Enjoy a love of singing in a choir
If you’re one of those people who love singing in the shower, or maybe to your favourite tune in your car — maybe it’s time to indulge your secret love of singing and join the Hawke’s Bay Community Choir.
Or perhaps just go along and see what it’s all about. The choir was started by Ani Tylee more than seven years ago.
“She found a fabulous young director in Chelsea Makere Savaiinaea with heaps of musical knowledge, theory and a beautiful singing voice,” says member Cathy Kingston.
Ani took care of administration, fees and communication with choir members. Chelsea is the music leader, assisted by Tevivi Daniel, Cathy says.
“The songs we sing come from all over the world — African, Japanese, Hebrew, Ma¯ ori, North America, you name it. Songs in English and from the Pacific Islands. We often sing in four parts — bass, tenor, alto and soprano. We also sing in rounds.”
Cathy says they average around 30 members and have had up to 40.
“People come and go, and then return at some stage. We have a few stalwarts who have been going along for all the seven years.”
That includes a husband and wife team who drive from Takapau. Although most choir members are older, the youngest is in their late teens. Cathy says HC Community Choir
although there are always more women, there are about 10 regular men.
“We would always like more men, and really encourage them when a new man enters the door. The men who do come, however, have plenty of volume and sing with gusto and enjoyment, and I think the sound is well balanced.”
Practice nights start with a half-hour warm-up which includes a physical body warmup followed by a few vocal warmups.
“This is usually a bit of fun. Then we arrange ourselves in our vocal groups and sit on chairs for the other hour. We may learn a new song or two, and then we usually sing our favourites. Tevivi can play piano, guitar or ukulele.”
Don’t worry if you don’t know the words — a small committee makes sure the lights and heaters are on and the words are displayed on the wall.
“No audition or sheet music is required unless we are performing. So it is pretty casual and you just learn the songs as you go. It is for the joy of singing. If you have something else on, you are under no obligation to attend, and you needn’t feel that you are letting anyone down.” Last year the choir joined with the Wellington Community Choir and sang at the arts festival.
“We do have the odd singout which is always fun, and there are music weekends and workshops available for those who wish to attend — purely voluntary.”
Cathy says anyone who has always liked to sing and is happy to learn would really enjoy the choir.
“And I like to think that they would feel welcomed. We are a great bunch of people. I always come away feeling the joy of singing together in a choir with great people.”
■ Hawke’s Bay Community Choir, Clive Community Hall, every Thursday during term time, 7pm-8.30pm. For more contact Cathy Kingston ph 8448099 or email@example.com