In 2016 I took voluntary redundancy from working full time for Kirklees Libraries. I wanted something to do and I’d heard about the Lindley choir as far back as 2013. With work and other commitments, I’d never had the time, but it was something I thought I’d like to try. Now I could.
There are a lot of choirs where they expect you to audition and be able to sight read music. Well, I can’t read music and I wasn’t even sure about my singing voice, but a friend told me to just get in touch with the committee. I did and they invited me to come along.
The whole set up is lovely.
On my first day I met someone who was very nice and over the next few weeks we became choir buddies. It’s obvious there are some really talented musicians, but also people like me who busk their way through it. But that doesn’t matter. Alison, who organises us, is wonderful and from my first time I was struck by the way she leads the choir. She has this way of correcting you when you go wrong that is so warmly encouraging, rather than feeling like you’ve been told off.
I loved it from that first day. It was the most amazing feeling, even just warming up. 150 people, all singing together. And the mix of people, from young right up to people in their 80’s and 90’s and a good mix of men and women too.
There’s something very powerful about singing together that gives you a lift. And it helps you hit the high notes too. I think it’s the encouragement you get from everyone around. We all help each other sing better.
The other nice side of it is that part of the small subscription we pay goes to the Choir’s nominated charity for the year and all proceeds from our annual concert also go to the same charity.
Being a part of the choir, it feels really that you’re sort of contributing in some way to the community. Enjoyment for yourself, but also for others. Giving something back. I feel a part of something. It’s such a positive experience.
It’s a bit infectious too. I told a few of my friends about it and a couple of them have joined. I discovered among the 150 people that I knew some of them from the hairdressers or local shops. It’s surprising where you recognise a face, but you’re not sure where from, then it clicks… the choir.
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Thank you to Ann for sharing this story after participating in one of our “How can more people come together to make local places better?” online workshops for Kirklees citizens.