand who expresses himself through the medium of expressive dance- see the YouTube clip- uncanny... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr85XPKGsNM
Dale combines being completely hilarious with being completely terrifying. This means that every rehearsal is great fun whilst at the same time he gets the best out of the choristers who all aspire to hear the ultimate compliment- 'that's the badger Bois'...
If you're interested in joining a choir, then come along to one of our practices. Over the summer we're practicing once a week- 6.30pm on Sundays at Tondu Cricket Club. Contact us for more details...