Finally back together again, with masks

Members all nicely spaced out

By Urja Patel, Lead

If ‘life as we know it’ was normal September would have seen us start focussing on getting our Xmas repertoire ready for some festive Xmas singouts between October and January. But unfortunately this year has been as far away from normal as we could get and we have had to make do with seeing our lovely members in the virtual world instead of being together on the risers singing to our hearts content.

After what seems like decades instead of just seven months, we finally managed to get together to try to have a go at singing two of our Xmas repertoire ‘Carol of the Bells’ and ‘Feliz Navidad’. Those of us who were able to attend were very well spaced out and definitely broke in our new ‘singing’ masks and actually managed to make a decent enough sound considering many of us hadn’t properly used our singing voices for a while. Those of us who couldn’t attend were able to join us through the virtual world thanks to Zoom and a trusty iPad and were definitely seen singing away although muted.

Emma, our lovely MD, putting us through our paces

Our lovely MD Emma started off the evening with some vocal warmups which included a few brain teasers and some on the spot (literally!) moves which had us gasping for air from behind our lovely new masks. Even though there was a valid reason to wear them they definitely made singing hard as they would warm up and for me dried my mouth out more than normal – good excuse to drink some water! – and managed to fog up my glasses – but when you put everything into context they did the job they were bought for so no real complaints from me!

We had already been told to practice the two songs Xmas numbers a few weeks ago but, in true MD style, Emma also decided to throw in some songs we hadn’t looked at in months including ‘Aquarius’ and ‘Jingle Bells’. Regardless of the fact that some words in ‘Aquarius’ had been lost in a brain fog the songs sounded good. One thing that was really evident – at least for me – was the desperate need to get our lung capacity back up as the ability to sing long phrases had definitely flown out the window – definitely in need of some ‘homework’ before our next session!

It was wonderful to see the ladies who could make it – both in person and virtually – and to see that the friendships and camaradarie that we had had prior to the March lockdown were all still there but it was strange not being able to hug each other and socialise other than at 2 metres away. Xmas this year, for me at least, isn’t going to be the same without our regular outdoor singouts in our glittery outfits and copious amounts of hats, scarfs and gloves and I really, REALLY, can’t wait for life to get back to some form of normality where we can all be together and enjoy singing without the masks, but if Wednesday is anything to go by I will be able to mumble – sorry I mean SING hahaha – along with my ladies in person and that, for me, is definitely something to sing about.