I sing. I love singing. Sometimes I get paid for singing. Which is nice.
I’ve mentioned this before, of course, but not in any way which emphasises the huge part it plays in my life. I generally have some sort of tune running through my head at any given moment, and a quick check back through the titles of these here blog entries will show that many are song titles, or a bit of a play on them.
There is a family movie of me, aged about 4, standing on a table “scratching my belly”, as my Singing Uncle used to say (ie playing air guitar), and singing at the top of my voice. Sadly, the movie is silent so we can only speculate on what I was performing. Probably something early Beatles, or “Summer Holiday”, which was the first record I ever bought.
At school I was in the choir from the word go until my voice broke and then, like everyone in the 70s, I was in a band. We were woeful!
Then there was a gap of about 12 years in my public exposure, although I spent that time honing my vast repertoire of cheesy ballads and building a stock of off-colour party pieces.
Eventually the Ex persuaded me to get out of the house and try out for a choir. My first evening with The Edinburgh Singers was just wonderful: nice people, fun music and rediscovering the sheer joy of singing with others. Eighteen years later I am still there, Chair of one of the best (not so) little choirs in Christendom. Along the way I have made some great friends, seen new places, been on TV and radio, and have been privileged to sing some wonderful music.
Of course, running a big choir is sometimes a real pain in the ass. Individually each of my 70 or so singing friends are lovely people. Collectively, it can be a bit like running the pre-school crèche in Bedlam. But last night was our annual Xmas concert in Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. It was one of those evenings where, for some reason, everyone just relaxed and had fun. As a result, the singing was wonderful, the programme was a great selection of music from the 13th century right up to date, and the audience joined in the traditional carols with festive fervour. It was a great reminder of why I do this, and I am spending Sunday morning feeling all fuzzy and smug.
Now I am looking forward to a bit of a break, although I will be singing again next week with CoroEdina in the Scottish Parliament. That’s fun. It’s a small group of 8 or 12 singers who get together for weddings, corporate gigs etc. Different music (sometimes) and more personal responsibility for the music. But the best thing about it is that it’s run by someone else! I just have to sing and I love it.
Anyway, links to both of these wonderful ventures are at the bottom of the page. Have a look and a listen. Maybe come along to a concert.
And have A Very Musical Xmas.